Here are some practical recommendations meant to help you build up your marriage upon a solid foundation.
In order to have these pieces of advice become fruitful, do not expect anything from your partner in life. Yes, indeed, it is not a mistake: do not expect anything. These pieces of advice are aimed at helping you to personally let Christ enter into your marriage in the fullest way and to inspire you to become similar to Christ in everything, serving, as He did, the person to whom you are tied with the bonds of marriage. Dare and try to do it. Perhaps, in a while, you will want to share with others, through our magazine, those changes which will happen to you and to your family.
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Advice one: pray every day.
Whether your marriage is happy or not, the first and the most important thing to do is to ask daily for God’s blessing for your husband/wife and the whole of your family. Tell Christ that both of you need His Grace for strengthening your family. Give God the central place in your marriage.
This is especially necessary in our world which is inclined to diminish the Lord’s role in family life or bring it to nothing as a whole. But, when God’s participation is reduced to a minimum, a husband and wife will start to require from each other the accomplishment of their impossible expectations. They expect to be helped in solving every difficulty, in satisfying all their emotional needs, in contributing to their self-realization. Without receiving all of this, they get disappointed, offended and filled with bitterness.
Advice two: eliminate negativism and intensify love.
When a marriage lives through a crisis, evil and destructive words start entering the family home. These can be reproaches, accusations, curses, or insults permeated with blaming. The devil, prince of darkness, searches for offensive words and uses them to sow dissention between a husband and wife. Even in sound marriages, damaging words create the cracks where evil can penetrate.
Jesus Christ gave you the commandment of loving your partner in life as yourself. He exhorted us to bless each other and not to condemn. Therefore, request the Holy Spirit to help stop hard blaming, disapproving rebukes, harsh intonations and provocations. Such an vocal offense only destroys the other person’s self-confidence, infuses him/her with the sensation of despair and worthlessness or provokes hostility in response. Look for ways to change your home’s atmosphere. Make use of every occasion to show love; for instance, prepare a special breakfast and bring it to bed. Buy, without any pretext, flowers, or write a declaration of love, possibly in verses. Smile more often, praise and show gratitude for any kind of help and support. Such little signs of love will help you to overcome your stereotypical perception of your husband/wife.
Advice three: forgive!
Jesus Christ said: if we forgive, we will be forgiven, if we don’t, we will not be forgiven in return. We hear these words so often that we have gotten used to them and turned a deaf ear to them. Sometimes, we do not forgive or do not ask for forgiveness because of our pride; sometimes we are impeded in this by the pain of the offense. But we should remember: a sin which is not forgiven blocks a road on the pathway of love and mercy. It makes division. The more often we forgive and ask for forgiveness, the more peace we have in our homes. Life is full of spiritual struggle. Our families often experience misunderstandings and run against the selfishness of each other.
Advice four: appreciate each other and show kindness.
Unfortunately, it is natural that a husband and a wife act differently and so often show their benevolence during the first years of their common life, but, later, their love seems to go into hibernation. How do you treat your husband/wife? Do you show your benevolence towards him/her? Do you show gratitude toward good deeds? For instance, during a prepared dinner or free time spent with a child? Do you let it be known that you appreciate your husband’s/wife’s care about you? For example, when you are ill, or when your partner, without waiting for your request, does something in the household? Do not consider all that this undeserved to be thanked for, since it, so to speak, goes without saying! Make use of every occasion to express your gratitude.
A husband and wife should constantly show their benevolence to each other. A kiss in the morning, during goodbyes, at your family table, and at the end of the day should be the norm of behavior. Hold hands when you walk together. Sit next to each other when you watch TV. Embrace each other. These signs of love not only inspire your husband/wife, but they are evidence of love to your children and are important to show them the sense of protection and stability of the family hearth.
Advice five: rely on God
God knows that each marriage has its own weak points. But, regardless of our shortcomings, He sows seeds of life in every marriage so that we can glorify Him and bring fruit for His Kingdom. There is no reason to wait for the strengthening of your marriage without doing anything in this regard; but, it is quite possible to see improvements in your marriage if you dedicate time to prayer and make your own efforts aimed at growing in love.
Based on: dc.lviv.ua