7 Tips to Make Your Marriage Full of Joy

Is your marriage a joy and delight to you and your spouse? How about to others?

Here are seven tips, gauges and goals from Philippians 2 to see where your marriage is at and propel you in the right direction:

  1. Speak Devotion: Avoid nagging, bickering, sarcasm and competitive one-up-manship, instead use your energy to honestly encourage your spouse. Be loyal and use your words to display your appreciation for them, both to their face and behind their back!
  2. Act Devotion: Take care of your own needs AND your spouse’s needs. Breadwinning is not enough! Do you see something that needs doing and would take less than two minutes? Do it now! The kitchen, laundry, clutter control and keeping the bathroom tidy all have many small steps that either spouse can do when they are right there. As the Boy Scouts say, “Leave it better than when you found it.”
  3. Suffer Humbly. Jesus, even with His authority and responsibility, lived humility and self-control to the extent of suffering to help others, which pleased Father God. In your marriage you have authority and responsibility. Live in humility and self-control, willingly suffering to help your spouse and marriage. Willingly pull your weight and some of your spouse’s! Deal with issues, but iron over the molehills and save your strength for the mountains!
  4. Live Passion. You have wondrous things inside you! Actively live your strengths and passions to your spouse and the world. As you give what only you have you will see God’s joy and delight take shape in your heart and through your hands, benefiting your spouse, marriage and the world.
  5. Shine Beautifully. Shine your light beautifully by living without whining, complaining or arguing, instead offer encouragement and helpful wisdom. As the song says: “Accentuate the positive; Eliminate the negative; And latch on to the affirmative; Don’t mess with Mr. In-Between!”
  6. Have Friends. You and your spouse cannot do everything for each other and a marriage does not exist in a vacuum. Men need to relate to other men and women to other women; some more so than others. Connect with the community.
  7. Give Everything. Strategize with your spouse to put all your strengths together and minimize the impact of your weaknesses. The world will try to tear you apart. Live the battle and adventure of making your marriage your strong place, your place of refuge, even if it costs you your health or life. You are held in high regard when you count strengthening your marriage worthy of descending to the gates of death and sacrificing your life. Battle through to achieve the victory, then rejoice and celebrate the overcoming of sickness and the strengthening of your marriage.

When you live your devotion and passion, shining beautifully, humbly pulling more than your weight and giving everything you’ve got, your friends will see the joy and delight your marriage is to you, and you will see the joy and delight your marriage is to them!

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Is Your Marriage Great? A Philippians 1 Checkup

To have a great marriage you must connect and unify with your spouse in your spirit, soul, and body and be “plugged in” to God who made marriage. The mechanism only works if plugged into the power source! One way to connect, unify, and plug in is to bless each other.

Here is a checkup for your marriage paraphrased from Philippians 1:2-11. It is a blessing to speak to your spouse. Can you read this to your spouse and truly mean it?

Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Every time I think of you I joyfully thank God that we know God and have each other.

I am confident that God is at work in our lives and that He will finish His work.

I have you in my heart because we share our lives: how we live, how we work, and how we hope and pray, which means I give you grace.

For God is my witness how my great longing for the best for you comes from the depths of desire of what Jesus longs for you.

So I ask God that your love may increase more and more in knowledge and discernment that you may test and approve what is excellent. And that you may be sincere and untarnished by offense until the end of your days. And that you may be continually filled with the fruits of righteousness from Jesus for the glory of God our Father.

Is this your attitude toward your spouse? If so you pass the checkup and are on the road of  great marriages! If not, do not worry — now you have identified areas to work on!

Everything worth having takes work, and a great marriage is the most valuable thing you can pursue! If the grass looks greener over the fence, fertilize your own yard! Focus on improving who you are and where you are at, otherwise everywhere you go you will have the same results. A great marriage is well worth anything you have to do to achieve it!

Questions to Ponder

  • What joy does your husband or wife bring you? Celebrate what is great!
  • Where in your heart is your spouse? How deeply connected are you currently?
  • What are the deepest things you share with him or her? How vulnerable are you right  now?
  • Do you give grace to your husband or wife? Are you their safe zone or penalty box? Are you a nagger or an encourager?
  • Do you feel Jesus’ heart and desire for him or her? He sees and loves the best they are right now, and sees their true potential and encourages it.
  • How are you helping your spouse have a great life? How do you help them through the day to get beyond surviving to thriving?
  • Are you begging God that his or her love may increase so they may test and approve what is excellent? So their soul may be unstained by offense? So they may be filled with the best things God has to offer? So they may bring glory to God?