Guest blogger: Darlene Schacht
Rich beauty doesn't blossom over time unless the gardener is willing to till the soil, tend to the weeds and water each seedling as it grows. So it is with marriage. Those who stay the course with patience and humility reap the harvest of a strong and healthy marriage.
What are the things that a successful marriage requires?
What can we do to make positive change? And what are some ways that we can till the soil and water the land?
As much as some women prefer to avoid this fact, a successful marriage requires service and humility on our part. You're not going to hear that said too often around the water cooler. Instead you'll hear things like, "You have a right to be happy," and "Follow your heart."
Unfortunately following the heart doesn't lead us down the best paths.
Unfortunately following the heart doesn't lead us down the best paths. In fact the heart is deceitful above all things. It tells us that we need things when we don't, and if we followed it we'd sleep too late, eat too much, and eventually come to poverty. That's where the heart tends to lead us.
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. — Ephesians 5:22
And yes, you have a right to be "happy," but don’t you want more for your marriage? Temporal happiness doesn't offer the long-lasting joy that one yields through hard work, commitment, and adherence to wisdom. Wisdom, unlike the heart, leads us safely through life.
With hard work and wisdom in mind, let's roll up our sleeves and look at 5 tips that lead us toward a strong and healthy marriage:
- Be ready and willing to forgive.
- Be humble enough to let go of your need to be "right." Seek for quick reconciliation rather than holding onto anger.
- Make it your goal to show an interest in him.
- Live with an attitude of gratitude. Marriage can be tough at times, but appreciation trumps nagging any day of the week!
- Communicate. Keep the door of communication open as wide as you can.
The key to all five of these? Love. It calls us to live in humility esteeming others higher than ourselves. That's the best way to nurture a strong and healthy marriage!
And last but not least, fitting right in, let's not forget the hubby's role that we can relay to him with love:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. — Ephesians 5:25-27
This blog was originally posted on FaithlifeWomen.com on 1/16/13 and can be read in its entirety here.