Guest blogger: Jennifer Smith
Have you ever wondered how to improve your marriage?
I am sure that most couples go through seasons in their relationships in which they ask themselves a similar question. Seeking out that question’s answer can provide a plethora of different suggestions. Yet how many of those are long-lasting, positive solutions?
I believe the best answers to some of life’s most important questions are found in God’s Word, which is full of wisdom and insight that transcends time and culture. God’s Word is relevant, and His answers provide long-lasting, positive solutions!
God’s Word is relevant, and His answers provide long-lasting, positive solutions!
When I was searching for a way to improve my marriage, I was led to a particular passage of Scripture. The verses I read did not scream “DO THIS FOR A BETTER MARRIAGE . . .,” and there were no flashing signs directing my discovery. Rather, the Holy Spirit guided me as I read, helping me apply what I found directly to my marriage.
Are you ready for it?
9 Ways I Am Learning to Improve My Marriage
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22 – 23)
These 9 fundamental character qualities are produced by the divine presence of the Holy Spirit actively working in one’s life. By intentionally applying these “Fruits of the Spirit” to marriage as the standard by which I interact with my husband on a daily basis, I have experienced the blessing of growth in my relationship.
1. Love — love your husband unconditionally! For a great description of how God defines love, check out 1 Corinthians 13. It will require you to have grace, forgiveness, sacrifice, and respect for your husband. Love is foundational, and how you love has an incredible impact on your marriage.
2. Joy — this has everything to do with attitude! Double– and triple-check your attitude throughout the day. It is unnecessary to respond to your husband from a heart of frustration caused by something unrelated to him . . . for if it happens, tension is sure to grip your relationship. Allow joy to flow from your heart and bless your husband.
Allow joy to flow from your heart and bless your husband.
3. Peace — there are many ways we can promote peace in marriage. One vital way is through our responses to our spouse. Choose to be a peacemaker through all your actions, and be intentional in being at peace with your husband.
4. Patience — patience can sometimes require quite a lot of restraint and control, but the more we practice it, the more easily it will come. Have patience with your spouse and learn to slow down.
5. Kindness — a great way to show kindness in marriage is through random acts of service toward your spouse. Seek ways to meet his needs before a request is even made.
6. Goodness — goodness is found at the core of your will. It should be what inspires you to follow through with the rest of these fruits of the Spirit. Be the good you desire to see in your marriage!
7. Faithfulness — this is vital! Strive to be a faithful woman in your relationships with God and with your husband. Faithfulness is believing in the power of God to see positive change in your marriage, it is hope for better days, and it is loyalty to commitments made.
8. Gentleness — this fruit can obviously be seen through physical touch. Physical intimacy is a key element for a thriving marriage. Initiate gentle touches often! Also be aware that gentleness is evident through your responses to your spouse, much like some of the other fruits.
Gentleness is evident through your responses to your spouse, much like some of the other fruits.
9. Self-Control — practice self-control in everything you do. This is a very powerful characteristic to have, one that is required if you are working toward improving your marriage. Controlling your body, actions, and words determines the direction of your marriage, and it is necessary to be able to consciously practice all the other fruits of the Spirit.
With this list, please pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grow in these areas as you apply them to your marriage.
I also encourage you to read God’s Word consistently to find even more Scriptures revealing what God has called us to do in marriage. You will discover amazing verses that are great to cling to for comfort and support when facing different seasons in marriage.
If you are looking for a helpful resource to guide you through God’s Word, visit faithlifebible.com/jensmith, and get your free copy of the Faithlife Study Bible today using coupon code JENSMITH!
This blog was originally posted on Faithlife Women on 8/17/12 and can be read in its entirety here.