Marriage: 3 Ways to be More Intentional with Your Spouse

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Marriage is a big deal. It is so sad that so many marriages are failing and Christians aren’t excluded. I knew the statistic (40-50% of couples divorce and the rate is even higher for those with prior divorces) going into marriage, but the statistics never really impacted me. I grew up with great happily-married parents and my in-laws have a good marriage too. Most of my friends growing up had parents that were still together. I really didn’t have anyone close who was divorced.

Maybe I grew up in a bubble, I don’t know. But once I got married, I started seeing couples break up. My eyes were open and I saw friends and mentors getting divorced. I had no idea that these people were struggling in their marriages. What a burden that many bear alone.

Divorce really hit home for me when I found out a couple we were friends with were getting a divorce. They were married the same day and time as my husband and I.

Divorce has become our new societal norm, and that isn’t healthy. We see more movies and T.V. shows with unhappy and broken homes then ones with healthy marriages.

Please don’t get me wrong and think that I’m bashing people who are divorced or think that no one should ever get divorced. That is not my aim. I want to encourage people to actively work on improving their marriage. 

So how can we not be a statistic? How can we make our marriages thrive? I don’t have all the answers and my husband and I are not perfect by any means, but we have a good marriage.

Good marriages don’t just happen. They take effort and persistence.

Marriage: 3 Ways to be More Intentional with Your Spouse

ONE

Actively Work on Improving your Marriage

Many people get married and stop working at their marriages. You have probably heard that once you are married, you don’t have to date anymore. It is so easy to become comfortable with our spouse and not put in any effort into marriage. But when we aren’t actively working on our marriage, our marriage is slowly going downhill. We have to be intentional with our marriage and work on it.

When my husband and I were doing our premarital counseling, our pastor told us that we need to get a Ph.D. in knowing our spouse. He said most people have maybe a high school diploma in their spouse. We should be actively learning new things about our spouse. I love this idea.

So how do you get a Ph.D. in knowing your spouse? Talk together, share experiences, and date again.

TWO

Set Goals for the Future

This is huge! Goal setting is vital in having a clear vision of what you want to succeed in together. Set goals for your finances, job, spiritual, friendships, physical, relational, and whatever else is important to you.

My husband and I started setting goals in a variety of areas of life before we got married and we continue to adapt and add new goals in at least once a year. By setting goals together, you really become one-flesh with your spouse. Everything comes easier when you are on the same page for the future.

Write your goals down and revisit them. Writing goals down makes your goals more permanent and more likely to be achieved. We make sure to date when we wrote the goals and when we achieve them. It has been amazing for us to see that we have accomplished our goals and many of them we accomplished before we thought we could.

THREE

Change Your Mindset

Mindset is such an incredible factor in everything we do. If you go into your marriage trying to win, your marriage will lose. When you have a mindset shift from focusing on yourself to focusing on your spouse, your going to treat your spouse better.

Most fights usually boil down to selfishness and pride. If selfishness and pride were stripped away, fights would turn into a disagreement and our lives would be so much more peaceful. Selfishness is a deadly poison for marriages, it seeps into the cracks of everyday life. If we looked out for our spouses interests, how much better would our marriages become?

On a practical level, I try to actively put away my selfishness on the little things so I won’t be selfish on the big things, and by no means am I perfect! For example, I try to give my husband the bigger cookie, the better seat, or even admitting that I was wrong etc. By creating this habit, I am wanting the best for my husband, which in turn creates a better marriage.

Let’s get intentional with our marriage because our marriage don’t just affect us. They affect our spouse, our children and future generations. The way we live out our marriage is the most prominent marriage example for our children. I want my children to have amazing marriages, and I want to model that for them. Don’t settle for normal, because divorce is normal.

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