As our conversation continues with one of my best friends, I want to you to consider how comfortable it is for you to hang out with your single friends and talk about the “One.” Certainly that is important too but, you would benefit significantly to include in you social circle married couples who can shed some light on where you’re heading. You might say, “you mean happy married couples.” Actually, if you are an astute student you will also learn from the “not so happy” ones too. We’ve got a happy one for you to learn from today, so let’s get right into some priceless wisdom this Real Wife Material acquired along her journey. Grab a cup of tea or coffee….alright, for you cold beveragers, get something refreshing.
Mrs. Pena’s tips for a beautiful marriage:
- God HAS to be the center: I honestly don’t know how a marriage can survive without God being at the center. If you put God at the center, everything in your marriage flows through Him; struggles, difficult decisions, raising children and challenges you face individually or together are easier with God at the focal point. Having God at the center of our marriage provides such freedom that we’re not going at it alone. My husband and I are committed to being spiritual warriors, joined together on this battlefield and its imperative that we defend and fight for our marriage together in order to defeat and bind the powers that fight against it.
- Put into practice the principles of a biblical marriage: I must admit this one took some work for me. Even though I work full time, I had to come to terms with prioritizing my marriage and home over my profession. This was challenging for me because the principles of the corporate world do not align with the principles of a biblical home or marriage. And at a point in my career I found myself fighting to prove myself worthy of a title, promotion or an opportunity, while I was missing out on precious family dinners, prayer time, alone time with my husband, and milestones with my young children. In the end, I had to set certain boundaries at work in order to put my family first. I was no longer willing to sacrifice certain aspect of my home life in order to “fit” into the corporate world. One trick of the enemy is tricking you into believing that you can have it all and that you’re alone in your motivation and success. But that false perception can quickly lead to destruction. Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 teaches us that we need each other. We need support and understanding from our spouse. As a working mom and wife, there will be sacrifices. There’s no such truth as having it all. Everyday I have to consciously choose and prioritize my family because it’s so incredibly easy to get sucked into the world’s idea of a “normal” family life for working parents and from there it becomes a slippery slope. God gave us all gifts and talents and if you choose to use yours outside of the home it doesn’t mean that you should prioritize that talent (whatever successes it brings) over your marriage or your family.
- Seek biblical counseling and support: There’s a perception that you only need to seek counsel when your marriage is in crisis. There’s nothing further from the truth. Max Lucado said “disasters don’t call ahead and calamities don’t serve advanced notice” they show up unnoticed. Strengthen your marriage along the journey so that you can draw on sound teaching when you need it. Couples that wait until their marriage is in crisis before seeking counsel have a much lower rate of staying together. Seek out support groups, develop friendship with like-minded Christian couples and support each other. Join a small group and plug into teachings that will strengthen your marriage and family life. Attend Christian marriage conference and find biblically sound literatures and teachings that you can both feed on. My husband and I are a part of a small group of couples that meet twice a month to dive into the Word through visual or auditory series that are usually about 6-8 weeks long and focuses on improving our marital or family life. We discuss as a group our struggles and share thoughts and ideas. Here is a great resource that you can easily plug into as a couple, Chip Ingram Marriage that Works.
- Forgive each other and do it quickly. No one is perfect and you shouldn’t expect your husband to be either. Don’t let hardships, wrongdoings, silly mistakes or even big ones fester and ripen in your heart. Forgiveness is never about the other person, it’s always about your relationship with Christ. Forgive as Christ forgave you, affirm your love for him as Christ affirms his love for you. Comfort him as Christ comforts you. Don’t keep track of his mistakes or wrongdoings, but resolve and start fresh each day as God’s mercy is new for us every day. Let God redeem those hardships within us and in this, we grow more like Him. Don’t let serious concerns go unattended. If you need to seek counsel to resolve an issue beyond both your knowledge and understanding, then it’s perfectly fine to do so. But do it as the concern is raw or new, not when you’ve harden your hearts. That brings me to my final point.
- Make time for each other. Rediscover your passion for each other. God designed us to enjoy each other and it’s by far the most beautiful thing about being married. You can freely enjoy and discover intimacy on every level. As we get more seasoned in our marriage, certain aspects will take effort as we tend to get caught in the routine of daily life and if you have children and busy careers like we do, it becomes even more crucial. It shouldn’t be devalued as it does play a key role in keeping you closer together as a couple.
With these tips, I hope you too will grow in marriage and let God’s truths guide you. Develop a deep understand of each other and a Christ-like sacrificial love for each other that will strengthen all aspects of your relationship with each other for a life time.
WOW!!! What a wise friend I’ve got! You have been duly schooled on what many of us wish we heard before we got married. Excellent preparation information!