Marriage is Blessing From God
Marriage is a wonderful blessing God gives us that is daily screwed up by the fact it involves living with another person. Seriously God places us with a spouse that has different ideas about what we should do with our time and money. Mike Mason refers to marriage like planting a large tree in the middle of your house – no matter where you go in your house, you are aware of that tree.
This is a simple statement that is full of truth: when you get married, you are no longer single. God intends marriage to bring two separate individuals into one unit. This path to oneness takes time and effort. There are times we need to die to ourselves, and there are times we need to be vulnerable to express our needs.
We Need to Fight For Our Marriage
This process at times will be hard. At times we will want to make decisions alone. We will not want to take in consideration our spouse. We will not care. We will at times fail… and so will our spouse.
We will need to fight for our marriage because God believes that together we are better than we are alone. The day you got married, your path to the fullness of God’s destiny in your life is linked with your spouse. So we must make our marriage a priority.
How To Fix Your Marriage
While there is not one cure-all to marriage problems, there is one thing that you can start today that will head you in the direction of a strong, fulfilling marriage that most people don’t do.
In 2009 there was a joint study with the Fuller Institute, George Barna, and Pastoral Care, Inc that reported 95% of pastors do not regularly pray with their spouses. While this saddens me deeply, I understand it is easy to get in this pattern. Still, I think this is simple to start and essential to every marriage.
How to Pray Everyday with Your Spouse
1. Go to Bed at the Same Time.
I have recommended this several times to people and the common excuse is that one of them wants to go to bed early while the other is a night owl. When my wife and I started this practice, I didn’t want to go to bed as early as she did. Let me tell you the benefits really are in this first step. I will share those a little later.
2. Keep Your Prayers Simple.
Your prayers don’t have to be lengthy. You don’t need to make them long or stating every theological reason for your requests. You are just thanking your Heavenly Father for how He has blessed you and committing your family again to His care. You can pray for more things than this, but if you feel it has to be something long, you will not do it.
Benefits to Praying at Night with Your Spouse
1. You Don’t Go to Bed Angry.
It’s very difficult to pray to God when you are angry. There have been several nights my wife and I have laid there silently working up enough courage to ask for forgiveness so we could pray and go to bed. This practice has helped force us to keep short accounts of our offenses with one another so we could enjoy our relationship more.
2. You Can Talk About Your Day.
Go to bed at the same time gives you a great time to reconnect after your day. You remember things the kids did that you want to laugh about. You can share things you accomplished you are proud about. You can talk about something you read or heard. It is a great time to build your relationship and friendship. If you are having a hard time getting starter, try this Box Of 101 Conversation Starters for Couples from Gary Chapman.
3. You Get More Personal.
Remember having sleepovers as a kid. You would stay up late joking around, sharing things you haven’t told anyone else. There is something about laying around in the dark talking. I know most guys, for example, have a hard time sharing personal things when we can see your face. Somehow in the dark, we have more courage to express ourselves.
4. You Can Get Some Great Physical Touch.
Instead of just going to sleep, you can lay there talking and praying next to this person you love. You can lay close to one another and enjoy the fact you get to be with this person.
5. You Can Have More Sex.
This should not surprise you, but if you go to bed at the same time, you are more likely to have sex more. Even if you are single, I think you can figure this one out.
My wife and I started this practice within the first year of our marriage and have carried it on for the last nineteen years. We have still had struggles in our marriage, but I truly believe this has protected us from major pitfalls.
I am so grateful for marriage. It is the thing I value above all else I get to do. Allison is my friend and my biggest supporter. And, I hope that each of you experiences every blessing God has available for you in marriage.