Marriage is so much more than a license or a ceremony. It is a journey together. It is a life spent walking with each other growing with God. The problem is that discouragement, challenges and life get in the way of enjoying the journey. I have found that we need to step back sometimes and re-examine hope. Hope is a confident expectation for something, but hope still has to have a foundation. The foundation of belief can create the soil to grow hope. Here are three things that can strengthen the foundation of your hope in a rich journey with your mate.
Believe in your marriage
You are not together by accident. This was not a mistake. Their is a purpose and meaning for the two of you to be together. Find or rediscover why you are together. After over thirty years of marriage I am convinced that God has used my wife as part of my curriculum of Christlikeness. I have learned more about love, sacrifice, joy, patience and relationships through my marriage than anything else I have experienced. I know that God has used my marriage to change me and the world I live in. So often we see the challenges of marriage as hindrance to the life we want. Begin to believe that God will use your marriage to form Christlikeness in you. The joy is the knowledge that in this journey God will give you Himself, and that is where real happiness is found.
Believe in your spouse
Show your spouse that you believe in them. It is so important to know that someone is on your side, especially when you’ve made a mistake. Be generous with your kindness and support while showing unconditional love. Offer a shoulder to cry on, and a listening ear. Remind your partner of the wonderful qualities that you fell in love with, and why they are the person you love and look forward to growing old with.
I know that this paragraph is hard for some…. because you don’t feel this. Ask God to daily show you the small things and ways that are unique and special about them. Remember they were made in the image of God, so in them resides something strong and beautiful. Show gratitude for who they. In time gratitude will produce love. Love can come back, allowing you to say, that you believe in your spouse also.
Believe that God is for you and with you
You and your marriage are not alone. This truth has brought more comfort than anything else in my life. No matter what happens in your life or your marriage you are not alone, God is with you. Nothing escapes Him or surprises Him. He has a plan to prosper and increase your life. That plan and hope will come alive as you invite him into the journey with your spouse.
- The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly – John 10:10 ESV
- Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV
Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 MSG