I went to a Marriage Retreat recently & it was dynamite! I wanted to share a few things I found REALLY helpful and wanted to pass along the goods in hopes that maybe something might encourage you in your marriage.
First of all let's start with BELIEVING
Believe that God hears YOU.
Believe that God us with YOU.
Believe that God is for YOU as an INDIVIDUAL & as a COUPLE.
Believe that God's power is available to YOU.
Believe that God has something good for YOU.
I have heard it said "Communication is the key to a successful marriage." While clear, loving communication is so very, very helpful in a marriage, I learned something at this retreat, that I TOTALLY agree with. FORGIVENESS is the most important key to a marriage that will go the distance. Until we can forgive our spouses, all the tips & strategies won't help.
Forgiveness is hard, really, really hard. What is important is that we realize this is something we have to rely on God's strength for. Jesus says in John 15:5, "You can do NOTHING apart from me." Even forgive. Often when I'm finding it difficult to forgive a person in my life, I will pray for help & remind myself of Eph 4:32, that I am to forgive as God forgave me....of everything, I've ever done or will do. I also find it's a process, sometimes I have to actively say everyday, I forgive ____, I can forgive _____ because God forgave me and He will help me do this. And it doesn't always happen over night, it can take weeks, months, years, but we have to keep striving. We can forgive by God's POWER and GRACE.
Forgiveness is renouncing anger & resentment towards someone and releasing them of their debt or owing you anything (like an apology.) Oh, but how we want them to apologize & admit they are wrong!! Once someone apologizes to me, I find it pretty easy to forgive, because they are admitting their fault. However, it is extremely hard to let it go when they don't or won't say they are wrong.....But the truth is, they may never say those words "I'm sorry." And they may not even realize they offended us, when we hold on to words & situations from the past we are the ones that are left angry, it begins to eats us up with bitterness, and in turn it hurts our hearts & marriages.
Honestly, I find this one of the most difficult things to do, but it's also the most freeing. God is for your marriage and is willing & ready to help you forgive, pour out your heart to Him and let Him show you how.
I will have to continue this on another post, hope so far this has encouraged you!