How to Make Marriage Work Part Four
How to Make Marriage Work Part 4
This post is about how you can tap into your spiritual power to address your relationship issues. But before we continue, let’s recap what we’ve already learned.
First of all, this series is focusing on what one spouse can do to improve his or her marriage even if the other isn’t ready, or willing, to work on things yet.
In the first article of this marriage advice series, we discussed how the root cause of marital conflict, and many other relationship problems, is when a spouse is afraid of being rejected by the other, or fears he or she will be swallowed up by the demands and expectations of the other thereby losing his or her own personal identity.
These feelings and fears undermine love.
In the second post, I introduced the following concept for making marriage work:
1. Willingness to accept and take responsibility for your own feelings and actions
2. Choose to learn
3. Discuss your feelings
4. Pray – talk with God and seek his wisdom
5. Be proactive (instead of reactive) by choosing to take loving action
6. Evaluate the outcome of your actions and adjust accordingly
In the second post, we also explained the purpose of step one, which is being willing to acknowledge that we are responsible for what we feel and how we act instead of defaulting into defensive, controlling behaviors.
In the third post of our series, we talked about what it means to make the decision that we are going to choose to learn instead of simply reacting.
In this fourth post of our five-part series, we will continue using Sally and Jim as our case study to see how she uses what she has learned so far to begin bringing healing to their marital conflict starting with herself first.
Since she has already explored her own attitudes and actions and has discovered how they might be causing some of her pain, she is now prepared to move forward from a position of compassion much like a caring parent would try to do with their child who was in pain or hurting.
So, in step four, Sally prays. She talks with God and seeks his wisdom and guidance, acknowledging that he is the only Source of unconditional love – the kind of love that she desires to have with her husband, Jim. In this step, she chooses to see Jim through God’s eyes.
During this time, Sally waits in patient trust with an open mind to God’s leading. She realizes that Jim stays late at work, sometimes, because of his vast responsibilities, and that it isn’t a personal statement toward her. But she also realizes there are times when he stays away in order to shield himself from being hurt or blamed by her.
At this point in the process, Sally asks, What loving actions can I take? She has the emotional, spiritual and psychological strength to be proactive about her marriage and no longer waits idly by for Jim to take action or conform to her expectations.
As a result, Jim will be drawn to her instead of withdrawing, and will have a growing desire to spend more time together.
Many couples often ignore the spiritual dimension of their marriage relationship when it is the most important dimension because it connects them with God, the Creator of original love. It fills their relationship with grace, forgiveness and kindness, too.
Seeking God’s wisdom and guidance will restore the real love in your marriage.
Next time, in the final post of our five part series, we will see what happens to Sally and Jim in steps five and six in the process of how to make marriage work, and see how it transformed their relationship.