Having a faith-filled marriage doesn’t always mean what it thinks we mean. The Scriptures state that God’s thoughts are as high above our thoughts as the heavens above the earth. One way that we can think about this passage is in terms of marriage. We know what we need to be fulfilled and happy, and we can always trust that God’s plan is always better than anything we can put into practice.
An Intentionally Faith-Filled Marriage
One of the ways to have a faith-filled marriage is to be intentional with our spouse. Being intentional is a quality of God and a gift for us as His children. God intentionally created the heavens and the earth. He intentionally made us in His image. He intentionally gave us dominion on the earth. And, of course, he intentionally sent his one and only son Jesus, to give his life so that we would know Him.
He does not make mistakes or do things impulsively or by accident. We can sometimes forget that this is one of God’s wonderful qualities: he is who He says He is and does what He says he will do. We can imitate God in his way. Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loves us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
We can also live intentional lives. When it comes to marriage, we can decide that we will also love our spouses with the fruits of the Holy Spirit, such as patience, kindness, joy, longsuffering, love, gentleness, goodness, peace, and self-control. It’s a tremendous gift that these intentional qualities of the Holy Spirit are carved out and prescribed to us as a way to live. There’s no better example of this or place to put these into practice than marriage.
Not only is marriage the perfect setting to put these intentional practices into place, but it’s also the place where including these qualities intentionally will make it thrive, just like a well-kept and flourishing garden. In other words, when you listen to your spouse, let them know that you are displaying mercy instead of judgment and condemnation when you seek to be gentle rather than harsh, and protect a sense of joy in the atmosphere rather than allow bitterness and grudges to be commonplace, you are inevitably allowing yourself to thrive.
Protecting Your Joy
Protecting your joy in marriage is easier said than done, but when we think about intentionality, we find that all things are possible with God. This assumes that we have joy, to begin with. We don’t just automatically come with joy in our marriage only because of how we feel about our spouse. The joy that we share is the joy of Christ Jesus himself. It’s the same joy from Hebrews 12:2 that was set before Christ and the reason that he gave himself for our sake. Jesus could endure the cross because of this joy, and we, God’s children, get to share in that indestructible, eternal joy.
This is not just a feeling or emotion that can falter or be easily affected. This joy was designed to remain with us and, as the Scripture says, be greater in us than anything that we will encounter in the world, our marriages, or our marriages that take place in this world. Yes, we are walking in the spirit, but we often forget that we may acknowledge that we are also in this world, yet not of it.
This is good news because that means that this joy is not affected by a disagreement or a bad day or when our spouse treats us doesn’t align with their vows or what they promise to us along the way. We can rely on this joy in the toughest and most vulnerable moments of our lives together in marriage, and that’s good news.
Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
Anchor Text: (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
External Link: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/1corinthians/1
The Reality of Anxiety in a Faith-Filled Marriage
The third way to have a faith-filled marriage is to acknowledge the presence of anxiety in our married lives. Of course, this is not the only emotion we can address, but for some reason, it seems that this one gives us the most trouble individually and as couples. We have a hard time talking about it with one another. Often we don’t go into our marriage with a plan for dealing with stress, sometimes because we are not prepared for what it means to be emotionally prepared for marriage. But even when we’ve done the preparation, anxiety can be difficult to address together without a plan.
For many, it’s not even something we think about when we think of what it means to have a plan. But we certainly can. And when we talk about it, when we know one another’s pain points and needs and what to look for to support one another without them saying, “Hey, I could use some help,” it will be a significant help when that moment comes. We know that we should support one another in sickness and health, and being prepared to support our spouse in anxious moments, days, or even seasons is one of the most important things we can do in marriage.
And yes, once again, God gives us what we need to put into practice a plan that will help us. We are called to encourage one another, for example. Some very powerful things happen when we learn to do this daily with intention. We build confidence in Christ. Our spirits are lifted, and we focus on God and the help that comes from above. That does not mean we ignore what’s before us, but we are better suited to face and understand our emotions. We also help to put ourselves and our spouses in a place of gratitude.
When this is our focus, we put ourselves on a different path. Sure, we will have very challenging moments, but when we prepare ourselves and remain connected to God’s hope, we have control of our anxiety, which does not control us. The evidence of this is in the fruit of the Holy Spirit as well, which tells us self-control is one of the gifts and qualities of God.
Of course, we don’t always feel in control or like we are managing things well, but yet we can trust and believe that this is the will of God for our lives and one of the many wonderful ways that God helps us to support and love one another in a faith-filled marriage.