I was talking to my 15-year-old niece one day and she asked us, married ladies, how would she know when she found “the one”, the right one to marry. Different things were shared and someone said to be prayerful about who to marry. As quickly as it came out one of the women said that she knew couples who were prayerful and their marriages didn’t end well.
The problem with those marriages is that they forgot about that prayer, the answer who to marry. I knew PLENTY of women who were prayerful who’s marriages were successful because they were loving, forgiving, communicated, dedicated, the dated after marriage, they were interdependent, they were friends, had positive interactions, and counseled with one another.
“I have witnessed much of the best and much of the worst in marriage…faultfinding replaces praise.” (Successful Marriages and Families) I have been guilty of faultfinding instead of praise. I feel that sometimes when we are unhappy we take it out on our spouse nonverbally. One might start to focus on all the things they aren’t doing instead of all they are doing. When I switched my attitude of looking for the positive things in my spouse I was truly humbled. He was doing so much for me and my family. He would help with the dishes, he would read to children when I couldn’t, he would always say something positive to me, how nice I looked or thanking me for all I had done. I was ashamed at my withdraw of love, my lack affection, and own lack of positive phrases to him. “You see, we are all still imperfect, and these unresolved differences, allowed to accumulate day after day, add up to a possible breakdown in the marital relationship all for the want of better communication, and too often because of foolish pride…if you want something to last forever treat it differently.” I had to get over my own pride, communicate better and treat my marriage with the eternal respect it deserved.
I started to sit down and counsel with my husband, we found out about each others day, we tried to show affection in different ways by sending text, leaving a note in his lunch, telling him one thing I appreciated that he did for me. You can turn your marriage into something beautiful when you look for the positive. We started as friends, are continuing as partners and building on our foundation daily.
“True marital love emerges from profound friendship” (Hawthorn, 2012) How many of us have friends that we stuck to their side no matter how they have treated us or the problems we have faced yet we don’t offer our spouse the same forgiveness and commitment. Just as you would with your friend you should become committed to your spouse and marriage, “it means a willingness to change any and all behaviors and attitudes for the good of the relationship. This might involve learning to resolve differences in a more healthy way, overcoming tendencies toward impatient listening, moderation unrealistic expectations, spending an evening alone together each week, or resolving personal problems.” (Hawthorn, 2012)
If you would like a strong foundation in your marriage become committed to the
- Nurture the relationship
- Become friends with each other
- Have positive interactions
- Counsel with one another at least monthly
- Accept influence sharing the decision making
- Respectfully handle differences and solve the problem. When you focus on the problem you don’t focus on the individual
- Continue dating through the years
When using these foundations to build your marriage Spencer W. Kimball describes that marriage can be “more an exultant ecstasy than the human mind can conceive.” My husband and I have made these changes in our marriage. Even good marriages need fine tunning. See what a difference just one of these things can do for your marriage. You will be surprised at how much better a good marriage or even the best marriage can become. Marriage is the foundation to a happy home, community, and country. Please take the time to nurture your marriage and build that firm foundation for it to last throughout the years.
Image: Happy Couple