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February 13, 2023

Ep.1268: How Strong Are My Relationships? (Part I)

Identifying the foundations, problems and practices of marriage

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Upon what foundations should a stable Christian marriage be built?

What are the common areas of weakness in a marriage relationship?

How can I contribute to my marriage even if my spouse seems distant?

Theme Scripture: Colossians 3:13-14

This may sound odd, but for a moment think about your personal relationships like a car. You depend on your car though you generally don’t think much about it. When you get in it you are ready to go, and if it doesn’t start or it breaks down, it creates issues. A lack of attention and maintenance will inevitably bring trouble. Proper maintenance is key to keep it running smoothly and to keeping you happy. Well, our personal relationships are immeasurably more important than our car, so we need to keep them in good working order as well. Because there are so many kinds of personal relationships, let’s start by looking at marriage. What are some basic principles to keep our Christian marriage going and growing?

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When we think about what a healthy marriage looks like, most of us think about being happy. We think about quality time, doing things for one another, encouraging each other, giving to each other and intimacy. Images of things like walking together along a deserted beach or being surprised with a gift or gesture, or going on an adventure or a having quiet dinner for two give us a sense of a powerful marriage connection. All of these things are awesome, and we’d all love to be there! But how do we do it? How do we build our marriages up to this kind of sharing and security?

Let’s face it, life is incredibly complicated and busy.

Even thinking about all of these sharing experiences can be stressful - nevermind actually doing them. The unfortunate equation many of us find even our Christian marriage trapped by looks something like this: Work stress plus responsibility, multiplied by financial challenges, plus social media, multiplied by digital entertainment equals no time and little desire left to intentionally strengthen our marriages! What we would love to have is seemingly inaccessible as we face the tangle and drain of simply living everyday life.

There is a better way.

The starting point to untangle the confusing mess of life’s expectations begins with doing one thing and understanding two principles. The one thing is to self-assess. Decide that the responsibility for making your marriage better lands squarely on your shoulders. Now, you might respond that marriage is by definition give and take, contributions from both sides! You could not be more correct! However, the process of positive change always begins with taking personal responsibility to take the first small steps, regardless of what anybody else does. Simple...but not easy.

Check out our February 13, 2023 podcast, “How Strong Are My Relationships? (Part I) for more. We expand on this self-assessing process by homing in on what to focus on, which brings us to our two principles: LOVE and RESPECT. The key here is understanding that the kind of love we are talking about is the kind Jesus showed us. It is a love that graciously, selflessly gives. And respect, well, that’s much bigger than we might think as well. These are just our starting points. Join us for the rest of the story!


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