"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
It's no secret that marriages require effort, as every marriage is bound to encounter some rough patches. But if all marriages ended at the first sign of trouble, then very few married couples would get past their first year together! So, what is the secret of those couples who have managed to stay together for several years, and who still seem so happy and in love?
Sadly, most couples who have been married for a long time will not have any magical formula to give you, but they will tell you that if you've decided that you truly want to be with your spouse, then it is going to take some hard work. The number one thing to keep in mind, especially when fighting and going through those inevitable rough patches, is why you are with your spouse in the first place.
In the midst of an argument your spouse might seem incompetent, stubborn, and thoughtless. In these times it is important to take a step back from the situation and remember that you are with this person because they also have many good qualities that you like. If, in the heat of the moment, you feel like you would be willing to throw everything away because of their current behavior, then just think for a second if you are willing to lose those good parts of them as well.
Many people wonder why their marriages go downhill, or why everything suddenly seems to take so much more effort as time passes. The truth is that the beginning of a relationship takes a lot of effort as well, but we are usually just too infatuated to notice how we are constantly striving to please our new love.
As time goes on and infatuation gives way to love, commitment, and a deep attachment, marriages require a different kind of effort. You need to be willing to compromise, to communicate, and, as is often needed, to apologize. Most importantly, you need to remember why you are with this person, to see the person that initially hooked you in and captured your heart.
You should also never forget that the Bible is also a great tool for building a successful marriage. It is full of fantastic inspirational quotes which can help give you spiritual strength when facing marital problems, and which can remind you to treat your spouse with compassion, patience, and gentleness. When you feel like you could use some guidance from God, just call to mind these two encouraging verses:
- "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." (Ephesians 4:2)
- "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8)
If you keep the above advice in mind every single day, then you will be able to regain that magic that you felt in the beginning of your marriage. You will experience a thrill, even after many years, when you excitedly think to yourself, "he/she is mine!" Keep this spark alive and your marriage will make it through whatever challenges life has to throw at you and your spouse.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.