You may have noticed that I haven’t posted these past few days, and that is because Forrest and I were fortunate enough to go with our church to a marriage getaway weekend in Mystic, CT. This weekend was amazing. It was perfect in every way. We just switched churches recently, so we are are still trying to meet friends and form relationships with other married couples. This weekend was focused on marriage, hence the title of my post. But, more importantly, learning new ways to love your spouse.
I felt a drive as soon as we got back home to share some of the valuable things we learned these past two days.
We know that we are very young to be married, so it’s hard to find people that are also young and married – it seems to be a very small niche in the Northeast. We were fortunate enough to be a part of this wonderful weekend. We felt such an answer to prayer because we have been praying for new friendships. This weekend meant so much to the two of us, and we got so much out of it and I wanted to share it with you. There were three sessions that made up the marriage conference and they were all equally as impactful into our lives and our marriage. The three main topics were: 1) clothe yourselves in humility, 2) live in grace, and 3) look for beauty. I am going to share a little bit on each of these points, so please, keep reading!
Clothe yourselves in Humility:
- Humility: “the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources, or use your influence for the good of others before yourself.”
- Colossians 3:12-14 – “…Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity”.
- Jesus was completely humble and gentle – he is our example.
- Philippians 2:5-8
- Forgoing your status is counter-intuitive. Whereas, one might think it would devalue a person to step down from his or her position in order to serve others, it actually does the opposite. It injects meaning into light. It delights and unites.
- Don’t just deploy your resources, deploy them effectively and efficiently.
- Use your influence to effect change with finesse, not force. Use your influence through action, and through words.
- Speak gently to your spouse (Proverbs 15:1). Aggressive words will cause the other to become defensive. It is important to know how to speak to each other in a way that will be effective. Make sure you know what each others love languages are – and act accordingly.
- It is so crucial to accept influence. Let your spouse influence you and don’t resist it. They only ever want the best for you. (Ephesians 5:21-33)
- Things to consider: Do you and your spouse show humility towards each other? In what ways? Is it hard for you to show humility? How have you seen your spouse show humility? Is humility your immediate reaction? How will you decide to clothe yourself in humility?
Living in Grace:
- 2 Co. 12:9 – “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
- Ephesians 2:8-9
- You can measure the strength with which you reflect Christ’s abundant grace by your ability to forgive others.
- Jesus gave us grace, so give grace to others.
- Forgiveness doesn’t just happen, you have to make the choice to forgive. It’s an active choice, not a passive experience.
- Create a pathway in your heart to allow forgiveness to happen, be open to having conversations with your spouse.
- Commit to the sacrifice that forgiveness requires. Be willing to make sacrifices for your spouse.
- Have a discussion with your spouse: acknowledge the offense, offer and receive forgiveness, understand the consequences, establish boundaries.
- Choose what you remember from a situation, (Isaiah 43:25). Replace bad memories with spouse with good, new ones. Remember the grace you offer your spouse.
- God works all things together for those who love Him. God’s grace should be in your marriage.
- Colossians 3:13- “bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
- Bearing with the unbearable: accepting and enduring, don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Holding up and supporting, making it through the difficult seasons. Ephesians 4:1.
- Remain steadfast, shouldering the burden with no end in sight. Continue unchanged. You should be steadfast, immovable, with a firm foundation. Your spouse should be someone you can lean on, count on, and rely on.
- Marriage allows us to carry each others burdens.
- Things to consider: Is forgiveness easy or hard for you? How will you put the choice to live in grace into action? How do you choose to remember the grace instead of the hurt? How can you take a moment of pain and turn it into a story of grace? How do you know when your spouse has forgiven you?
Look for Beauty:
- Find beauty in strength.
- Psalm 65:5-8, Psalm 93:1, Psalm 59:16, Psalm 46:1, Psalm 73:26, Psalm 28:7, Psalm 18:39.
- How beautiful is the sight of a fortress to a person under heavy fire? How beautiful is a refuge to a wanderer without a home? How beautiful is the sight of reinforcement to a weary heart ready to give up? How beautiful is a suit of armor to a vulnerable soldier with no defense?
- He’s given you everything you need. (Ephesians 6:10-18).
- Find beauty in hope.
- Psalm 65:5-7, Isaiah 40:30-31, Romans 5:3-5.
- Find beauty in care.
- Philippians 4:10-14.
- Protect each other, stand up for each other.
- Find beauty in cultivation.
- Psalm 65:9.
- Spend more time talking with each other about everything.
- Make time for one another.
- Speak your spouse’s love language.
- Find beauty in blessing…
- The blessing of shared experiences and memories.
- Gen. 2:23-24
- You share memories, you share experiences, you share parenting, you share joys, you share victories, you share extended families, you share hardships/dark moments, etc.
- Your spouse is supposed to be your biggest fan.
- Do you find beauty in your shared experiences together?
- Consider the blessing of God’s design.
- So 8:6-7
- Every aspect of your lives are woven together.
- Being able to just look into each other’s eyes and seeing the beauty of blessing is so special.
- Marriage is meant to be vibrant.
- Choose to look for the beauty in marriage.
- Things to consider: Where do you see the most beauty in your marriage (strength, hope, care, cultivation, blessing)? Where do you see the least? How do you care for each other? What does your spouse do to make you feel loved? What do you do to cultivate your relationship? How are you blessing your marriage?
HOW AWESOME IS ALL OF THIS?!
I hope this speaks to you as much as it did to us. A lot of my quotes and bible verses were taken from our notebook from the weekend. It is so important that we remember that our marriage is an amazing opportunity to glorify Christ. Your marriage should be a testimony and should draw others to Christ, not only in their marriages, but for their entire life. We are called as Christians to bring glory to His name, always. Even though Forrest and I are still newlyweds, this all was very applicable to us, (except the parenting parts, still good to know though :)). Some major things I took out of this marriage getaway were how critically important it is to always rely on each other. We are each other’s biggest fan, biggest supporter, and best friend. So act that way. Show you love your spouse in the way that they feel the most loved. Everything starts with humility. Humbling yourself affects everything you do. To see all our shared experiences, both good and bad, is such a blessing and so beautiful. Surrender to your spouse, find beauty in your marriage, and don’t forget to resolve conflicts – reconciliation is always a good thing.
I was recommended a lot of books on the topic of marriage, contact me to let me know if you would like those references.
God bless! 🙂