This week I will still be hitting on relationships and marriage. Today, specifically keeping God at the head of your relationships and marriage. I have a group of friends, we started doing bible studies together earlier this year, they’re my Jesus Sisters. One of my most favorite things about this group of women is that we are all in totally different areas in life. A few are married, a few have serious boyfriends, a few are single. They all work, I stay home with my kids. Some are in college, some are well established in their careers. We all get together and talk about God in our relationships, we share ideas, habits, tips. We talk about hard stuff. We cry. When I was thinking about this post I immediately thought about this group and how much I adore them and the bond we have built over these bible studies. And how even though we are all doing totally different things in life right now, we all seem to be able to relate to working on having God at the head of our relationship.
“A cord of Three strands is not easily broken” – Ecclesiastes 4:12. This verse is hanging in my living room. Basically what it means is that, a relationship with you, your partner, and God (the three strands) is not easily torn apart. Essentially, you can get through anything.
Now, my husband and I are guilty of not always having God at the head of our marriage. You and your significant other may be the same. Having faith can be a challenging thing at times, especially in more desperate times when you’re in a hurry for something to work out for y’all. You begin to force things to happen. What we miss is that our plan is not perfect. No matter how perfect it seems as you go over the logic in your head, its still not going to be close to what God can do for you and your relationship. I have a couple tips that have really helped my husband and me. They aren’t hard or time consuming, but they do require a little effort.
1. Pray: Pray all the time. For the most simple things. It’s not silly. Encourage your partner to pray. Talk about your prayers. I would love to say that my husband and I pray together. We don’t. We should, but we don’t. We do actively pray for each other and for our marriage though. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a military wife. My husband is gone all the time. One thing I love and that is really been helpful in our marriage is to get the same devotional book and we email back and forth what we got from the devotional, how we can apply it to our lives, and then we end with a prayer. I type my prayer & send it to Chris. He does the same. You can do this through text message too. This is a great alternative if praying together is a challenge for you. For me, praying is private. I just like talking to God alone. You may feel the same. It can be intimidating, like public speaking, to pray with your partner sometimes. I. Get. It. Or even let your partner know, “Hey, I prayed for you today” or “Hey, pray for me today”. Be that person. I know some are thinking if I sent that to my boyfriend he would probably be like “um, okay?” That’s okay. I encourage you to take that step and open that door. Let it get weird for a minute. It will get better.
2. Be aware and intentional: Story time. So with Chris gone all the time, one of the most challenging things for us is when he’s home for a week and then gone for 2 weeks. We are both SO use to being alone that when we’re together its chaotic and frustrating. This just happened right before he left for a three month underway in August. We had been arguing constantly. Making rude comments (both of us love to be sarcastic) which is funny but sometimes we take it too far, not being helpful to the other person, or being unavailable to each other. Not being willing to have a conversation or creating a body language that says, “Leave me the eff alone. I can’t stand you right now”. That’s not good. It’s real, it happens. So I make the effort. I get a baby sitter for a night. We don’t even have to pick the kids up after we go out (SCORE!) I tell him I’m taking him out on a date. We’re gonna grab sushi and then go out with a friend and do some brewery hopping (& best part, I’ll DD since I’m pregnant for the 100th time this year). We go to dinner and we were SILENT. I had planned this whole night and I still wasn’t making myself vulnerable, available to him. So he. My husband, who by the way always looks mad. Def has RBF. Doesn’t EVER show feeling (I often tell him he’s like a robot), says, “We aren’t putting God in our marriage. That’s our problem”. Crazy thing is I hadn’t even thought of that. But he was RIGHT. Yep, a man was RIGHT. And I will admit it. I started tearing up. This is what being aware means. Knowing, you two aren’t walking with God. Knowing you haven’t asked God for help during a tough time in your relationship. Knowing TO go to God. Turn to him, lean on him. I promise things will get better. It may not be instant, you still have to put in effort. You can’t ask God for help and continue with you crappy attitude towards your partner. Be intentional. Work on specific things with God. This problem between Chris and I didn’t magically go away after we had the realization. Every day we work on it. We have made a point to talk about ways to deal with him coming home and having to adjust to being together again. It’s a period of transition & its hard. But we pray that God will be with us during that time and keep us aware when things start to feel chaotic or frustrating that we stop ourselves and say, “No. We aren’t letting this get to us”. How can we make this work? How can we compromise? Is there an alternative? How should we word what we need to say so that we don’t come across confrontational? Do I need to step back, take a breath, and check my tone? Pray about it. Literally ask yourself these questions. I do. This is being aware & intentional and with God by your side you can do it.
We are sometimes going to stray away. We are human. That’s just a given. But its important to know when you have gotten off the path with God and started forming your own. Take the step with your partner and turn around and go back to Him. Communicate with your partner about wanting to bring God in your relationship. Its a lot easier when both people are working towards the same goal. It’s a process, a change in mindset, but its so worth it.