Tuesday, June 20, 2017

How to build a strong and healthy marriage

Craig and Amy Groeschel celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary this year. I'm not surprised that Craig&Amy have a strong, healthy and passionate marriage because they are clearly practicing what they preach about marriage. Love works, if we just commit to live it out. Pastor Craig Groeschel gives some great advice in this sermon on how we can pursue each other in marriage to make sure we stay in love. If you are single this sermon will give you the tools you need to know what a healthy relationship looks like. If you are married this sermon will give you tools to strengthen your marriage.

Craig talks about how when couples feel like they have "fallen out of love" somewhere along the way they stopped pursuing each other. We naturally pursue what we don't have, so we can't wait for a natural urge to do the right thing. If we want to keep our marriage healthy and strong we will need to get intentional about pursuing our spouse. There is no other area in life where we can be lazy and still see improvement. We can't be lazy at work and expect to do well in our careers. Why do we think we can be lazy in our marriages and still have a great marriage? I like this quote by Craig Groeschel: "In your marriage, if the grass looks greener somewhere else, it's time to water your own yard." How can we make sure we continue to pursue each other in marriage? Here's a few guidelines to live by:

1. When you think something good, SAY it.

The Bible calls us to encourage one another daily (Hebrews 3:13). Men and women respond well to different types of encouraging words. Men long for words of affirmation. Us women can gain a lot from restraining ourselves from pointing finger at our husbands faults and weaknesses. When we keep encouraging him with words of affirmation he will be motivated to grow. Pointing finger at his weaknesses won't motivate him to keep growing. Every husband wants to know: Do you believe in in me today?

2. When you think something special, DO it.

"If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them" (James 4:17). Anytime you know something good that you should do to be a blessing, do it. Be creative: fill up the car with gas, write a love note, surprise your spouse by arranging a night at a hotel while the kids are with a babysitter etc. Anything that you know will be a blessing to your spouse.

3. When you want something different, BE it.

Don't complain about what your spouse is not, focus on who God wants you to become. We will never criticize ourselves into a better marriage. Do you want something different? You become something different. You can't change anyone else than yourself. When you change for the better your new behavior will influence and motivate your spouse to change too.

If you don't like what you're getting, look at what you're giving. Instead of complaining about what you are not getting ask yourself: "What can I give to add value to our marriage?" I like this quote from Craig Groeschel: "To get what you've never had, you must do what you've never done." If your marriage was special in the beginning, it can be special again. You know what to do, you did it before. Commit to always pursue your spouse and you will have the wonderful marriage that God wants you to have.

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