Summary: The secret to closeness in marriage is not sparkling conversation, or shared interest or incredible sex. As good as those are, the secret is practicing plain old-fashioned thoughtfulness and kindness. The stuff we learn when we are young and forget when w
Give Your Marriage A Tune-Up!
Ephesians 4: 29-32NKJB
During the rehearsal for her wedding a nervous bride was having a difficult time remembering all the details. Her kind pastor took her aside at the end of the night and said, “When you enter the church tomorrow, you will be walking down the same aisle you’ve walked down many times before. Concentrate on the aisle. And when you get halfway down the aisle, concentrate on the altar. And, when you reach the end of the aisle, your groom will be waiting for you. Concentrate on him. Focus on the aisle, then look at the altar, and finally, lock eyes with your man. That’s all you have to do.”
That seemed to help a lot, and on the day of the wedding, the beautiful but nervous bride walked flawlessly down the aisle. But people were a bit taken back as they heard her repeating these words during the processional, “Aisle, alter, him. Aisle, alter, him. I’ll alter him.”
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
The secret to closeness in marriage is not sparkling conversation, or shared interest or incredible sex. As good as those are, the secret is practicing plain old-fashioned thoughtfulness and kindness. The stuff we learn when we are young and forget when we are too busy. Things like respect, sensitivity, attentiveness and caring.
If your marriage needs a tune-up, start doing these four things:
Practice hug therapy.
When you're at odds with each other, remember this, “Hearts may agree though heads differ.”
Ephesians 4:31AMP Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence].
Here’s a great word to remember~ A hug works wonders! When we touch one another in caring ways our bodies actually produce chemicals which calm us emotionally and help us to bond physically, God designed us that way.
2. Don’t forget the small stuff.
When you routinely build little kindness into your marriage they become a source of strength later, it's like money in the bank you can draw on.
Ephesians 4:30AMP And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [but seek to please Him], by whom you were sealed and marked [branded as God’s own] for the day of redemption [the final deliverance from the consequences of sin].
The Holy Spirit of God should never be pushed away, ignored, are rejected. If we would remember that the One who lives in us is God's own spirit, we would be much more selective about what we think, read, watch, say, and do.
So think personal and sweet, like helping to clean up after dinner, making the bed, walking the dog or taking out the trash.
Remember, In Song of Solomon 2:15 the Shulammite says, “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”
It might seem strange that, as the bride-to-be extols her betrothed’s lovely face and sweet voice (verse 14), she would speak of a fox hunt. As with many images in this beautiful poem, the foxes are symbolic.
Solomon’s readers considered foxes to be destructive animals that could destroy valuable vineyards. As the Shulammite verbalizes her love for King Solomon, she speaks of the need to “catch” the foxes that spoil the vines. If the blossoming vineyard is taken to mean the growing romance between the couple, then the foxes represent potential problems that could damage their relationship prior to the marriage (which takes place in chapter 5). The bride-to-be is saying, in essence, “Let’s take preventative measures to protect our love from anything that could harm it.”
3. Mind your manners.
Just because you're married doesn't mean common courtesy should go by the wayside.
Ephesians 4:32AMP Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32TM Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
That means listening without interrupting and practicing the basics like saying “please,” “Thank you,” and “I’m sorry.”
Hear me, “This stuff isn’t rocket science, but it works!”
4. Complement each other.
Your marriage partner is not a mindreader. Whenever you think something nice about them, tell them!