As Betsy and I pray together for our family and friends, we’ve noticed a disturbing trend in our prayer time. Our prayer list is filling up with dear friends whose marriages are under attack…
- Overwhelming financial pressures
- Legal concerns
- Drug problems
- Questions about the future
- Feelings of a loss of connection
These problems pile up and cause tremendous strain on marriages. It’s not surprising that marriages are under attack. Since the intimacy between husband and wife is the relationship God repeatedly uses to show the relationship He wants to have with humanity, it’s understandable why the enemy would attack marriages. If marriage is seen as unfulfilling, an intimate relationship with God seems undesirable.
The definition of strategy boils down to the big picture plan that’s put into place before the battle begins. Make no mistake about it, even if your marriage seems carefree now, it will be under attack in the future. Here are a few thoughts on forming a pre-battle strategy.
1. Spend lots of time together. In the military platoons eat together, hike together, sleep together, practice together. They are getting to know both their craft and their team. Your spouse should be your best friend, not just your roommate. And you get to best-friend status by spending lots of time together.
- Eat at least one meal together everyday … at the table, without the TV on.
- Go for a walk … hold hands.
- If you enjoy exercise, sweat together … then shower together.
- Plan regular date nights … no kids, just the two of you.
- Occasionally getaway for a romantic weekend.
2. Continue to flirt with each other. You did a lot of special things for each other while you dating. So keep on letting your spouse know how special he/she is to you.
- Send an e-card to his/her work email address.
- Buy him his favorite candy bar and tape it to a note telling him how sweet he is.
- Send her a flirty text message while she’s out with friends.
- Come home with flowers.
- Whisper sweet-nothings in each other’s ear.
3. Pray together. There is no more intimate thing you can do than keep God a part of your marriage. After all, He is the One who said, “Let husband and wife be one flesh.” He is for your marriage—He wants it to be successful and fulfilling.
- Pick a regular time to pray together every day.
- Pray when you feel pressures beginning to press on you.
4. Develop a support team. Don’t wait until the assault on your marriage is bearing down on you before you seek help. Put things in place now.
- Read a book together about healthy marriages. (Tomorrow I will post a list of good marriage-building books.)
- Hang out with other couples who have healthy marriages.
- Go to church together.
Next to my relationship with Jesus (and because of my relationship with Jesus), my relationship with Betsy is the most fulfilling relationship I have. She is my best friend. The attacks have come against us too, but having a strategy in place ahead of time has been invaluable.
It’s never too late—or too early—to form a strategy for a successful, fulfilling marriage. When you repel the assault on your marriage, you will find an even greater appreciation for and intimacy with your spouse. A good marriage is so worth the effort!