Thursday, March 1, 2012

Guest Post by Sandy Ralya: Want a Growing Marriage?


 









Want a Growing Marriage?

My husband and I were reading a financial book about how to make your money grow when one of the principles jumped off the page at me:

What you focus on grows. 
Because it’s such a simple principle, I couldn’t get it out of my mind and began applying it to all areas of life, especially relationships.
Most women have the desire to grow a more intimate relationship with their husband
yet  few  focus  their  desire  long  enough  to  do  anything  about  it. 
Thus, nothing changes.  

  • Ignorance, 
  • Distractions, and/or
  • hopelessness are often to blame.

I should know. Just 19 when I said, “I do”, I was ignorant about how to grow my marriage.  Our pre-marriage counseling consisted of one two-hour meeting with my pastor and that wasn’t enough to prepare me for the emotional, spiritual, and verbal abuse my husband doled out on a regular basis.   The abuse produced pain and grief.
I could think of little else than surviving.
 

Hope for our future crumbled.
Over time, I began sharing my pain with a few trusted, godly women.  Venting my pain and hearing their honest feed-back helped me see that the abuse I was suffering wasn’t my fault. 
I  began seeing a Christian counselor who gave me tools that helped restore me to a place of strength and dignity. 
The best choice I made was to dig into God’s word and find out what He wanted to say to me about my marriage.  In the Bible I found the following verses which applied to my situation:
  •  “…Your godly lives will speak to them [husbands] better than any words.  They will be won over by watching your pure godly behavior.” (I Peter 3:1,2)  In place of preaching to my husband, I began entrusting my difficult situation to God through prayer—listening for His instruction.
  •  Instead, we will hold to the truth in love…” (Ephesians 4:15) I began to exchange preaching for speaking the truth in love—in as few words as possible.
  • “See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good…” (I Thessalonians 5:15) On my new path, I chose to respond in kindness and enforce healthy boundaries in place of angry retaliation.

When I dug into the word, I learned that my husband wasn’t the only one sinning.  My responses to Tom were often sinful and my response was the only thing I was responsible for. 
(
What I wanted was to change my husband but I couldn’t find a biblical reference to support my desire and neither will you)!    
Focused on God and His Word, I was able to reverse negative behavioral patterns in my life which had long plagued me. 
When I did what I could do—keeping my focus on God, HE DID WHAT I COULD NOT!
He healed me and ultimately my marriage—to the praise of His glorious grace!
What you focus on grows. 
Are you focused on growing your marriage?