Life At Its Best: It takes time, effort to build marriage
I love making fires, and, as a kid, I spent many days helping my dad make them. At first, it looked pretty easy. I figured you could just throw logs together and light a match, and the flames would keep going. However, as I watched him, I realized there was a lot more work involved.
After he started the fire, he'd go back every few minutes to check on it. He was constantly stoking the logs and adding more to keep it burning. It took lots of time and attention to keep the fire from going out.
Our marriage is the same way. We often go into marriage thinking the passion we initially feel will continue burning on its own. The truth is, though, that like a good fire, a good marriage takes work. We must tend to our marriage and put time and effort into keeping the passion alive.
Of course, some seasons are more difficult than others. There are people, jobs and situations that try to throw water on the fire. But we must stay attentive and be determined not to let our passion fade. In God's word, we find several keys to protecting and enjoying that kind of relationship.
First, we must make God's standard the final authority. Everywhere we look, there are people, magazines and websites telling us what it takes to have a great marriage. While some of them may offer good advice, no one knows more about marriage than God. After all, he designed it. So, he knows exactly what it takes to make it work. When we commit to following his pattern for marriage, we'll begin to experience the relationship he's called us to experience.
Secondly, we must manage our mind. We have more access to media today than ever before. Sure, it's provided greater convenience, but it also presents a greater temptation. We must constantly monitor what we allow to enter our eyes and ears because, whether we know it or not, it'll affect us. Every action begins with a thought; so learning to control what enters our mind is vital to establishing a godly marriage.
Lastly, we must establish healthy friendships outside of our marriage. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9, "Two are better than one because they can help each other succeed."
God never intended for us to go through life alone. Find people who care about you and who value God's standard and stick with them. You'll find those right relationships will keep you moving in the right direction.
Today, take a moment to pause and reflect on your marriage. Ask yourself, "What am I doing to keep passion alive in my marriage?" Then, make adjustments where needed.
By investing time and effort, committing to God's standard, guarding your mind and building godly friendships, you're setting yourself up for a lasting and fulfilling marriage God's way. And God's way is always the best way.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.