It’s the beginning of a new year, and with all of the anticipation and excitement a clean slate has to offer, I invite you to consider joining me and many other couples on a 30 day challenge to consciously increase the connection in your marriage.
It is well documented that a relationship, especially a marriage, is like a life form in itself. Similar to a plant, for instance, every marriage needs loving attention and care to ensure that it is being provided the essential nutrients (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7) it requires to not just survive, but truly thrive into the optimized shape it is capable of. As the parable of the sower teaches us (see Matthew 13: 1-23), it is the level of willingness and openness of our heart that allows God’s love, and the love of our spouse, to be planted deeply in our heart and transition into an active and growing base of love for healthy relationship. Yet just as the sun, the rain, and the wind which challenge, test and strengthen the plant to grow, our marriages are also strengthened and enhanced by the imperfections of the circumstances we are in as well as the realities of trespassing against one another. It is with the grace and mercy that God offers us, as well as His commitment to teach us a perfected love (see 1 John 4:18), that allows us to overcome each of our imperfections and drive out the fears, anger and transgressions that can stand between our spouse and an active love in marriage.
And so that is where our 30 Day Couples Connection Challenge begins. With the “heart to” of our choice, willingness and commitment towards a healthy marriage. Throughout the next four weeks I will follow up with various posts and articles that will introduce or reconfirm topics, strategies and recommendations for growing an active marriage relationship. We will particularly focus on:
1. Learning to date your spouse
2. Learning to interview and explore your spouse’s heart
3. Learning to dialogue and engage with your spouse
However, if we only focus on the “how to” we often fall short of our intentions and get stuck in the details or we get disappointed in the lack of outcome we were aiming for. Yet, by starting with the “heart to”, the deeper stirrings of our heart in which we candidly declare in our heart and resolve our conviction to pursue a growth and deepening of the love we intend to offer our spouse, our God, and thus ourselves within the context of the marriage God provided us.
To paraphrase Christ’s words to the paralytic man at the pool of Bethesda (see John 5:6), “Do you want to grow in your marriage?” If so, I ask that you genuinely invite God into the depth of your heart, despite the potential wounds, fears, harbored anger or resistance you might have, and ask God, the author and perfector of all marriages, to reveal to you the plan He has in store to enhance, grow and restore your marriage for all it is designed to be.