Today is my 13th wedding anniversary and my day has been filled with much joy and happy tears because I know how different life could have been if I had not been blessed with such a loving, thoughtful and amazing man. He is the love of my life, my best friend and together, our lives are truly complete. The best part of being able to look back on life is the reflection of knowing how fragile marriage can be if those connections are not nurtured. It is amazing how much love grows when an unselfish spirit dominates. Being open, vulnerable and choosing to love unconditionally without fear can be scary to many people; however, the benefits far outweigh the loss of not experiencing intimacy and connection on a deep level.
As a Christian relationship coach, I have talked to countless people who want to know the inside scoop to a blessed, loving, fulfilling and joyful marriage. Looking at my own journey, I can say it is all the little things we do for each other that makes marriage a positive experience. Reflecting on marriage, my top two suggestions for a lasting, loving relationship are below.
Outside of shared faith, attitude toward your spouse is the vital, key element. We can literally make our relationship anything that can be visualized, and as the Bible reveals, good seeds produce good fruit as easily as bad seeds produce bad fruit. Speaking positive words to each other every day, little reminders of how much you love one another, saying positive, affirming words, and focusing on the good qualities are all necessary elements of a happy marriage. Of course there are days one will not feel like being kind, loving, compassionate, gentle, patient and self-controlled, but you can make a choice that you will express those traits regardless of the fluctuations of your emotions.
An attitude of serving each other brings much more personal fulfillment than trying to make your spouse conform to a particular standard. The "what about me" attitude is very shortsighted. In the long run, the benefits of doing all the daily little things for each other will add up to a life of mutual satisfaction and deep love. From the beginning, a positive attitude toward each other and a heart of thankfulness for a good spouse is a must. Getting too busy with career goals, raising children, the noise and drama of life and superficial pursuits can easily slide any good marriage into a shaky foundation. Verbal reminders to your spouse of your love for them is not only good for the receiver, but also is a personal reminder of what you have in love. And that is a huge blessing.
2. Shared Faith.
What takes marriage beyond the superficial from the routine of daily life is shared faith in God. It is easy to walk through life with a person you love, but still have a longing for meaning and purpose. As a couple joined in and developing a deepening faith, I know how much this aspect makes our life together real. Being able to live a daily life of faith with the one you love is one of the most priceless gifts. I talk to many people who are married to or involved with those who attend religious services from once a week to periodically. The variance between sitting in a church and living a faith filled life 24/7 is not something to take lightly. However, mutual commitment to not only grow in knowledge and wisdom, but also applying those principles to the foundation of a shared life solidifies commitment and marital direction.
Love can be everything you envision. It will take personal effort, time to get in sync with each other and patience. Positive experiences must outweigh negativity. It is important to remember that words and actions that do not build each other up will have consequences later in the marriage. If you are not engaged or married, preparation is the key element in creating the life you desire.
I have helped individuals all over the world achieve the goals and dreams they have in love. If you are fed up with the status quo of your love life, let’s talk about the proactive steps you can take towards those dreams.
Nancy Pina is a highly recognized author, relationship coach and speaker. She is dedicated to helping individuals attract emotionally healthy relationships through her practical Christian-based advice. Visit her website for coaching options and recent books. Subscribe to her free report, Is He The Right One or schedule a free coaching session with Nancy.
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