To avoid spiritual bankruptcy in your marriage, it's key to start investing now. Here's how seemingly "small" things can save you big in the long run.
Ask any couple who has survived financial bankruptcy, and you're likely to hear how the process can wreak havoc on all areas of their life. Few things put a strain on a marriage as much as when a bank account is depleted.
Yet countless couples fail to realize the same principle applies in the spiritual realm. A marriage will not survive spiritual bankruptcy unless the couple starts depositing quality investments into the relationship.
When you attempt to strengthen your marriage, however, realize you will likely face opposition. Satan delights in tormenting Christian marriage by stealing faith and joy. Marriages without the practice of spiritual warfare are at great risk. To bolster against the attacks, make these 10 investments in your covenant to spark the fires of faithfulness for a happy marriage!
1. Invest in speaking truth and making right confessions. Be transparent. Don't pretend. Be honest. The secret here is to do it in love, even if your spouse gets angry. When you speak the truth, you have nothing to hide. God always honors and rewards truth. "Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]" (Eph. 4:15, AMP, emphasis added).
We make the choice of either speaking creatively or destructively, positively or negatively, in doubt or in faith. Our choice will determine the measure by which God will answer our prayers. A negative confession will hinder a person from receiving the blessing. Making a right choice, holding on to it, and confessing your faith will cause "the power that works in us" to do tremendously and abundantly above anything we can ask or imagine (see Eph. 3:20).
The key here is the power that we have operating in us. You may be a novice, but when you speak truth and confess God's Word, the power of God in you will equip you as a roaring lion against the attacks of the enemy.
2. Invest in listening. Not listening is a major complaint among discouraged couples. Lack of attention belittles your partner. Some couples stay busy watching TV or working on their computers while their spouses are speaking to them. Constant lack of focused listening will cause a spouse to opt not to communicate about important things. The art of listening is learned; you have to purposefully pause from your own activity and thoughts to intently listen.
I've heard many divorced people confess that the reason they fell into temptation was because someone other than their spouse was willing to listen. These people had no one with whom to share intimate feelings. Conversation is considered one of the top needs of a woman. She may be waving the red flags furiously, but if the spouse is looking in the opposite direction, then eventually love walks away. Listening and good communication will also set the pace for a good sexual relationship.
3. Invest in praying together. Prayer will be your most fruitful investment. Prayerlessness is like allowing spiritual parasites to eat away at your relationship. Communicate in the Spirit with your abba Father. Allow the Holy Spirit to be your friend and teacher.
The practice of prayer must be a requirement for every Christian home. Without it, all the windows and doors are open for the thief to come in: "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matt. 26:41, NKJV).
Your personal growth depends on prayer. A healthy body needs food, and a healthy spirit needs prayer. In God's presence the battles are won. Prayer creates a thankful spirit, and a thankful spirit brings joy into a marriage.
4. Invest in giving God the glory. Learn to give God the glory (exaltation, credit) for all the big and little things in your life. Glorify Him because He is your Creator and Lord of all. When you give God glory, it brings Him pleasure. You and your spouse are literally saying: "God, we give You all the honor and all the glory. We exalt Your magnificence and awesome splendor. Hallowed (sanctified, respected) be Your name."
Go ahead and amaze yourself by glorifying God. He will be more than delighted to bless you and your home. Glorifying God also opens the door for appreciation and thanksgiving, whether your baskets are full or almost empty.
5. Invest in communicating. Lack of communication was named as the top marital-relationship problem in two surveys I did, one on Facebook and one during a marriage seminar. The ability to interact in conversation about any subject is the fundamental principle of marriage.
Communication isn't always verbal, though. Attitudes are expressed by a frown, a shrug, a smile; and these can be powerful. Yet without communication, there can be no well-being in a marriage. Many experts confirm that lack of communication and understanding will create a rift that will eventually affect every other aspect of a marital relationship.
Communicating must happen consistently and with understanding. Gut-level conversations are necessary and must be open and honest. Your emotions must be made known to your spouse in such a way that he or she understands what you mean. Many times, keeping your feelings inward after a negative episode will cause animosity and bitterness.
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