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3 Things You Can Do, Right Now, To Strengthen Your Marriage

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One of my all-time favorite Christian choruses has to be “Refiner’s Fire” by Brian Doerksen. I absolutely love the lyrics and I must say that this part always makes me tear up:

My heart’s one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord
I choose to be holy
Set apart for You, my Master

Before that song came out in 1990, I hadn’t really thought about what the word “holy” meant. To be honest with you, I kinda thought it meant being religious. I’m embarrassed to admit that now, but that was about the sum of my knowledge. I was a church goer and a Bible reader; I had Christian friends, and I taught Sunday school. That was my definition of “holy.”

I later came to realize that being holy meant that we are dedicated to the Lord and set apart from all things impure:

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;  for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’  1 Peter 1:15 & 16

The word “holy” in the Greek translation is hagios coming from the word hagnos, which is defined in Strong’s Concordance (G53) as:

  1. exciting reverence, venerable, sacred
  2. pure
    a) pure from carnality, chaste, modest
    b) pure from every fault, immaculate
    c) clean

In the same way, it’s a beautiful thing when a husband and wife live in holy matrimony… when a man and a woman are dedicated to each other and set apart from anything that could destroy or damage their marriage.

This requires sacrifice on our part. Sacrifice might be anything from giving up something that distracts us from our relationship to career choices that we make. I hope and pray that we are living this way to please God, but let us also give attention to pleasing our husbands.

Saying “I do,” and being united in holy matrimony is more than a ceremony. It’s a life-long commitment of giving. And in the same way that being holy was more than attending church and reading my Bible, marriage is more than just living in the same house and putting up with each other. It’s a continual giving of ourselves in dedication one to another.

We’re constantly faced with challenges that threaten to tear our marriage apart: disrespect, pride, financial stress, infidelity (emotional and physical), disappointment, and a lack of communication.

Anyone of those things, if left unchecked, can quickly become a wedge in your marriage.

But there are actions you can take – right now – if both partners are willing to try:

1. Start communicating more. I knew a couple who scheduled half an hour each day to just talk after the baby went to sleep. No electronics, just thirty minutes of being in each other’s company and promoting conversation. That was 20 years ago, and they’re still going strong today.

2. Pray. Pray for each other and with each other often.

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

3. Be Mindful. Love deliberately. Don’t take each other for granted. Make an effort to build each other up. And most importantly, stay alert. Satan isn’t the boogie monster hiding under your bed. He comes in sheep’s clothing, luring us to step into temptation, and then to step deeper again. Sin is appealing, which is why it’s so tempting. In today’s world, it’s only a click away.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8 KJV

Keep your marriage holy and pure, each set apart for the other.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

 

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9 Comments

  • Jan

    My oldest as just gone off to college. My youngest is 15 and much more independent. I felt the sting of it last night and thought, what am I going to do now? I knew there would come a time when I had more time for my husband. We’re there. Thank you for these posts.

  • Ruth Johnson

    You have such great insights. God bless you for sharing. My book, Or Be Reconciled, is a novel, based on scriptural principles, that presents God’s design for marriage. It’s available on Amazon, at Christian Book Distributors, and Tate Publishing. Enjoy!

  • Lori Reed

    I was browsing through your site and saw your new book, “Messy, Beautiful Love”. I clicked on it and went to Amazon and began reading the sample pages. I thought it was going to be a cute, quirky book about you and your perfect marriage. By the time I got to the end of the first sample, I was in tears and ordering the book. I hope to get it before we leave for vacation Saturday morning. I don’t know your whole story, but I am so thankful to see someone else who understand the depths of Christ’s grace like I have found; I pray to strengthen my marriage and our family. I can’t wait to read your book.

    • Darlene Schacht

      So glad to hear you are praying Jaime. Don’t ever forget that God is on your side. You have a partner working with you. Pray, communicate your thoughts to him, and love him deliberately. God sees the work that you do. It’s never wasted.

  • Christa Brown

    Darlene,

    What a fantastic post! It’s inspiring and a beautiful reminder to all of us to give each other grace, to “love deliberately, and to constantly be in prayer for each other. It’s difficult to put down the cell phones and the constant social media updates and to be fully engaged with each other. So glad I read this today. Thank you!

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