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Sunday, 27 August 2017

10 Ways To Restore Love In Your Marriage

Most wedding vows include a promise to love each other for better or worse. Still, when times get tough, many couples are unprepared to navigate through the difficulties.

Unlike those who tell unhappy spouses who feel they are no longer in love with their partner to split-up, new research indicates that staying married is the best thing a husband and wife can do.

Even though some marriages do have unhappy moments, those couples willing to work through their difficulties came through the challenges to find wedded bliss again.

If your love has grown cold for your spouse, God’s word offers counsel and direction on how to restore love in your marriage.

1. Evaluate Your Love Sources 
The culture’s view of love and the biblical definition of love greatly differ. If you feel your love has grown cold, it’s good to evaluate the sources influencing your feelings.

Look at what films, TV shows, music, publications, news sources, groups, and friends you’re spending time with on a regular basis. 1 Corinthians 15:33 advises that bad company corrupts good character.

2. Major in Love 
Do a biblical study on love. Rediscover what true love looks like by studying the book written by the Creator and Author of love. 1 John 4:16 tells us, “God is love.”

Study how God’s love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8), how it covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), and how the only true source of love is God because “love comes from God” (1 John 4:7).

3. Turn to Prayer 
Scripture states, “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray” (James 5:13).

Couples who feel their love has grown cold can begin by spending time in prayer for each other. Taking time to pray together is even better, as studies show that couples that pray together, are more likely to stay together for the long run.

Scripture confirms the value of prayer in that, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:116).

4. Examine Your Own Heart 
Take time to examine your heart. Has your heart become broken or hardened by past hurts and losses?

Psalm 147:3 assures us of God’s care for the brokenhearted, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Ask God to heal your heart from the brokenness you’ve experienced.

As far as a hard heart goes, it is a serious condition and why Jesus began speaking to people in parables. “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them” (Matthew 13:13-15).

Ask God to give you a soft heart that allows you to see and hear His leading.Ezekiel 36:26 explains how God is able to give us a new heart by removing a heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh.

Also consider fasting, as a fast has a way of digging up secreted attitudes of the heart and softening up hardened areas.

5. Look at Your Spouse Through God’s Eyes 
Readjust how you look at your spouse. Instead of looking through eyes of past disappointments, hurts, or failures, look through God’s viewpoint.

Scripture states we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

The ups-and-downs of marriage can wear on couples and make it difficult to see past the disillusionments. Yet, 1 Peter 2:17 encourages to treat everyone with high regard.

Take time each day to consider how your spouse reflects God’s image and how much He loves your spouse.

6. Minister to Your Spouse 
Begin putting your partner’s needs above your own. If you’re not sure what your spouse needs, ask him what makes him feel loved. Be the first one to reach out in love.

As well, ask God to show you practical ways to minister to your spouse. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 urges to never tire of doing good.

My husband makes me cappuccino every morning. I fold his laundry the way he likes it folded. What may seem insignificant to others may speak volumes to your spouse.

God urges us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others about yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

If you’re not sure where to start, take the initiative to show Christ-like honor and respect to your spouse, even if you think they haven’t earned it or deserve it. Do it without waiting to receive it first from your other half.

Romans 12:10 encourages being devoted to one another in love and honoring one another above self.

7. Be Generous With Words 
Reflect on how you communicate with your spouse. Take time to express appreciation for good traits, hard work, or other qualities. Proverbs 16:21 tells how gracious words are persuasive.

Studies show that showing positive responses help couples to stay together and have long-lasting marriages.

Focus on showing gratitude over criticism because kind words are sweet to the soul (Proverbs 16:24).

8. Remember How You Met 
Remember when you first met. Reminisce over photos and dating mementos. Talk about or write a heartfelt letter telling your spouse what you first loved about them.

Like Psalm 77:11 talks about the importance of remembering the deeds of the Lord and of His wonders, in a marriage relationship, it’s also import to remember the sweet moments and meaningful events in your life together.

9. Choose to Love Unconditionally 
If your spouse has said they don’t love you anymore, or you feel out of love, instead of reacting in hurt and rejection, choose to love unconditionally. Scripture states if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them (Luke 6:32).

Make loving your spouse a choice and not a reaction. Follow God’s lead in loving, “we love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

10. Commit to Love 
Present day culture presents love as a feeling, an uncontrollable force that just “happens” beyond a person’s ability to choose or control.

Yet Jerry and Kirsti Newcombe believe that perhaps one of the biggest myths about marriage is that it’s all about how couples “feel.” After 37 years of marriage they know it’s not about feelings, because feelings come and go.

As well a recent marriage project that interviewed more than 700 Americans, many who are happily married for over 40 years and longer, found that the most common ingredient in lasting marriages was a day-by-day commitment to making their marriage last a lifetime.

1 Corinthians 13:7 states that “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

As demonstrated in how “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son” (John 3:16), a commitment to love is intentional and comes with sacrifice.

[written by Lynette Kittle, a happy wife and mum]


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