Who wants to be ineffective and unproductive in your relationship with Jesus Christ and in your relationship with your spouse? Not too many people would openly volunteer to line up to get on that bus. But if we aren’t persistent and we don’t persevere in doing what it takes to continue to build our relationship with our spouse, we’ll actually take that bumpy ride into a downward spiral, whether we consciously volunteer, or not. Positive persistence in this matter is important.
Keep in mind that the wedding is a one-day event. But your marriage is to last for the rest of your lives. We need to build upon that, which was positive and can be in the future, by putting in some effort.
Positive Persistence Pays
In her Crosswalk.com article, “Stoke the Fires of Marital Optimism” Rebecca Hagelin points out the following (which is backed up by research):
“’Positive biases and happiness seem to push each other along.’ In other words, those who persist in presuming the best about their spouse, and who maintain a forgiving attitude and optimism about the future of the relationship, actually create a better marriage for themselves.”
Steve and I have been on both sides of that push. For a long time, we just assumed our marriage would grow better with time. Yet we did nothing to help that to happen by allowing life to slide us apart. We just cruised along as many couples do, thinking “our love” was enough, without putting in the extra effort. We lived this way only to find ourselves eventually picking at each other for everything you can imagine. Eventually pessimism took over.
But when we eventually woke up (and have to wake up everyday —otherwise we’ll fall into that pessimistic slumber again), we put intentionality into doing what it takes to make our marriage a better one. And it is! We intentionally look for the good in each other and in our relationship —working on our own “stuff,” which pushes our relationship into a whole new dimension of intimacy.
Add to Our Faith
It’s important to apply the following to your relationship with your spouse, as well as your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. That is because He can help to strengthen your marriage as we participate:
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge. To knowledge, add self-control; and to self-control, perseverance. To perseverance, add godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” (2 Peter 1:5-9)
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
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