When you consider marrying, “survival” is not a word that comes to mind. And yet from what we can see about so many of the marriages of today’s world, “survival” is half the battle, in order to make it through the various marital seasons they encounter. The key is to survive through them to get to the better end of matters.
But you don’t want to just survive to the end. You want to work together to the point where your marriage relationship is thriving and growing. You want to become better individuals because of the teamwork you have built together over the years, to the glory of God.
Marital Seasons of Growth
It’s like what author Dennis Rainey said in a radio interview, on the subject of growing a marriage to be the best it can be. He was quoting the book that he and his wife Barbara wrote titled, Rekindling the Romance.
“When marriage is firing on all cylinders, it’s truly glorious. You might say that marriage is the Cadillac of all earthly relationships. There is no other expression in life that rivals the indescribable ecstasy of romance and sex shared between a husband and a wife in the covenant of marriage. But it’s a glorious minefield. You see, there is a cosmic battle raging around your romance.”
Dennis goes on to explain,
“There is an enemy of your soul who wants to destroy romance between you and your spouse. For a man, the minefield may mean that his needs aren’t being addressed, or they’re not being met.”
For a woman, it may be something entirely different or different in a similar way. But the point is that the battles that rage within a marriage are deeper in meaning and consequences than what either spouse may recognize.
And what we’ve seen is that many of these “battles” seem to arrive on our doorstep in different seasons of marriage. It’s important to recognize this. We can’t be prepared for every difficulty that comes our way. But we can be at least somewhat prepared for some of them. And that’s what this article is all about. I’m writing it to help you to prepare for the marital seasons you CAN prepare for. It’s important to make your marriage the best it can be.
Marital Seasons in Your Relationship
Concerning marital seasons that we encounter, it’s true what Thomas Whiteman and Thomas Bartlett wrote in their book, “The Marriage Mender:
“All marriages go through natural stages. A couple must progress through these stages to achieve a long-lasting and mutually satisfying love relationship.”
To help you grow your relationship so it is loving and healthy here are links to three great You Tube interviews where marital seasons are discussed. I HIGHLY recommend that you watch them. I have no doubt that you will pick up some great tips to help you as you encounter various marital seasons of your relationship. The first one features Pastor Rick and Kay Warren. We love this interview. They know what it’s like to encounter marital seasons. They have lived through many of them. And they have survived and have even thrived through many of them. And what’s great is that they share some of the tips they have used to help them to do so. I encourage you to watch:
Next there is a You Tube interview that features Gregory and Yolanda Farmer. He is a pastor, and she is his marriage partner of more than 28 years. Again, as you watch this interview on the issue of marital seasons you can learn much. This precious couple gives advice and some things you can work on in your marriage. Watch, learn, glean through the info you can use, and enjoy:
Adapting to Marital Seasons is Important
We need to learn to adapt to the changing stages and seasons of our marriages. It’s either that, or our marriages will never become all God wants for us as individuals and as marriage partners. He wants to work in and through us in ways that never could happen if we don’t learn to adapt to the changing seasons. We need to recognize that:
“Marriage relationships are constantly changing. Attitudes shift, emotions fluctuate, and the way spouses treat each other ebbs and flows between loving and not so loving. Sometimes, change is beyond our control. For example, when Ben’s wife, Nancy, was told she had cancer, the diagnosis changed the fabric of their lives and their relationship. They could adapt to the situation, but they couldn’t control it.
“The same was true of Tricia and her husband, Rob, a member of the National Guard. When his unit was activated, he was sent into a war zone half a world away. Rob and Tricia could adapt, but the circumstances were beyond their control. When it became clear to Jon and Carol that her mother could no longer live alone, they had to respond to a change that they couldn’t control.
“Life is full of unanticipated changes. Our only choice as couples is in how we will respond.” (Gary Chapman, from his book, The Four Seasons of Marriage, which we recommend you obtain and read)
To help you as you consider how you respond, here is some great advice from the book, Starting Your Marriage Right: What You Need to Know in the Early Years to Make It Last a Lifetime. It is written by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.
Concerning Marital Seasons They Wrote:
If you want your marriage to thrive in each season, here are some suggestions:
1. Focus on growing as individuals and as a couple.
Pray together. Share spiritual truths. Share your experience with God together. Don’t wait until tomorrow when you think you will be “more spiritual.” Respond to life’s circumstances today in faith and obedience. Your marriage will become the sum total of every choice made along the way.
2. Seek to understand your spouse’s needs in each season of life.
Look for ways to help meet them. We need this mindset in each season of marriage. In fact, I regret that I was not more sensitive to Barbara during some of the early seasons of our marriage. As a new bride, she needed my understanding, love, compassion, and a listening ear. I’m not saying I never did this. But I wish someone had challenged me to set that as a goal.
3. Prayerfully anticipate the next season of your life as a couple.
Think about the physical and emotional adjustments you’ll make. Make plans for how you will allocate your time and energy. Some couples don’t fully prepare for the seasons of their marriage. It doesn’t take a lot of preparation, but it takes prayerful, thoughtful application of Scripture, for example, to prepare for a child. Work on your values as a couple and what you want to build into children before you welcome your first one.
If you do these things, you’ll grow strong in the seasons of life, and you’ll grow deep.
And that is our goal here at Marriage Missions. We want to help you to grow strong in your relationship with Jesus Christ. And we want to help you to grow strong in your marriage relationship.
Lastly, to help you in this mission:
My husband Steve and I wrote a book that can also help you with the marital seasons you will encounter in your relationship. We give a lot of personal stories, practical tips, and more marital advice in our book, 7 Essentials to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to invest in their marriage. And who doesn’t need that?
Just click onto this book to obtain:
I pray all of this will help you as you encounter the many seasons of marriage that couples encounter.
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Stages of Marriage