There are seven types of love- eros, philia, storge, agape, ludus, pragma, and philautia. Out of these 7, agape (selfless) love is the one that is defined in 1 Corinthians 13, the Love Chapter.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
As I studied these few verses, I realized that selfless love creates an atmosphere for a marriage to flourish. Your spouse will know you love them based on your actions. Remember the common saying, actions speak louder than words. It is difficult for someone to believe or accept the idea that you love them when you are unkind to them, rude, and resentful toward them.
After meditating on these verses, I started thinking about what my husband of 15 years and I have done to help our marriage grow— actions we have individually taken that have helped us stay together peaceful and grow to appreciate one another.
Create time for each other
I will be the first to admit that this was challenging at a time in our lives, particularly each time we had a newborn. However, God helped us through it.
Be intentional about creating time for/with your spouse. Life can get busy, and it is easy to grow apart or move in different directions if you are not making time to talk and spend time together.
Why do people divorce after 25 or even 30 years in marriage? They probably slowly grew apart because they were so busy and did not create time with each other. Perhaps, the only thing that held them together was their children, and once their children grew and left home, they now could not see eye to eye. They did not know each other anymore because the glue holding the marriage was their children. So make time for each other.
Do not use your spouse’s weaknesses against them
Some time ago, a lady told me she was considering going back to school. I asked what was stopping her. She said she did not believe she would make it— she did not believe in herself. I wondered about the genesis of her problem. I knew someone had been speaking negatively to her to make her lack self-confidence. Later, I discovered her husband was responsible for her self-doubt. He was using her weaknesses against her, and his words were hurtful.
You see, you have the power to wound the person who has given you their whole heart. Your spouse trusts you completely, and one of the worst things you can do is take those weaknesses you see every day and use them against your spouse because you are angry or disappointed about something they said or did. Such action can cause irreparable erosion in your union. The Bible admonishes us to be slow to speak for a reason (James 1:19).
Always remember— once words come out of your mouth, you cannot take them back.
Don’t talk down at your spouse
Keep in mind that you married an adult, and there are ways to handle your differences as adults. Consider conflict resolution strategies that will build, not destroy, your marriage whenever you have disagreements. Avoid escalating tensions using threats such as, “I am leaving you if you do not do this, that, or the other.”
If you are both angry, take a time out for several hours, and calmly come back together to sort out your differences. You may find out that there is a deeper issue than what is on the surface. And all you need to do is solve that deeper issue. In turn, you may finally sort out other problems you may be experiencing in your marriage that have their root from that deeper issue that has gone unnoticed.
Pray for each other and together
Prayer is vital. It should never be a last resort but the first thing to do. Prayer is a weapon given to us against our adversary, the devil. 2 Corinthians 10:4 (ESV) tells us, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” Prayer is essential for our marriages to flourish. There are many schemes Satan has planned against unions, and if you stand together, it becomes impossible for him to destroy your marriage.
My husband and I pray not only for each other but together. We like to know what each other is praying about or desires so that we can stand together in prayer. Jesus said, “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:19 (ESV)
So, I encourage you to pray together and pray for one another.
Desire the best for each other
Have you ever met competitive couples? Couples should not compete in marriage. When you love one another, you should want the best for each other.
I know a husband who wishes the best for his wife. He wants her to prosper in every area of her life. According to him, God gave him his wife, and when he pushes her to be the best version she can ever be, it is for the betterment of their marriage. You were not brought together by God to compete in marriage but to complement one another.
Pray for your marriage and work together to see it flourish. Remember, your children learn what marriage is from you. Please teach them well, be a godly example.
Author: Martha Macharia
Martha Macharia is a Christ-follower, wife, mother, and Christian author. She is the founder of Woman Transformed, a ministry that equips women so that they can impact generations. Martha believes every woman given an opportunity can positively impact society. She loves to encourage, motivate, and inspire women. She also desires to see marriages and families flourish.
Martha’s hobbies include knitting and crocheting. She enjoys traveling with her family and watching movies. She loves sunrises, sunsets, listening to water flowing slowly down a stream, and looking at beautiful landscapes.
You can connect with her at www.marthamacharia.com