Struggling in marriage? You’re not the only one. The divorce rate in Canada has skyrocketed to 38%. That is, in our country, 4 in 10 first marriages will end up in divorce. Are we just bad at relationships? Treating each other more poorly, or more and more intolerant of each other?
Here are some common problems and practical tips to keep your marriage or long term relationship alive, based on what we have learned through God’s Word.
A Love That Fizzles
“My once fiery love has grown cold.”
Remember when you first fell in love with your spouse? You felt like no one could put out that fire in your heart. You would do anything for that person.
As your love grows stagnant with time, you have to constantly do things in a new way to rekindle that flame.
(Sermon, Mar 15, 2015)
“Because they already used it and experienced it, the curiosity disappears, desire disappears, hope disappears, and boredom sets in…In this way, their initial heart of liking them and loving them grows cold and they consider them to be unimpressive. In that way, the love they had at first grows cold in the body, the heart, and the thoughts” (Sermon, Feb 2, 2014)
Find your first love again and reignite that fire.
“If you lose the first love, you will lose the person you love.” (Sermon, Feb 2, 2014)
Be thankful and count your blessings regarding how happy you are to have your spouse.
Don’t forget why you chose your spouse and why God has placed this counterpart in your life.
Be thankful. Show your appreciation. Don’t lose the value.
“You have to remember in order to be happy. The reason your joy disappeared was because you forgot.” (Sermon, Oct 9, 2016)
Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “
“I guess I just got too comfortable.”
At some point, did you simply stop caring?
Are you guilty of feeling the false reassurance that “he/she will love you unconditionally no matter what”?
Do you not pay attention to the way you treat your spouse?
How would you respond if you found out your spouse would not be here tomorrow? Would you have any regrets?
Matrimony is a sacred gift of unity blessed by God. Live each day offering your greatest love to your spouse. Our daily experiences through our human bodies are to prepare us for spiritual eternity.
“The highest level of love ever is to become one unit with God, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Son Lord in both thoughts and body and live taking action together with Them.” (Sermon, Apr 10, 2016)
How you love on earth, is how you will love in Heaven. Practice offering your utmost love to your spouse the same way you would offer the highest love to God, our eternal counterpart of love and Bridegroom.
“ It is to always include God, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Son Lord…and always include them in good times, bad times, sad times, or happy times…Always love them in your daily life.” (Sermon, Apr 10, 2016)
“We’ve grown apart.”
We are human beings subject to change. Our hearts and minds can change directions many times during the course of even one day.
Spouses will often say that they have drifted apart with time. That is, their values, goals, dreams, and approaches in life have changed.
How do you keep your thoughts and actions aligned along the same path?
“Centre on God” (Sermon, Mar 1, 2015) and not on yourselves.
If each spouse lived centred on God and His Will only, the two of them would be united in purpose and not live in self centered ways that could cause divergence.
Of course God wants to each person to nurture his / her individual characteristics too, but work together with God, live each day according to God’s Will.
“In order to marry, people look for someone who has the same heart and thoughts as they do,
and in order to work together, they look for someone who has the same heart and thoughts as they do.
God, the Holy Spirit, and I, the Holy Son, also look for counterparts who have the same heart and thoughts as the Trinity in order to fulfill the desired purpose.
To become a counterpart, the heart and thoughts must fit.” (Sermon, Apr 26, 2015)
Pray together daily and unite with God and the Lord. Live together with God as your only head. That way there is only one Will and one direction. (Sermon, Mar 1, 2015)
“We don’t get along.”
We are each unique and beautiful masterpieces of God. Yet we argue because we don’t see each other’s points of view or we misunderstand each other through lack of communication. We often only see the other person’s negative side, and fail to see or correct our own flaws.
We need to listen to each other, resolve all conflicts through communication, forgive, and repent.
“Resolve issues through conversation.You have to resolve them. Then there will be harmony.” (Sermon, July 24, 2016)
“You don’t become harmonious by just getting together and having fun. You have to resolve the issues that are knotted up in the heart. In order to do that you have to share the things that are in your heart with each other and converse. Resolve issues through conversation. You have to resolve them. Then there will be harmony.” (Sermon, July 24, 2016 )
Sin & Bad Character Traits
Each spouse carries sin that needs to be cleansed daily through earnest prayers and repentance.
Without this step, Satan follows us and continues to affect our thoughts in a negative way.
“Every day, make your thoughts perfect and fight against Satan and evil.” (Sermon, July 26, 2015)
Guard our thoughts with God’s Word and cast out Satans on a regular basis using the authority of our Lord and Holy Trinity.
“At the moment an unrighteous thought has come, destroy it immediately at that instant.” (Sermon, Feb 15, 2015)
Pray and ask for forgiveness for things you have done wrong to your spouse. Then truly repent by understanding why it is wrong and never repeat the sin again.
“Sin can be solved only through repentance.” (Sermon, Oct 1, 2015)
Strive to change all of your negative flaws and transform your body, soul, and spirit through the Word. Through the Word, your body and spirit will resurrect. Your thoughts will purify and your actions will change for the better.
Ephesians 4:23-24…to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
We must make ourselves perfect counterparts of love.
(Sermon, July 26, 2015)
“I can’t let go of what happened.”
Do you or your spouse hold a bitter resentment that keeps resurfacing to haunt you? Did you do something or did your spouse do something that has not been completely resolved or forgiven?
“Whatever is bound on the earth must be resolved on the earth through conversing with each other. Only then are they resolved in Heaven too.” (Sermon July 24, 2016)
You two cannot live properly together and move on until you “bury your old things.”
Whatever it is in the past that you cannot forget or forgive, you must resolve it before you two can live loving each other again. Pray earnestly to God to help you resolve whatever sin, whatever wrongdoing it is and ask the Holy Trinity to help you forgive.
Matt 16:19 “Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Reflect back on all the history you have had together. Count your blessings. Then bury the old things and focus on making a better future.
“We’re going through a tough time.”
There are times when external factors outside of the marriage put significant strain on the relationship. Examples are financial strain, work related stress, and family feuds. Other times the stressors are internal, related to health issues, kids, different parenting styles, lack of sleep and deficient quality time with your spouse.
Pray to God and ask for help. God blesses those who love Him and take action on His Word.
“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matt 7:8)
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap no gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matt 6:25-26)
“Prayer is work….If you pray, impossible problems get solved…<Praying> is like ‘doing work’ as one lives his life. Just as problems get solved when one does <work>, when one <prays>, problems get solved….However, as long as you do <the work>, you will fulfill <the purpose> even though you may go through hardships. In this way, <prayer> too is hard to do because it must be done for a long time to solve problems.” (Sermon, Aug 28, 2016)
- Rekindle the fire, find your first love.
- Do things in a new way.
- Count your blessings. Be thankful. Don’t lose the value.
- Don’t be complacent. Love in the highest way possible.
- Harmony – communicate, recognize and change own faults, repent, and forgive
- Change your flawed personalities, cast out Satan, make your thoughts perfect.
- Get rid of resentment. Bury old things. Loosen what is still bound.
- Pray to God. Share your stressors with God. Ask for help.
- Live together in a God Centered Way, loving Him with all your heart, will and life
- Align yourselves with God’s thoughts and Will and be perfect counterparts of love