Marriages are built on a foundation of trust, however time is the structure by which marital bonds are formed. Consider the earliest periods of a relationship where two individuals, driven by the power of attraction and adventure, ultimately prove their commitment, dedication and devotion to one another by their prioritization of time together. They make the time necessary to discuss their day, share their feelings for each other, and engage in fun and romantic activities. I call these initial attempts at bonding the “first things.”
Healthy marriages don’t just happen. They’re the outcome of principles spouses have consistently put in place over time. One of these essential principles is making time to communicate and explore what is taking place in their respective hearts and minds. This principle may seem overly simplistic, nevertheless its impact in helping build a vibrant marriage is profound.
When married couples argue, it's often a failed attempt at reaching for one another. A primary reason lies in the use of criticism. Husbands and wives may unknowingly assume that pointing out where and how their spouse has failed will somehow lead to a resolution of the core issues they're trying to address, or even bring them closer together somehow. Unfortunately, this approach tends to have the opposite effect.
Today, in the field of psychology, we know that what we believe, shapes how we feel, which in turn influences how we act. In other words, our perceptions matter. This applies to the pervasive nature of common symptoms common in our society including depression, anxiety and stress. But it also applies to larger cultural issues that I want to focus on with you. The first of these relates to sexism, women and pornography in America.
Love is choosing to be other-centered for the benefit of our spouse, so that what is important to them becomes important to us. This article expands upon this definition of love within a marriage, explores how it can help us develop a stronger marital bond, and challenges us to see our Christian faith transform from a simple belief into something that is expressed daily in our relationship with our spouse.