A young wife who was married for just 4 months said with tears in her eyes, “I feel so lonely in my marriage.” How sad to hear such comments from many such young spouses. What’s wrong between today’s young couples? The most common phenomenon that occurs is ‘Dryness’ and ‘Drifting’. Let me explain further.
An human being might go dry in 2 areas of his life; dry physically and dry spiritually. One becomes dry when there is no replenishment and refreshment for your marriage relationship. The marriage feels empty, dry and wanting. Physical dryness is easy to identify; but, by the time the spouses realize that they’re going through marital dryness, it would have done quite bit damage.
Dryness leads to ‘Drifting’ – Look across pews in your churches! What’s is happening in the lives of your friends, colleagues, cousins and neighbors? Would you guess that a majority of these people have marriages that are in trouble? Probably not. Neither would they. ‘Drifting’ is quiet, subtle and non-offensive and you will not hear any alarm bell; the damage is done step by step in our marriage as we start moving further and further away from our spouse.
It might give the impression that ‘all is well with us’ because we fail to see it. Our hectic schedule, selfish motives, the demand of daily living and life style – these culprits contribute to keep us busy and tight, that we fail to see the absence of real caring. Sometimes the absence of emotional pain is believed or assumed as a sign that ‘It is well with our marriage.’ We develop a pattern and get accustomed to the way things are.
Now we all want to avoid that happening. So, here are 1o “C”s to keep your marriage alive and fresh
Communication is very essential to understand each other. Genesis 4:1 says, “Adam knew his wife Eve and she became pregnant…” Knew here means that he had total understanding of his wife – social, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. So spend quality time and not quantity time. You can sleep eight hours with your spouse – that is not the criteria. But speak to her/him in a way that touches their heart. Learn the art of listening (James 1:19). Meaningful words build up the relationship – Positive word, passionate words and plentiful words (Prov. 15:4; 18:21; Col. 4:6) Crave to be back home with your spouse rather than spending time with others. God has gifted you as his/her companion (Genesis 2:18). Drive dryness away through good communication.
Complement each other. Appreciate them in every small thing. Be the support and strength in your spouse’s weakness. Have you thanked your wife for cooking meals for you and appreciate her for the work at home? Don’t think that it is her duty for her family. Men also need appreciation and admiration. Thank them for the small jobs they do at home. Small courtesies keep marriage alive. You got to be the sole admirer of your spouse. Be your spouse’s fan and cheer leader.
Cultivate the habit of serving each other in the way your spouse loves to be served. Learn from Jesus’ leadership
Celebrate your marriage daily with fun, small surprises and gifts. A rose for your wife when you come back home will trigger her passion for you. Wives, make a special meal for him for the proverb says, “You can touch the man’s heart through his stomach. Have ‘time-out’ regularly. Visit the places and rendezvous’ which you did when you were newly married to kindle your romance. We would suggest you to have the time-out at least once a month, even without the children. Become your partner’s recreational partner. Playing together and doing exercise together to keep you fit. Be creative in celebrating your marriage.
Conquer your spouse’s heart by being a good lover. Sexual intimacy is a gift from God. Know your spouse’s sexual needs (Genesis 4:1). In 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 (KJV), Paul uses the word ‘Benevolence’ which means ‘a gift that blesses.’ The husband and the wife have to bless each other with their body. It is a command from God to bless your spouse even with your body. It is a way of communicating your love for your spouse physically. Researchers’ found out that couples (Married) who make love thrice a week look ten years younger than couples who make love twice a week. Intimacy binds, heals and keeps romance alive.
Commodities like respect, honour and praise are rare in this world. Do not put down your spouse in a group or in front of third parties – your parents, siblings, relatives, friends or spiritual leaders. Not even for a joke – dryness and drifting starts here. Respect and honour each other even when you are alone with your spouse. Remember everyone is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
Conflict has to be resolved then and there. The Bible says, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold (Eph. 4:26-28). Build the bridge and not the wall between yourself. Let forgiveness be your life style. Let go ego. Be the first one to say sorry – you don’t lose.
Cut (Leave) all the habits/hobbies/ties that annoy your spouse (friends, spiritual leaders, media/gadgets and this includes parents if they are interfering between you and your spouse). Your selfish desires – such as a business plan or career can cause a drift in your marriage. Some spiritual leaders can be very notoriously dangerous for their own selfish gains. Have a boundary for each one.
Commit to love your spouse unconditionally as Jesus Christ loved His church. Do not withhold love from him/her. Withholding love is an emotional divorce. To love is a command from God (Eph. 5:25, 28, 33; 1Peter 3:7; Col. 3:9; Titus 2:4). Be a comforter and counsellor in their need. Be considerate and patience with each other.
Centre Christ in your marriage. With Jesus Christ in our marriage vessel, we can smile at the storm. People invest more time, effort, money & emotions on their wedding day. Marriage is not a one day affair. Wedding is a one day event whereas marriage is a lifelong covenantal commitment and day to day work out. It is a day to day progressive process. So, pray together, play together and plan together to keep dryness away. Continue to water and nurture your marriage with these ten ‘C’s.
Carry on loving your spouse.