Cleanse defined is “to rid (a person, place, or thing) of something seen as unpleasant, unwanted, or defiling.” Marriages need a little “cleansing” from time to time. They can get cluttered with ugly feelings or not-so-forgotten memories of being hurt. If not cleansed periodically, those little pesky things left undone just linger waiting to emerge at anytime to cause havoc. So, how do we cleanse our marriage? Here are five sure ways we can get our marriages back on track:
1. We forgive. Are there things in our marriage that need to be forgiven? Are we harboring hurt feelings that can only lead to bitterness when not dealt with? “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
2. We apologize. Have we hurt the one we love and not taken responsibility for our words or action? We have a rule in our house: If we say or do something which we thought was in good fun but the receiver got hurt, we need to apologize for that even if our intentions were meant for good. How the one on the end received our words or actions matters more than how we intended it to be. Sometimes pride gets in the way of apologizing so we need to squash that pride and say “I’m sorry.” “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
3. We talk. Are there conversations that need to be had? About money, work, relatives, children, health, etc.? Being open with our spouse is very important. There should not be hidden concerns. This creates a wall of distrust. Open, honest and sincere is best! “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15)
4. We romance. Have we forgotten to spoil our love? Sometimes we get so comfortable in our marriage we forget to demonstrate how much we love our spouse. We begin to take them for granted. Don’t do it. Romance them with love notes, flowers, favorite meals, massages, kind words, holding hands, etc. “Let us not love in word or talk [only] but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18, brackets mine)
5. We sacrifice. Are we putting our spouse before ourself? Sacrificing takes more intentional effort. Its easy to get caught up in what we want or desire without any regard to what our spouse might want or desire. Take time to ask them. Make what they love one of the ways you love and appreciate them. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
If we have let things slide or “sweep them under the rug”, we are setting up our marriages to have issues left unresolved which never produces restoration. Fix that. Be intentional by forgiving a hurt even if forgiveness is not sought after. Show your spouse they are forgiven. Be intentional to ask forgiveness if you have hurt them. Be sincere. Be intentional to romance them and put them before yourself. Don’t let these things fall to the wayside. Most importantly, talk with one another. Share your heart and build the trust in your marriage.
Does your marriage need some cleansing? How will you go about it today?
Image courtesy of [ David Castillo Dominici] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
(A revamped post.)