3 Components Any Marriage Can’t Thrive Without
By Andrew Linder
The sound of children laughing and playing filled the air. As our own kids joined in, my wife and I held hands and walked around the sidewalk of our local community playground multiple times. And the longer we walked, the deep and better our conversation continued to get. We were connecting on a level far better than we had in some time.
What started as a casual walk quickly turned into an intentional investment we were both making into our family and our marriage. As the steps continued, so did the openness and the growth. If you’re marriage could use a boost from surviving to thriving, here are 3 components every couple’s marriage can’t thrive without.
If you ask a husband and wife separately what specific things could be improved in their marriage, you’d probably get two very different looking sets of answers. No couple ever arrives.
There are always ways to continue to improve your relationship and grow closer to your spouse, and couples who have learned to figure this out are some of the happiest you’ll ever meet. Don’t buy into the lie that your spouse is just being negative when they suggest ways to improve your marriage. Good teams, good businesses, and good ministries are always looking for ways to improve. Good marriages do the same.
ASK: What unhelpful ruts have we allowed ourselves to get into in our relationship that prevent us from being closer or going deeper in our relationship?
Conflict is not only natural in a marriage, it’s necessary. And if handled properly, it forces us to communicate in better ways and seek to understand one another rather than just demand that we be understood.
One of the greatest ways to ever connect to the heart of your spouse is to listen to what they say through their eyes, not yours. Their perspective is different, but valid, especially when spoken to a spouse who seeks to understand them, not prove them wrong. Such a desire for mutual understanding requires humility, teachability, and a servant’s heart toward your spouse.
ASK: What are 3 specific ways that I can better make you feel loved and help you believe that I am always for you and still “into you?”
Often the greatest threat to full transparency in any relationship is fear—fear of rejection, retaliation, or a negative response. This plays itself out in spouses who rarely open up to one another, but just stuff their feelings and allow them to fester into bitterness over years.
Transparency in a marriage requires a balance of boldness and meekness, and putting down our walls of defensiveness by making statements like “I didn’t realize until now how that made you feel” or “Tell me more. I want to better understand you”. God created the marriage relationship to be the most transparent relationship in your life. Don’t allow the enemy to convince you to forfeit that.
ASK: If you could say anything you’re thinking about us without fear of repercussion or pushback, what would it be?
Which of these three components could your marriage use more of right now?
Andrew is a husband, the father of four awesome kids, and a children’s pastor at a thriving church. He is the founder of GodlyParent.com and is passionate about intentional parenting and helping other parents and leaders effectively reach the next generation. He is also the author of the new book, Godly Parenting In An Ungodly World: How to raise not just good but godly kids through heart-driven grace-based parenting.