A Heart Healthy Marriage!

Great marriages take work. Many couples have overcome great challenges, only after considering each others’ feelings and remaining open to change. Has your marriage suffered from a major heart attack? Do you and your spouse need help recreating a ‘heart healthy” marriage?

Well, consider the following scenario; it could help heal the “broken heart” and help revitalize its’ beat!

“Trina was taking her third business trip of the month, leaving her husband Tony and their two children behind. He was exhausted with playing “Mr. Mom” and the tension in the relationship was at an all time high. She had even dropped the “D” word (divorce), and it seemed as if the relationship was headed for ruin. Many couples, like Trina and Tony are simply going through the motions and not fully experiencing the joys of a “heart healthy relationship.”

Tension in marriage affects every area of your life, because it is true that you must “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23).

How would you answer the question, “Would you marry him/her again?” If the answer is anything other than a resounding “Yes!” it\’s time to move your marriage to a place of health.

According to research conducted by D. Fenell (1993) the ten most important characteristics in a marriage are:
1) Commitment
2) Loyalty
3) Morals
4) Respect
5) Sexual fidelity
6) A desire to be a good parent
7) Belief in God
8) Need to please spouse
9) Need to be a good companion
10) Ability to forgive

Here are some suggestions for recreating a “heart healthy” marriage!
• Renew your commitment before God. (Pro. 3:6) A relationship devoid of a strong spiritual commitment is doomed. Marriage is a commitment (promise) between a man and a woman that\’s made to each other and God. When the commitment to that promise made to God is weakened, the relationship will suffer.
• Realize that all relationships change. (Eccl. 1:9) If your husband or wife is not the same person you married it\’s because they\’ve changed. Since change is inevitable, welcome the change as an opportunity to enhance the relationship as opposed to trying to keep it from happening.
• Remember to listen. (Col. 3:19) Being a good listener requires the following: (a) Don\’t interrupt, (b) Focus on what your partner is saying rather than on formulating your own response, and (c) Repeat back what you heard your partner say.
• Respect the opinion of your mate. (Ex. 14:14) In a good relationship both parties recognize that it\’s perfectly healthy to “agree to disagree.” Don\’t argue; do communicate.
• Refurbish and renovate. (Eph. 5:28) Schedule some time to “check in” with each other on changing goals and expectations. If a couple ignores difficult topics for too long, that issue will become like a cancer, threatening to spread and kill the entire relationship.
By Lisa M. Tait, M.A., M.Div., D.Min.
serves as an Adjunct Professor at the ITC, A Pastoral Counselor and cohost of relationship Thursday on Praise 102.5 FM (Radio One). She is author of Women of Destiny: Five Principles For Pursuing Your Purpose in God. Visit her at www.drtait.com