Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to have couch comfort with a room full of powerful women for session 2 of the Women Under Pressure series. We discussed God’s Vision Concerning Marriage and Family. Have you ever wondered what it takes to do this area of life like our fathers wants?
Here are five tips to do marriage and family as God desires:
1. Strive to learn Agape Love. This tip sat well with my soul. I did not know what it was like to truly love myself until I fell in love with the father. Can you image trying to love another person without practicing this love? God has a way of showing us what love is really all about. Agape is the one love that never changes. It is unconditional and beautiful even when the circumstance may not be. It is patient! It is a skill! It takes courage! It takes strategy! It takes perseverance! The scripture tells us that God is love- 1John 4:7. The only way to truly access and apply agape love is through intimacy with God. The beauty of Agape Love is that it can be practiced at any season in a persons life.
2. Allow Gods Spirit to assist with amplifying your helpmates gifts. Gods design for partnership/marriage and building a family is to honor Him as a union. He wants us to give back all that we have been entrusted by helping to bring out the best in our partner. When he created a helpmate for Adam, it was done with a purpose. He knew what was needed to fulfill His glory on earth and created a special wo-man just for Him. Yes, it was Gods design for our assignments not to be fulfilled alone. God blesses us with spiritual gifts along the journey of life and everyone’s gift is different. We have the opportunity to access our gifts by simply asking Him or following Him as we may excel in certain areas of life. For example, you may have the gift of encouraging others. Perhaps you overlook the gift because it comes so naturally. When we become one, our helpmate will have the opportunity to amplify our gift/calling by praying, encouraging, sharing ideas, and being supportive. When your spiritual gifts are highlighted and nurtured by your most trusted partner, it allows space for fruitful parenting, loving family relationships and friendships, enhanced work ethic, and clearer vision.
3. Value your Partners Time and Efforts. This is the best way to show your partner that you have the utmost respect for them. Quality time and acts of service are two powerful love languages and every humans desire. We should aim to learn them all as they will be part of the cheat code for our next tip (Be Intentional about Effective Communication). We were created by the creator of time and His timing is so divine. Since He is intentional about His time, shouldn’t we be? He desires for us to be good stewards of the twenty four hours that we are given by being intentional about where and who we are investing our valuables. He is the God of wisdom and choice, so He trusts His children to make wise decisions! The period before engagement/marriage is the single season. This is the period where God watches how we honor our time and how much effort we are putting into our personal development. It is the prefect time for His will to be the sole focus. This is the preparation phase for the future. When you experience your single season, do you seek to fill the void of loneliness or are you creating substance for your future? If you are married, do you feel that your individual season of preparation was complete? For example, in my singleness, my daily prayer is for God to prepare me for my future husband and family. Until then, I will continue focusing intently on myself (honoring my time) and being about my fathers business (making an effort to produce good fruit). His ultimate design for abundant living as a union is for our time or efforts not to be in vain. When we grasp this concept of valuing time and efforts, it allows us to take healthy behaviors into our partnerships.
4. Be Intentional about Effective Communication. Do you know your love language? It is hard to tell someone how you desire to be loved if you haven’t established this while doing your own work. Could you tell someone your weak points in communicating? It is vital that you develop this self-awareness in your single season. It makes for better communication in your partnership. If you are married and struggle in the area of communication, have you learned your preferred way of communicating? Have you identified the tone that triggers you or calms you? God tells us that life and death lies in the power of our tongue- Proverbs 18:21. This is the wisdom that it shared in hopes of having us to communicate effectively. When we learn the power of partnership, we take the “I” out of this work and add “us” knowing that our words and actions will either cut or heal. I love that God never leaves us without knowledge or resources. I believe this was His reason for allowing many peoples gift/calling to manifest through serving and mentorship. If we are intentional about creating Godly marriages, we have access to every source that will help with sustaining a marriage. There is premarital counseling, marriage counseling, family counseling, and trusted family and friends that have like minds. It is crucial to stay connected to those supports that have a long suffering and persevering mindset in order to sustain the time and effort that it takes to build a healthy union. This tip is super practical but one of the most common challenges amongst humans. If we are not emotionally mature or aware of our areas of struggle in an attempt to communicate, this could help or hinder our relationships. God seeks to come into this area since our flesh (emotions) likes to win the war.
5. Honor your Union. We honor God by honoring the man or woman that He has placed in our path to help us along life’s journey. We live in a world where norms have gone out of the window and gender roles are winning (super frustrating). The father instructs both genders to submit and serve in Ephesians 5:21. We honor God by submitting to Him before submitting to another. Submission in the kingdom is no small thing. During the discussion, we talked about our love for old school marriage. They believed in honor, submission, serving, unconditional love, and long suffering. God instructs for the man to be the head of his household. This doesn’t mean that he honors his wife any less than if this instruction was not given. This is why God is love. The only way to operate in His idea of marriage is to know His character. He is a man of serving, compassion, submission, humility, and love.