October 8, 2014

Fire Up Your Marriage!

Being married for just over 31 years convinces me more than ever that marriage takes WORK! It is so easy to allow complacency to cause our relationship to drift. You don’t notice it at first, but as you contemplate the state of your marriage you may realize that there is greater distance emotionally, physically, spiritually or relationally than before. There is often a detrimental cycle of deterioration that can soon lead to trouble.

Most marriages begin in a stage of romance. It is the courting time of life where both the man and woman strut their stuff in order to impress one another. We dress for each other, we date, the car is clean, and we say all the right things. Then we say our “I do’s” and reality sets in. The lawn needs to be mowed, the dishwasher emptied and we wipe cute little noses. None of that is bad, especially if we are proactive in keeping the romance alive and well. However, if not careful some will find themselves moving into a stage of rut. They get bored. There they are doing the same thing the same way and before long the relationship is adrift.

If we allow the relationship to remain here we will find that resentment begins to creep into our thinking and it is often the time when we begin contemplating calling it quits. Some will keep it together for the kids, or economics, or convictions. While others say things like, “I think we have fallen out of love.” All of the sweaty palms and anticipation of the other seems to be gone. The final stage is regret. It is here that couples convince themselves that the grass must be greener elsewhere. One or the other or both feel miserable. The lack of romance is miserable and yet so is divorce.

So what do we do?

Work! Work hard!! At what? Keeping the romance alive. Once you begin to feel like complacency is defining your relationship, change it. There are things that we have found to be helpful:

One, make a commitment to keeping the romantic fire burning.

In order to do that you must tend to the fire. Give each other some attention in spite of all the things on the “to do” list. Make sure you give each other some of the best part of your day rather than the leftovers.

Two, create an environment of desire, fun, variety and risk.

Get out of the rut. Mix things up a bit. Go on a date and find a romantic location. Talk, dream and embrace the life God has given you.

Three, choose to outdo each other with forgiveness, acceptance, tolerance and love.

Hebrews 10:24 says to “outdo each other with honor.” You get the idea.

Join me in fighting for and working hard at your marriage. Complacency only creates roommate type marriages. I believe God designed marriage to be better than that. However, it requires WORK on our part.

— Pastor Ron Baum


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