How would you characterize your marriage relationship? Is your relationship in a relatively good place, or are things a little shaky? Do you see any danger signs that trouble you? If you aren’t quite sure, why not spend this time and take an inventory over the topics I am about to discuss? It’s important to remember that Scripture declares,
“A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge,
but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Therefore, be wise and identify any issues that may reveal a potential problem in your relationship. Don’t keep living like everything is fine when it’s not. God wants you to heed the danger signs that could lead to more difficult problems down the road.
How do you know if you are entering a danger zone?
1. When you are not best friends. The loss of friendship between a husband and wife is a very subtle and dangerous situation. Many couples who drift apart know that something is missing in their relationship, but most can’t seem to identify why things seem so cold and superficial between them. Tragically, some individuals don’t realize that anything is wrong until their spouse announces they have found another love in an immoral relationship.
A good indicator that a couple is entering this danger zone is when a husband declares, “She has closer relationships with all her girlfriends than she does with me.” Or, a wife will say, “He becomes so excited when he gets to go out with the guys, but could care less about spending a night out with me.” Do these words sound familiar? If they do, you are in a danger zone. What should you do?
You must realize that cultivating a deeper friendship with your mate is essential for a good marriage. Friendship is where the intimacy and the excitement of marriage are to be found. In the passionate account of marital love recorded in the Song of Solomon, notice how Solomon’s wife described her relationship with her husband:
“His mouth is most sweet, yes, he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved, and this is my friend.”
Song of Songs 5:16
The word friend in this passage means intimate friend or companion. Can you say this about your spouse? Is your mate your most intimate friend and companion? Are you daily tasting the sweetness of companionship with your spouse or has your relationship turned sour? If your marriage has lost this closeness, what should you do to rekindle the enthusiasm and friendship?
Take these steps:
(a) Acknowledge to your spouse the distance you see in your relationship and ask his or her forgiveness for allowing the separation to occur.
(b) Begin by praying together that God will turn your relationship around and rekindle the excitement for each other again.
(c) Do your first works over again (Rev. 2:4-5).
This is what Jesus told the church to do when they had left their first love. He was explaining to them that the solution to the problem wasn’t some great mystery. They simply needed to go back to the relationship they had with each other at the beginning.
Likewise within your marital love relationship, all you need to do is go back to spending time together like you did when you first dated (Song of Songs 2:10-14). Spend time talking with each other like you used to do.
Be sensitive to each other’s needs and requests. Remember, if you want friendship in your marriage, then you must be a friend. Jesus said,
“Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them”
Your love and friendship should provoke a similar response in your loved one.
2. Little or no spiritual relationship. The lack of real spiritual relationship between a husband and a wife is one of the greatest danger zones because of its effect on every other aspect of your marriage. Paul taught that it was possible for believers to have a “fellowship of the Spirit” with other believers (Phil. 2:1).
The word fellowship means to have an intimate and close communion with a person. Consequently, if this quality of communion is possible with any believer, how much more should this be normal for two people that God has called to be one flesh?
Also, note that in the following verses of this portion of Scripture that it was this fellowship of the Spirit which enabled them to have like-mindedness with each other. Therefore, you must understand that if you want one heart and one mind with your spouse, you must have spiritual fellowship with one another.
What is the greatest hindrance to finding this fellowship in the Spirit with your mate? It is simply the failure of one or both partners to have a personal fellowship with Christ on a daily basis. In other words, you can’t have a spiritual relationship with each other if you don’t have one with the Lord yourself.
Without a personal relationship with Christ you will lack the empowering strength of the Holy Spirit which enables you to love and sacrifice for one another. Ultimately, without His power, you become frustrated by trying to live the Christian life in your strength. With this lack of power your sinful nature will control you and failure will be the result (Gal. 5:16) (Gal. 5:22-23).
Therefore, if you realize that you lack spiritually, what should you do? Humble your heart before God and turn to Him in prayer right now. Ask His forgiveness and begin seeking His help to become His disciple. What will this entail?
(a) Begin to personally study God’s Word and attend a local church on a regular basis where you can be taught the Bible.
(b) As you read the Scriptures daily, share with your spouse the things that you are learning.
(c) Start praying with your mate over your personal and marital needs.
(d) As a couple, look for opportunities to practically serve others together. Make time for these things and you will naturally grow together spiritually.
For more godly advice on marriage, you might also enjoy BIBLICAL RESOLUTIONS
If you would like more information on the marriage ministry of Pastor Steve Carr or his book Married and How To Stay That Way, please visit Covenant Keepers
Excerpt republished with permission from Covenant Keepers by Pastor Steve Carr, Copyright 2013