There is no relationship quite like marriage to test our patience and our ability to “play well” with others. Once the wedding is a part of our story and the everyday of life as a married couple begins, we all experience that moment when we think to ourselves, “This is harder than I thought it would be.” If you aren’t married yet, I don’t say this to scare you, but to prepare you. It’s completely normal for that thought to go through your mind, so when it does, my hope is to help you be ready for it.
If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:18 (AMP)
One trap to watch out for in all relationships—but especially in marriage—is the trap of pride; pride that pushes us to wait for the other person to make things right rather than allowing the Father to use us to be the relationship restorer. With this in mind, here are…
6 Principles to Help You Get Along Better With Your Spouse:
- Offer Myself as a Living Sacrifice
- Accept and Appreciate the Differences (in my spouse)
- Live Out of Who GOD Says I am
- Choose my Friends Wisely
- Choose Forgiveness
- Become a Dispenser of Grace
These principles were not chosen randomly, but based on God’s Word in Romans 12, and especially as it pertains to the passage above in Romans 12:18. When we ask ourselves, “What is possible? What depends on me?” and we humbly allow the Father to reveal the answer, it will change the dynamic of our relationships—especially the most important one we share with another human being.
In my book, Why Can’t We Just Get Along? I discuss these six principles in detail as it pertains to relationships among women; but really, these principles are biblical and help in every relationship as we apply them to our lives through the power of resting in and relying upon Christ in us to carry these out.
As I learn to offer my own life as living sacrifice to God, I am in position to hear clearly from Him as He leads me in interactions with my spouse. As I choose to accept and appreciate how God has made us different from my spouse, I begin to realize what a powerful duo we make as his strengths balance my weaknesses and vice-versa. Living out of who GOD says I am, enables me to remember that at my core identity, I am Christ IN Shelley. We live out of our understanding of our identity, so it’s vital that we take the time to let God show us who we are now that He abides in us. Choosing my friends wisely-those who support and encourage my marriage and my friendship with my husband-is so important! Far too many couples allow their outside friendships to take priority over their relationship with their spouse. This should never be the case with followers of Jesus! Choosing to forgive and offer grace—as we understand how much forgiveness and grace we ourselves have received—can bring sweet peace to our marriage.
The goal of a joy-filled, life-long relationship with your spouse is possible! If you’ve been waiting for your spouse to make changes so you can be happy, please take some time to talk with your Heavenly Father, a safe friend or counselor, and allow the Spirit of God within you to reveal areas where He may be prompting you to trust Him more and allow Him to live His overcoming life through you.