As we approach the month of February, there’s so much focus on love and relationships, but what does it take for have successful relationship/marriage? What are the keys to having a relationship that stands the test of time?
Here are a few keys for a healthy relationship that I’ve learned throughout the years.
Put God first! God honors those that honor Him. If both people in a relationship move towards the Lord, they inherently move closer together.
Secondly, you must prioritize your spouse. Prioritizing your spouse is essential to a successful marriage. Prioritization means that you are fully present with your spouse when you are together. Just 15 minutes of connect time can break down walls of unforgiveness and build a bond that not easily broken. So, prioritize that morning cup of coffee together, a glass of wine together after work, or chat in bed after the kids go to sleep.
In relationships, mistakes happen, and you’ve got to be able to forgive. If not, your relationship can crumble. Real forgiveness stems from the understanding that for every imperfection in your mate, spouse, or significant other, there’s an equal imperfection in yourself. Often, forgiveness is a slow process, and sometimes it’s instant. Either way, forgiveness is not given to release your someone from what they did wrong, but to release you as a prisoner from the pain.
Believe the Best
1 Cor. 4-6 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Believing the best in your significant other is always in your relationships best interest. If you find yourself struggling to see the good in your spouse, often its helpful to revisit the days when you first met. What attracted you to him or her in the first place. When we think of the time when we first met, it can bring back a flood of memories and feelings that can fill your heart with joy.
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine,” says Proverbs 17:22. Laughter is essential to a good relationship, and if you and your partner laugh together it makes the tough times that much easier. Laughing releases feel good endorphins and is good for the soul, so if you laugh with your partner, you bond on a deeper level.
Move Past Small Annoyances
Perhaps the older you get (and the older your relationship gets) you realize some things are just not worth arguing over. Choose your battles and build a better, more peaceful, relationship.
Weekly Date Nights
Everyone can all get caught up in the day-to-day list of things to do, so it’s important that we carve out designated times for weekly date nights. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but just taking time out to step away from work, chores, children or whatever your distractions are, is helpful.
Also, every couple of months, try to schedule time for an overnight or weekend trip away. It doesn’t have to be expensive or far away, but just go away somewhere together. This helps you keep the romance alive and creates time for reconnection.
Out of an overflow of love within can you give to those around you.
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget that loving yourself in a healthy way is imperative to a happy relationship. When you’re not your best self, you can’t interact with those, including your significant other, in the best way possible. Take care of you body, mind, and spirit, and your relationship will flourish.
Of course, these aren’t the only qualities you’ll need for a healthy, happy relationship, but it’s a good start. Of course, these suggestions are helpful for any relationship, not just for a marriage. So, if you’re single, fret not! God has a plan for you!
Wishing you love, health, and peace this February Ascension Parish.