How to avoid deterioration in marriage

Often, couples don’t realize that their relationship is deteriorating until extraordinary efforts are required to keep it together. Deterioration is natural, conscious effort is not.

How to avoid deterioration in marriage

We live in a world where everything ends in destruction: seeds sprout, new life grows, flowers blossom, trees bear fruit, but everything eventually dies. We can live longer nowadays, but it takes special effort. To keep the house from falling apart, we must hammer in new nails. Every couple of years, we have to add fresh paint to seal out wood rot.

Spiritually-speaking, unless we put effort into following Christ to grow in holiness, we sin.

Maritally-speaking, unless we put effort into growing in holiness, we give our spouse less than what he/she needs, less than what Christ wants to give through us. And this leads to the gradual, often unnoticeable deterioration that catches us by surprise when tempers flare.

We need to pay attention. It’s easier today than it will be tomorrow to restore our relationship to the joyful love we once had.

Marriages don’t fall apart all at once. One day we compromise our time to give less of ourselves to our beloved. Another day we cut corners in communication. We forget to say I love you. We neglect to ask if there’s anything we can do to help our beloved’s day be the best it can be. We don’t put as much effort into romance as we used to. And nothing bad happens. At first.

Working our way back out of the slippery slope of deterioration happens the same way: We do something that’s relationship-building, we plan romantic time alone with our beloved, we invest in more frequent communication, and not much good happens. At first.

Success — longevity in a happy marriage — comes from the determination to care enough to persevere even when we don’t see results. And perseverance is aided by hope. And hope is aided by prayer.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What have I done recently that’s relationship-building?
  2. What has my beloved done recently that’s relationship-building?

Strengthen your relationship:
Make a plan to improve in one area that will strengthen your relationship. Describe to each other how this can make a difference. Then pray together, asking the Holy Spirit to help you accomplish this goal with daily inspirations. (Repeat this prayer daily.)

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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries

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