The final wheel in our series on health is relationships*. We looked at our most important relationship, our relationship with God, in January. This month we want to look at and evaluate our other relationships beginning with our most important human relationship — our husband. Marcia Newkirk shares with us her insights on nurturing our marriage relationship.
Cultivating Growth & Intimacy in Marriage
by Marcia Newkirk
As the weather warms and our gardens begin growing outside, let this be a reminder to us of the love and care each of our marriages need year round. As easily as weeds grow in the sunshine of this season, so can distractions, busyness, apathy, unforgiveness, and bitterness grow in my marriage.
Let us remember our God given roles and priorities briefly together this week. I have been blessed with an incredible gift from God in my marriage to my best friend. That doesn’t mean, however, I should neglect or take for granted this wonderful relationship. My husband is my number one human priority. Does your husband know that he is #1? Have you spoken those words to him lately? Have you demonstrated his place of priority in your day to day life? Who comes first, the children or your mate? If you were to ask your husband today, what would he say?
God has not left our marriages to chance. His Word is full of examples, commands, help, and answers to every human relationship, but marriage holds a special place in His heart. Our marriages are to reflect to the world the relationship of Christ and His church. What an incredible opportunity and responsibility this holds for us.
So no matter whether your husband is your best friend or maybe your relationship has taken a back seat to a job, home, children, parents, hobbies, or anything else you have let become more important than it should, let’s consider today some things you can do to help cultivate your love for your mate.
God’s Word tells us to serve and submit to our husbands. This does not come easy! Many days everything within in us cries out for attention, rights, and our way to be THE way. But, God does not call us to do something without giving us the strength and ability to follow through. One of the greatest gifts you can give to your marriage is to seek daily the Lord and learn His ways. The closer you grow to the Lord the easier it is to obey His commands in marriage. Submit to the Lord first and to your husband second.
Is it obvious to others that I am my husband’s helper? I am to be his help-meet in life. That means different things to each of our marriages, but when was the last time you asked your husband what you could do for him? Do you leave margin in your day to pray for him? Do you articulate your love and commitment to him? How about making it a priority to demonstrate both in word and deed something special each and every day this month for your husband?
As the school year draws to a close many of our children will be facing exams. If you were given a marriage exam by God Himself what kind of grade would you get? A? F? or something in between? What kind of questions would He ask of us?
1. Is your husband a joyful priority in your life?
2. Do you regularly pray for him?
3. Are you too tired to express your love through the wonderful gift of sexual expression?
4. Do you regularly take care of your body: sleeping, eating, and exercising with the goal of feeling and looking good for your husband?
5. Do you speak negatively to or about your husband?
6. So, what’s it like to be married to you?
7. Do you nag or praise your husband more?
8. Would your husband say you are on his team or an opposing team?
9. Do you regularly praise your husband?
10. Do you express gratitude to him?
11. Are you an encourager to him? A supporter?
No matter how long you have been married, this vital relationship takes work and time. Don’t neglect your marriage. The best gift you can give to your children is a strong healthy marriage to your mate. If your marriage needs help, seek it today. If your marriage is growing and strong, thank God and keep it growing and alive through the changing seasons of life. Thank God today for the mate He has given you.
(Marcia Newkirk has been blessed to be married to her best friend (Pastor Dennis Newkirk) for the past 41 years. They have 3 grown sons each with a precious wife, and 4 perfect grandchildren! She loves to study God’s Word, read, work in the garden, walk/run, and loves sharing her time with her church family. She enjoys hospital visits, homebound visits, and any encouragement she can give to others. She is an R.N. who seeks to use her gifts and passion to encourage and bless her church family. Marcia teaches the Personal Spiritual Growth Skill Session in the updated Keepers DVD set.)
*We would like to thank and give credit to the Ministries of Jesus (MOJ) Clinic, a ministry of Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, OK, for the Wheels of Health idea and illustration, which is based on the book God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Person by Walt Larimore, M.D. (www.DrWalt.com ).
Click on the fifth button above to get a printer friendly version of this post.