Proverbs 4:23, “Keep (guard) your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life“.
In the sea of life, there is so much to learn in all ways, this includes in marriage too. So many of us want good marriages and it scares us to death when we think of “what if it does not work as we expected it”. I would say I have heard more negativity about marriages than good and makes me wonder then I stop and look at the thriving marriages and I ask myself, what is their secret?. The more I wonder, the more I research, the more I want to learn, the more I want to exercise. Some things I have learned already is that, lovely marriage requires ACTION and ATTENTION. I discover that one the deadliest disease that kills marriages is withdrawal, lack of acceptance.
Think of this, “the feelings of love towards your spouse in marriage will ALWAYS require your attention“. As my pastor preached on “reclaiming the virtue of love” sometimes back, we learnt that in the bible, love always goes with service. So when I say “I LOVE you” in actuality I mean “I SERVE YOU”. This is an investment that yields high returns. This will happen through three things, TREASURING, GUARDING and NURTURING.
TREASURE is considered precious and valuable. For you to have a successful marriage, you have to learn to treasure your spouse. You have to see her/him as precious and valuable in your life and in your marriage. The moment you stop treasuring, there will be an element of withdrawal. There is a great need of acceptance as to who he/she is. Loving (SERVING) him/her in in a language he/she understands rather than a language you understand. This goes far beyond feelings. Serve your spouse by treasuring him/her.
GUARD is to protect from harm. You can only guard what you treasure. Proverbs 4:23, “Keep (guard) your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life“. You can guard by what comes out of your mouth. We can be together and still feel vulnerable and exposed. Wives want to feel safe and guarded in the presence of their husbands. Harsh words springing from the heart fueled by anger strips that protection a wife craves for. Wives on the other hand can guard the self-worth their husbands need. A husband’s number one supporter is his wife, the moment a husband feels exposed to critical attacks rather than being guarded by encouragements, there can be withdrawal. Who else can believe in him like his wife? How often do we hear husbands thanking their wives for believing in them and encouraging them to make it? You can serve your spouse by guarding him/her
What you TREASURE and GUARD requires NURTURING. NURTURING is the ability to help grow or develop. This is investing even more as you realize that you are not bound to stay in the same place forever. A travel in this life leads to discovery every day. Dreamers who want something better therefore they look for ways and avenues to explore as they discover more. Marriage is also a daily discovery. As a gardener nurtures the growing flower, digging around it, watering it, the gardener is giving the flower a chance to unfold it’s inner beauty that would not come if not nurtured. You can nurture hope, the expectation of good even in the midst of tough things. You can serve your spouse by nurturing him/her.
Treasuring, guarding and nurturing are some means of loving (serving). If married or in a relationship, ask yourself, do you treasure your spouse, marriage? Do you guard by all means? Are you nurturing each other that you may blossom even more? There is still more work to do, serve each other.