As we all know, life can change at the drop of a dime. A sudden move, a new baby, a tragic loss, or a job promotion can change our lives in ways that we never anticipate. But even through all the changes, life goes on. However sometimes, as life moves forward, we find ourselves unsure of how to handle our marriage as we enter the newest season.
We have found ourselves facing many changes over the last 15 years of our marriage. Many of them have been monumental: having three children, losing two children, becoming an active duty military family, enduring 5 year-long deployments, moving to many states and a foreign country. Yet through it all, we’ve managed to love one another.
Marriage is not an easy relationship to manage. However, if there are two willing parties, marriage can thrive in the midst of whatever changes life may bring. Although we are unable to control what happens to us on a daily basis, we are able to control our choices and reactions to the circumstances.
Whenever we encounter a new season of life and are tempted to neglect choosing to walk in love with one another, we do our best to complete these steps:
Hold the Tongue
This is something that we’ve learned to do – particularly when emotions are running high as we are attempting to adjust to a new change. This is a very effective way to eliminate cutting one another with ugly words, and it definitely helps with damage control. One scripture we always use to weigh our words is Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (NIV).
When the Time Is Right, Talk About It
After emotions have subsided and you and your spouse are in a place where you can talk to one another without judgment or anger, then do it. It is in this space that you’ll be able to focus on walking in love with one another and positioning yourselves to speak life into your marriage.
Seal the Deal and Pray About It
After we have held our tongues and talked when we are cooled off, we “seal the deal” and pray about it. We will usually choose a scripture that is relevant to what our disagreement was about and pray over the situation agreeing to confess the scripture over our marriage.
Follow Up with One Another
Be sure to check in on one another as often as possible throughout the week. Write a sweet note and leave it by your spouse’s bedside table. Send a text to check in and make sure your spouse is doing all right. Make a phone call when you are able to chat or pray together. The method isn’t what’s important, but the follow up is because it shows your spouse that you are committed no matter what.
These simple steps have worked wonders in our marriage through the good and bad times.
Regardless of how life may change around us, we don’t have to change the way we feel about our spouse. As a matter of fact, the changes life produces can give us the opportunity to grow into a deeper love that only comes through the refinement process.
We pray that you’ll find some practical solutions to the seasons of difficulty you’ll face in marriage. God is faithful!
Michael & Carlie Kercheval