An Abundant Marriage This Christmas
Three Steps to a Happier Marriage
Are you experiencing an abundant marriage this Christmas? When making your list and checking it twice, is your marriage at the top?
I don’t know about you, but I can easily get my priorities mixed up during the Christmas season. I don’t think I am alone.
There’s a reason we see “Jesus is the reason for the season” signs up. Even Christians need to be reminded of the importance of Jesus in an over-commercialized, secularized holiday. Our priorities are out of order. So, it’s not a surprise we don’t prioritize our marriage at this time of year either.
Guess what? We have an enemy who counts on those misaligned priorities.
The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John 10:10 ESV
You may be wondering what this has to do with marriage. EVERYTHING.
We cannot have an abundant marriage this Christmas if we are not fixing our eyes on Jesus.
In John 10:10, Jesus is telling us that abundant life only comes through him. The alternative is sobering. When our focus is not on Christ, we leave ourselves open to be stolen from, killed or destroyed. This includes our marriage.
A few years ago just before Christmas, I realized that I was so busy curating Christmas magic for our son that I had not gotten my husband a Christmas present. Not only that, I hadn’t even thought of him. I was so focused on created a Pinterest-perfect Christmas schedule for our young child that I had essentially moved my husband to the bottom of the list.
Even worse, while I was participating in several activities that revolved around the birth of Jesus, I wasn’t acting like Jesus. I was overtired and up to my ears in “holiday cheer” that was less about Jesus and more about me, if I am honest. My husband was sitting on the sidelines of all of it.
My marriage is meant to be a beautiful metaphor of how Jesus loves the Church and Church loves Jesus. (Ephesians 5) This is what it means to live in abundant marriage.
When our marriage has Jesus placed at the center, we are experiencing the happiness and abundance that God desires for us.
So, how do we do this practically?
Here are three steps toward a happier marriage this Christmas:
1. Pursue an abundant life in Jesus TOGETHER.
In our work counseling couples divided by infidelity, we find there is usually one spouse who is following the Lord more than the other. This simple truth creates a large crack in the foundation of their marriages. When both spouses are seeking God together, it grows them closer to each other as they grow in their faith. This doesn’t mean both spouses will be at the same spiritual maturity level, but it does mean they are walking on the same path with the same destination in mind. Don’t underestimate the importance of this unifying truth.
Here are just a few practical ideas…
- Commit to a church community together
- Study the Bible together
- Pray together (even when it feels a bit awkward)
2. Follow God’s design for your family.
If you are a parent, I am especially talking to you. Kids slip into the #1 position in our lives all too frequently. For those of you that don’t have kids, maybe your career is stealing that top spot.
God has a simple design for our lives with a clear order of priority:
- Family & Friends
- Work, Service, Everything else
When you look at your calendar and your wallet, do you see tangible evidence of God’s design for your life? Or is there more evidence of your own design?
An abundant life is one that follows God’s design.
3. Actively protect your marriage from the thief.
Placing guardrails around your marriage does not mean you don’t trust your spouse. Rather, it shows you don’t trust the enemy. We have a real enemy who wants to destroy our marriages and families. We must protect our marriages against him. Protecting your marriage is a vital step in keeping with the abundant life God has given you.
Here are some ways we protect our marriage:
- Generally, we do not meet with someone of the opposite sex alone.
- Our closest friends are like-minded, trustworthy Christ-followers.
- We have access to each other’s digital devices, apps, and email accounts.
- There’s regular contact throughout the day. We tend to know where our spouse is at most times.
- We have open communication about any temptation in our lives, with no judgment.
These are just a few of the things we do to protect our marriage from the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy our marriage. Again, we trust each other. We don’t trust the enemy.
As you prepare for the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray that you are living the abundant life God has planned for you. We hope that you are able to implement even just one of these three steps to a happier marriage. May you experience the abundance that comes only through a Christ-centered marriage.