We all want to have a vibrant marriage, no one goes into their marriage saying I hope my marriage is mediocre. When we made the choice to get married, we went into it with the expectation that we would have a happy and successful marriage filled with joy, peace, and hope.
So, what happens to a lot of couples after several years of being married? We start to get comfortable and begin to believe that we don’t have to pay attention to our wife and her needs anymore. We lose sight of “us” and start focusing on me, myself, and I. As men we start focusing on our career, aspirations, obtaining material things, and spending time on our hobbies. It’s not that these things are “bad”, but it’s a matter of getting off balance. Once we get off balance, we become distracted and start to lose clarity and focus. In very subtle ways our marriage begins to descend.
Thankfully as Christians we can turn to our faith for guidance and direction and we don’t have to lose hope. Throughout my 32 years of marriage, I’ve learned that Christian principles are filled with great wisdom that can provide the answers we need to not only achieve a highly successful marriage but to consistently sustain its vibrancy for the long run. But here is where most men fall short; we lack the discipline to practice the principles.
As Christians, we must never lose hope…hope is at the core of our faith. If you are searching for ways to become a better husband then keep on reading. I will explain 4 Key Rules that will help you in your quest for a great marriage. If you make a commitment to yourself and take massive action in practicing these 4 Key Rules, you will produce much fruit and build a vibrant marriage.
The 4 Key Rules to Becoming a Better Husband:
The environment and atmosphere we create for our marriage is so fundamental in determining its vibrancy. I will refer to Mark 4: 3-8 to illustrate my point. “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain. And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
Gain Understanding and Awareness
Problem: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up”.
Like anything in life, when we don’t have the correct understanding and awareness, we either fail to take the necessary steps that will enable us to get the outcomes we desire or we make decisions that lead to unintended consequences. It is the lack of understanding and awareness that blinds us and leads us to make choices that contribute to the descent of our marriage.
Solution: If we are really serious about becoming a better husband and growing in our marriage, we must acknowledge that it starts with our mind and how we are thinking about our relationship. The way we think about our marriage will influence our attitude and behavior. The good thing is that we have control of how much understanding and awareness we want to have, we simply have to make a choice to pursue it. Working with a marriage coach can help you gain the right mindset to take action and make the necessary changes to help transform your relationship.
Attention and Nourishment – Make it a Priority
Problem: “Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots”.
Sometimes it’s not a matter of not being aware or having the knowledge…it’s that we stop paying attention to our wife’s needs and fail to nourish our marriage on a consistent basis. We forget that our wife didn’t fall in love with us because of one thing that we did or say…it was an accumulation of consistent small acts of love, kindness, selflessness, compassion, patience, etc. that ultimately won her heart. When we fail to do this, we simply lack the substance to withstand the trials and tribulations.
Solution: If we want to win our wife’s heart, we must make it a priority to consistently work on making those authentic love deposits. It’s critical that we make our relationship a priority and that we give it the attention it deserves. As Christian husbands we are reminded through scripture that we are called to love our wife as our own body, to nourish and cherish. Like our body, if we stop paying attention to it, not providing food, water, and the proper nutrients, it will slowly decline in health and eventually die…the same is true when it comes to our marriage.
Be intentional about nourishing your relationship and look for creative ways and opportunities to demonstrate your love and appreciation for your wife. Schedule activities that she enjoys doing as a couple, help out with the children (this is a BIG one), help out with the chores, buy her a gift when she least expects it, go for a walk, spend TIME with her, buy tickets to an event, etc. Ask yourself…if tomorrow never comes, will she know how much I love her?
Get Clarity and Focus
Problem: “Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain”.
There is no doubt we all have busy lives these days, there is so much in the world that can distract us from the things that matter most. The noise of the world can cause us to lose clarity and focus. The “noise” can manifest itself in many forms such as our quest for advancing in our careers, comparing ourselves with others in terms of material things or lifestyle, spending excessive hours in front of a TV watching our favorite sports teams, living a “married-single” social lifestyle, etc. If we are not careful to maintain a “balanced” lifestyle we can become vulnerable and be easily lured to give too much time to the things that will not provide oxygen to our marriage.
Solution: When we get distracted and lose clarity of who we are as Christian husbands, we must hit the pause button and take time to contemplate and take inventory of our lives. Be honest with ourselves and identify areas that need “tweaking” or complete elimination to bring forth vibrancy into our marriage. Take time to think about; what would your best-version of your marriage look like and how you can grow into that. Ask yourself how do you want to show up in your relationship? How do you want to feel in your marriage? Envision your ideal future and then start actively taking the steps you need to take in order to achieve the state you are seeking. This practice will help you gain clarity, maintain focus, and generate enthusiasm!
Create a Prolific Environment
Solution: “And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
Creating the right environment is imperative to having a vibrant marriage. When you put all the pieces together…investing time in gaining a better understanding of what it means to be a Christian husband, making it a priority to being authentic and intentional about paying attention to your wife’s needs and nourishing your relationship, getting clear about what kind of marriage you want, and staying focused on taking action that will help you achieve the best-version of your marriage, you will be able to create a winning environment where your marriage will not just survive but thrive. You have complete control of creating a prolific environment…the question is, are you willing to put the time, work, and effort it requires. If you are, then remain confident that your marriage will produce fruit…thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold!!
The End Game – Set Higher Standards for Your Marriage
We set high standards for our career, education, sports, finances, etc. but when it comes to our marriage, we allow ourselves to get comfortable and settle for average. Let’s face it, there is nothing exciting and exhilarating about “average”, it doesn’t move the needle. Let’s not settle for mediocrity when it comes to our marriage, let’s get fully engaged, commit to practicing the 4 Key Rules of Becoming a Better Husband and set high standards of excellence!