Ephesians 5:32: “This mystery [of God’s design for marriage] is profound, but I am saying it is about Christ and the church.”
Christ is more for your marriage recovering God’s design than you can ever imagine. Satan is more opposed to your marriage recovering God’s design than you can ever imagine. You and your spouse are not caught in the middle, like collateral damage in a war you didn’t endorse. You are not innocent bystanders. Your decision to pursue God’s design for marriage is a declaration of war on Satan. And Satan fights back; and Satan does not fight fair.
This has serious implications for your marriage. For one, marriage will be hard work from start to finish. It will never not require hard work. The kind of marriage offered by Christ doesn’t just happen; toggling to “cruise control” mode in marriage is surrendering to the enemy. Your marriage does not require a crisis for it to fall into brokenness; it just requires you to not work on it. A marriage that is more and more like God’s design is the result of an imperfect husband and an imperfect wife working together under Christ’s grace in pursuit of God’s design.
Foundational to hard work is intentionality; you have to be intentional as a couple about working on your marriage. And thanks to the great grace of Christ, one small act of intentionality on your part will yield widespread effects in your family.
Here is one small act of intentionality Nicole and I have built into our marriage: an almost weekly team meeting of just the two of us. Amost every Sunday night we sit down and discuss several key issues: a. Family calendar: we do a walk through of the next seven days, an overview of the next 30 days, and raise any new calendar items for the future. b. Budget: are we on track for the month, what decisions do we need to make about unforeseen expenses that have popped up. c. Miscellaneous as one of us needs to: the kids, the house, sex and intimacy, the cars, medical, perceptions that may or may not be reality, extended family, etc. We have found that not only do we address the issues that need addressing, but we can address them well–we have all week to think through not only what we want to say to each other, but how we want to say it.
Here’s the widespread effect from this small act of intentionality: we both find ourselves with a better understanding of Christ and His teachings; our intimacy is much deeper (and I don’t just mean sexually); there is peace in our home instead of tension from unresolved issues; we are far better parents; we are on the same page financially; our children feel far more secure; I could go on and on.
Thanks to the grace of Christ, this one small act of intentionality has a widespread effect on our family growing into God’s design. What acts of intentionality in marriage have you found helpful?