Ellie and James have been married for almost 60 years. When asked to share the secret to their long-lasting marriage, both responded simultaneously, Love.
Yep, you read that right.
Love is essential to rekindle the spark in marriage.
It is not optional!
Love is not a feeling or thought.
It is an action. Love is a verb.
Without love, marriage will wither, lose its vitality, and be filled with friction. Ellie and James give credit to the practice of mutual love and respect in their relationship, which they patterned after God’s blueprint of love. The motto for their marriage was “Put your spouse before yourself.”
What would it look like to rekindle the spark in your marriage?
Let’s look at the blueprint that guided Ellie and James’ marriage for almost 60 years.
11 Love Tips to Rekindle the Spark in your Relationship
Christian marriage is a lifelong commitment between a man and woman who pledge to love each other. The blueprint for rekindling love and putting the spark back in relationships is described in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
Love is patient
Patience means not being easily provoked or irritated. All human beings are flawed by nature. So, when two people are doing life together in a marriage relationship, there is bound to be conflicts and irritations. Remembering that you and your spouse are on the same team will help you honor your individual differences and ease irritations. Resentment and anger can get in the way of loving your spouse well.
Love is kind.
Being caring and gentle toward one another. Daily acts of kindness are necessary for a successful marriage. When you and your spouse genuinely love each other, you show kindness to one another. In a relationship where couples are unkind, they lose their spark and affection. This could lead to harshness, constant criticism, and even emotional abuse.
Love does not envy
There is no competition in marriage because it is a team sport. You may admire the strengths you see in your spouse, but there is no room for envy.
Love does not boast
Acknowledging the good in yourself and your spouse is one thing, but bragging and one-upping one another leads to conflict.
Love is not proud
Love is not overly self-confident, arrogant, overbearing, and self-centered. Instead, it is humble and seeks to serve the other. Pride often leads to conflict in marriage (Proverbs 13:10a).
Love does not dishonor others
Mutual respect and honoring your spouse above yourself in marriage is a sign of love. It’s ok to respect each other’s differences and agree to disagree.
Love is not self-seeking
Having a “me, myself, and I,” self-centered attitude, and always wanting to have your way can block intimacy in marriage. Being considerate doesn’t mean that you neglect your own needs completely.
Love is not easily angered
Listening to understand your spouse’s point of view fosters a good marriage relationship. According to James, we must be quick to listen and slow to become angry (James 1:19). Anger has no place where there is mutual understanding.
Love keeps no record of wrongs
We are not to become offense collectors. Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs for the sake of getting revenge. Keeping a record of wrongs prevents forgiveness. Because God extends grace to us, we can forgive.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
Everyone has blind spots, but we don’t rejoice over our spouse’s missteps. Living according to the truth means we don’t enable inappropriate behavior in our marriage but confront in love. This requires humility, understanding, and dependence on the Holy Spirit for guidance.
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Bob and Audrey had a thriving marriage, but betrayal threatened to destroy their relationship. Audrey confessed to having an affair that resulted in pregnancy. Bob had a tough decision to make. Would he allow the situation to tear his family apart?
Bob decided to forgive Audrey, cover her and the child from the affair. He chose to keep his family together. It was a challenging time for Bob and Audrey as they struggled with feeling unlovable towards each other. With God’s help, spiritual and professional support, they worked on their relationship. They trusted God with their marriage.
Bob chose to protect, hope, and persevere. Today, he and his wife are in ministry helping couples survive adultery and experience the benefits of covenant relationships.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, you might see your spouse as an enemy. That is understandable. Ask God to help you with your marriage, seek godly counsel and professional support.
Love never fails
Love is the glue that binds it all together (Colossians 3:14). God’s design for husbands and wives is to love each other like Christ loves the church… sacrificial love that puts the needs of the other first. This type of love is only possible with the help of God and the Holy Spirit.
Although Ellie and James have had a long-lasting marriage, it wasn’t a walk in the park. They didn’t get here in one day. They prioritized their marriage and chose love regardless of their thoughts or feelings. They embraced 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and practiced the attributes of love, one at a time in their relationship.
If you and I want to rekindle the spark and enjoy a long-lasting marriage, we too must follow the way of love (1 Corinthians 14:1) and adopt its principles.
Which of the love characteristics would you like to start practicing in your marriage?
PS: I recently listened to Joyce and Dave Meyer share the secrets to their 50+ years of marriage (Keys to Marriage). I think you’ll enjoy it too.
You may also be interested in Nurture Deeper Connection in Marriage and 3 Tips for Surviving a Harsh Cold Winter in Marriage
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