Let’s face it, our lives are busy. We are under constant pressure to do more and more daily. The demands of raising young children, coupled with family, work, and other responsibilities are enough to stifle joy out of our lives.
We feel overwhelmed… there’s too much to do.
As a young mom, joy was the last thing on my mind. Often, I was busy juggling many responsibilities including taking kids to school, soccer practices, games, piano lessons, and birthday parties.
Speaking of birthday parties, back then, we had so many it was hard to keep up. I once took the wrong kid to a birthday party. Let me explain… my daughter was invited to a classmate’s party, but I thought it was my son who was invited. On the day of the party, I showed up with my son to an all girls’ party. Can you relate?
In the same way, our marriages face similar pressures. Like a leaky faucet, the pressures of life can slowly erode our marriages and gradually we forget to be intentional and connect with our spouse. It is easy to take for granted that our marriages also need attention.
The Song of Songs in the Bible describes a fascinating relationship between King Solomon and his wife, the Shulamite woman. Their love, devotion, and admiration for each other is unquestionable and admirable. As I read their story, I could feel the passion and joy in their lives. I invite you to read about this beautiful couple and be inspired by their love story. (Song of Songs 1:1-8:14).
Do you desire to have more joy in your marriage?
I must admit it took involuntary enrollment in life’s school of hard knocks for me to get it. Marriage is hard work but with some attitude adjustments, it is possible to have joy. Let me share a few things that have worked for me.
- Invite God to be the strength of your marriage and trust Him to help you love your spouse with His love. As you lean on God, He will fill your heart with thankfulness and joy.
The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. Psalm 28:7
- Give thanks. This is a big one.
Take time to reflect on God’s goodness and praise Him. Choose to look at everyday events and find something to be thankful for. Notice the little things your spouse does for you and thank him.
Keep a thankful journal to record God’s blessings in your marriage. A few years ago, I started a practice of thanking God for my spouse and all the ways God blesses me through him. Here are some of the entries from my journal;
Thank you, Lord, that my spouse fixed dinner tonight for the family.
Lord, I am grateful that my spouse took time off work to be with me at the hospital when I had a procedure.
Reading through my thankful journal and reflecting on God’s answers to my prayers fills me with gratitude and joy. Sometimes the answer is “No” but I am still thankful.
- Make time to connect with your spouse. Schedule time to go on a date regularly. It could be as simple as a walk in the park, a movie night, or a stroll through downtown.
The Shulamite woman in Song of Songs made time to connect with Solomon. She said, “Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages.” Song of Songs 7:11
In a previous post, we talked about little foxes that wreak havoc in marriages. Thankfulness is the best way to cultivate joy and keep these pesky little foxes of disappointment, bitterness, and frustration at bay in your marriage.
This does not mean we won’t have problems in our marriages. Rather, you and I choose our attitudes and how we respond. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude will help you appreciate your spouse better, water the soil of love in your marriage and fill you with deep joy.
Thankfulness is a key to deep lasting joy in marriage.
How do you keep joy in your marriage? Share in the comments below.
Scripture Psalm 27:8, Psalm 100:4, Psalm 9:1, 1 Thess. 5:18, Psalm 50:14, Romans 15:13 Song of Songs 7:11
This post is part of my series on Marriage. However, If you are in a physically abusive marriage, I encourage you to seek help.