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What your marriage needs is unique to you and your relationship. It doesn’t matter if you are super enthusiastic to be married or totally skeptical of marriage. Your story is important because God himself is writing your story.

For years, my husband and I would read all these books, go to women’s and men’s nights at church, and attend retreats or conferences to encourage us in marriage. During some seasons, we’d come home from those times feeling the exact opposite—discouraged, dejected, even depressed. Here are 3 things every marriage needs.

3 Things Every Marriage Needs

My husband and I would sometimes feel like complete losers. Whoever we were comparing ourselves to—we never measured up. It was easy to think, “If we could just be like that, then all our problems would go away.” 

The truth is those couples we were putting on pedestals have flaws and struggles just like we do. My husband and I have flaws just like you. We are all desperately in need of grace…hope…forgiveness; the truth of Jesus Christ every single day. We will never stop needing it.

And yet, God is changing us just like His word describes. Our marriage today looks nothing like it did when we first got married 16 years ago. I am different than I was a month ago. My husband is different than he was even a week ago or yesterday. We are different, we are new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).  That’s what happens when we walk with the Lord. Our marriage changes as we change.

The book of Philippians is a book about finding joy. The author, Paul, writes to the people in the church there and he starts with gratitude, optimism, and humility he says

#1 Gratitude

“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance for you…” 

Be grateful for your spouse. Tell God how grateful you are that He gave you your spouse. 

#2 Optimism

“I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” 

Show optimism to your spouse. I don’t know what you have going on this week—whether your marriage is going great or struggling. Ask God to help you see an opportunity to be optimistic in some small way in your marriage this week.

#3 Humility

“I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace…” 

We all need God’s grace. Here, Paul reminds the church that they are partners with him in grace.

Don’t be too proud to let your spouse into your struggles. God never intended for us to shoulder our burdens alone. Communicate to your spouse about the situations that arise in your life this week. Imagine how our marriages would change if we considered our spouse in this way—with humility, recognizing we are both in need of God’s grace.

My husband and I are shoulder to shoulder with you, in need of partaking of God’s grace every day. My hope is to write a post per month for you, to hopefully encourage you in some small way.

I want you to know I’m thankful for you. I’m confident that God is working in your life. He has great plans for you. Yes, I’m talking to you.  No matter what you’re going through; no matter what you’re in the middle of, God wants to enter in because He loves you. He intends to complete the good work that He started in you. He is worthy and amazing and has so much grace to go around—as much as we need and more.

Grace Marriage Mission

Take a moment to write a quick note to your spouse. Include the things from Paul’s letter to the church. Write out something you are grateful for, something you’re looking forward to, and do it with all humility as you thank God for your spouse.