the shape of leadership

Five Attitudes of a Strong Marriage

Share these sentiments with your spouse for a well-connected relationship

Gabriele Rienas on February 14, 2019

How’s your marriage? Does the question bring a smile to your face because it’s one relationship in your life that is strong and uncomplicated, or do you squirm because it’s just another area of tension in your life? If it’s the second, then you know firsthand how a stressful relationship can undermine your ministry, your effectiveness and your well-being. Conversely, a well-connected relationship adds so much life and stamina that the impact is astounding.

The passionate love story in Song of Songs depicts a deeply connected relationship. One of its foundational strengths is evident in this statement: “This is my beloved, this is my friend” (Song of Songs 5:16). The key is passion paired with the sustaining power of friendship and admiration. Let’s explore some attitudes that contribute to a strong and well-connected relationship.

“We’re in this together.” So much security comes from knowing you are each other’s high priority. This knowledge brings secure connection and confidence, in spite of the many demands of ministry. Communicate this by remaining available, keeping each other in the loop, and expressing positive regard toward each other. Verbally and non-verbally express this mutual message: “I’ve got your back.”

Strong, unwavering bonds are essential to your effectiveness in life and ministry.

“I like who you are.” Each one conveys admiration and respect to the other — both privately and publicly. Communicate love and respect, even when you see things differently, and even when you don’t agree. When inevitable tensions arise, discussion happens without judgment. Admiration is not false when you base it on the other’s incredible value in God’s eyes.

“We connect spiritually.” Find a common way to express your faith and grow spiritually. There is no template for what this should look like because it is unique to each couple. Even though each of you has a preferred way of approaching God, it’s important to develop a way of expressing your faith and your calling as a couple. Look for approaches that are meaningful to both of you and that bring a sense of God’s presence into the relationship.

“We enjoy doing stuff together.” Common interests and shared activities promote closeness. Bonds form when you have fun and laugh often. Do not let your busy ministry schedule dictate every activity. Insist on making space for enjoyable times for the two of you. Your shared activities can be as diverse as the universe. The possibilities are infinite.

“I’ll be here forever.” Your message of unyielding commitment brings security as you remind each other, “I’m not going anywhere.” Confidence blooms when you know that at the end of the day, when the lights are off and everyone has gone home — and even when your position of ministry ceases to exist and you have moved on — you will still be together.

Strong, unwavering bonds are essential to your effectiveness in life and ministry. A clear resolve to make it work goes a long way toward making the marriage strong and life-giving for the duration. 

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2019 edition of Influence magazine.


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