Imagine that you are an artist, and your marriage is the canvas. If you want to create a piece of art, you must first realize that your canvas is unique. It does not need to be compared to those around you. It does not have to blend in with the crowd.

A genuine and radiant piece of art is produced through a lot of sweat and dedication, but that demanding work pays off. It withstands the test of time. It inspires. It radiates. It is unique. It mirrors the way God created us – to be formed beautifully in His image and to love our significant other as Christ loves us.

To create a culture of openness and a circle of trust within your marriage, you must be willing to take your time creating that marriage masterpiece. You must realize that the blemishes on the canvas are what make the piece magnificent in its own way.

We must chip away at the insecurities and baggage and focus more on the blemishes that have made us who we are today. We must be willing to continue putting the work in even when we feel disconnected, and even when it feels like everything in the world is spiraling out of control.

5 Couples Counseling Tips to Improve Your Marriage

Here are some Christian couples counseling tips to help as you aim to create a God-centered marriage that will withstand the trials of life:

1. Create a marriage of appreciation and admiration.

As an artist admires their handiwork, we must also take time to appreciate and admire our spouse – emotionally, spiritually, and physically. We need to take time to focus on the things they do right rather than spend most of our conversations telling them where they need to improve.

We need to point out the little things we love about them. We need to appreciate God’s handiwork in how He created them. We need to make time regularly for physical intimacy. We need to point out the emotional and physical things we admire and love about them.

2. Have shared goals.

While we are each unique and often have quite different personalities than our spouses, it is important to share common ground in your marriage. Making Christ the center of your marriage is of utmost importance to creating a marriage that thrives. Talk about your hopes and dreams for the future and support one another in your endeavors.

You are a team, even if you have opposite personalities and goals for the future. If your wife is a writer, read her work and support her dreams. If your husband is a gym buff, why not let him teach you some of the ins and outs? Marriage is about supporting, learning, and growing whether you have been married for one, eleven, or thirty years.

3. Focus on body language.

Body language is an overlooked element of effective communication in marriage. Evaluate yourself the next time you are talking to your spouse. When they are talking, do you make eye contact or are you staring at your phone? Are you welcoming or standoffish every time they try to hug you?

Do you welcome them with a smile or barely look at them when they enter a room? What is your body language saying, even when your voice is quiet? Our body language is an overlooked element of communication in marriage. It can deter a conversation or welcome one before a word is ever spoken.

4. Try something new together.

Step outside of your comfort zone. Couples need to take time to do things together. Do something out of your comfort zone where you can lean on each other and create lasting memories.

You can go skydiving, serve at the homeless shelter, take an art class together, attend a marriage Bible study, or have cooking nights at home. Just take time to do fun things together that can challenge you and help you grow closer together. Make memories when you can, even in the simplest things. Doing things out of your comfort zone will strengthen your bond and bring you closer together.

5. Go all-in for Christ and your marriage.

One of the biggest steps we can take in marriage is choosing to go all-in for Christ and our spouse. When we go all-in for Christ, we naturally resort to removing “divorce” from our vocabulary and practice forgiveness, grace, and selfless and life-changing love. Going all-in means praying for your spouse, even when it is difficult.

It is going to church, even when you would rather sleep in. It is making dating your spouse a priority. It is saying, “I’m sorry,” even when it makes you cringe. Going all-in for your marriage is speaking God’s promises over your marriage. It is believing in the best and finding the good, even when life feels chaotic.

Jennifer Smith said, “Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story.”

Your love story needs to be cherished. As you continue your marriage journey, you will face moments where you are frustrated, depleted, and unsure of what your next move is. First, you can turn to Jesus and ask Him to pave the way.

Second, you can invest in your marriage by scheduling a couples counseling session where you can continue uncovering and molding your marriage mosaic into a life-changing masterpiece that can withstand the trials that life throws at you.

Couples counseling focuses on practical, faith-based solutions that will help you overcome the challenges of life that you face together. Regardless of whether it is dealing with family issues, past trauma, lapses in communication, the overwhelming responsibility of parenting teens, or the unending stressors at work, you can tackle it together.

Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.Mark 10:9

Regardless of what is happening in the world around you – it does not have to dismantle your marriage and bring it down.

What is your marriage canvas current displaying? Are you a beautiful and unique work-in-progress, or have you intentionally given up on creating your marriage masterpiece?

12 Faith-Filled Affirmations for Your Marriage

1. God is the center of my home and marriage.
2. I choose growth for my marriage today!
3. God’s favor and grace are upon my marriage.
4. We have a 1 Corinthians 13 love and want God’s love in our marriage.
5. I choose to love, be kind, forgive, and be patient with my spouse today.
6. Nothing is impossible for our marriage, because with God, anything is possible!
7. Since God brought us together, no man will separate us.
8. We will not keep a record of wrongs in our marriage.
9. We will ignite passion in our relationship.
10. God gives us wisdom, to know when to be silent and when to speak up.
11. I choose to respond in love.
12. Jesus is the foundation of our marriage and the reason it will withstand the test of time.

Scriptures to Pray Over Your Marriage

…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.Ephesians 4:2-3

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.Ephesians 4:29

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:8

Christian Couples Counseling

If you’re looking for additional support for your marriage, feel free to contact our office to schedule a counseling appointment with me or one of the other counselors. We would be honored to work with you and your spouse to help you reinvigorate your marriage relationship.

Photos:
“Autumn Leaves”, Courtesy of 30daysreplay Germany, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Beach Bonfire”, Courtesy of Kyle Peyton, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Walking Across the Field”, Courtesy of Catalin Paterau, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Walking Along the Beach”, Courtesy of Rafael Garcin, Unsplash.com, CC0 License

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