“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22
In the first part of this article, we considered the fact that many young people today reject the institution of marriage, even though they desire to live with the person they love. We suggested that one of the reasons for this mindset can be that, as children, they suffered because of their parents’ problems. It can also be due to the influence of a series of psychosocial changes that have arisen in recent times which oppose family and the marriage institution, where some refer to “maintaining their personal freedoms.”
The love which forms a family often does not stop at being happy in a marriage. There are many factors that come into play and, if we do not identify and improve them, they could lead to failure. In the first part of this article, we looked at good communication being a vital factor in strengthening a marriage. Now, we present another element.
- Respect is one of those factors and it is critical to having a good relationship. There are two forms of showing respect: one is through what we say and the other is through our actions.
a) Speaking with respect must be a natural part of our conversation. There should be communication that is appropriate and coherent with what we are thinking, which shows the spouse that he/she is understood and respected. We should never speak to them as if they were inferior, shout or threaten but always treat them well in every situation.Also, it is important never to divulge the mistakes of your spouse, denigrate or discredit them in front of other people, or make fun of them. It is important to always consider their opinions, including them in the making of important decisions. These are all ways of showing respect to the spouse.b) Demonstrating respect to your spouse with actions can be understood in several ways, for example, being fair in the use of money and time, as well as looking after their interests. It means respecting the way your partner is as a person, including their weaknesses. It is important not to become someone who points out their flaws whenever they fail, but instead be someone who encourages and helps them to improve.
Additionally, it means respecting their right to express themselves so that you can have good dialogue. It also includes always acting with honor and showing your spouse that you want to make them happy and take care of them because they are important to you. Showing gratitude when your spouse takes care of you is also another way of demonstrating respect.Respecting the individual’s space also comes into play here. However, although this is important, one must remember to respect the time needed for family responsibilities because the spouse and children always come first. Having a good balance in this area keeps the relationship healthy. We will expand on this in a subsequent article.
In short, it is a matter of treating the spouse in a way that you would like to be treated, putting love into action. Although you will not agree on everything in life, it is always important to make your spouse feel understood and loved.
May God help you in everything you undertake today.
Download this article here: Ideas to Improve Your Marriage Relationship (Part Two)
Dr. Miguel and Irene Garita
Family Care Ministry
Church of the Nazarene – Mesoamerica Region