How much time do you spend looking back at the beginning or your Relationship? It’s easy to get stuck in the day to day of a Christian Marriage and wonder where the Joy went. Harder still is Reclaiming Joy after betrayal, trauma and hard seasons. But Claire is going to share how this Practical Tip helped her Reclaim Joy in just that time.
‘What was it that attracted you to him in the beginning?’
That was the first question asked, when I sat in a room with my husband, facing a husband and wife counseling team.
I was taken aback. Can you relate?
- I hadn’t thought about that for years.
- But I was at the point of wrestling with God
- Would I ever be able to feel love for my husband again?
- The last thing I expected was being asked what had originally drawn me to him!
I found it hard to answer for a while. But I eventually did – a bit through gritted teeth at the time. And then, once my husband answered the question about me, it was followed by another:
‘What did you like to do together when you first went out on dates in the beginning?’
When we had both answered, they then set our ‘homework’ for that week – to choose one thing out of what we had said and go and do it.
I’m pleased to say that we continued with the counseling, and are looking forward to celebrating our 25th Wedding anniversary in August. But that wasn’t the only time I’ve looked to answer the first question – or made space to try and do something that we used to do when first dating.
Life can get messy – and busy. And sometimes we can end up leading almost parallel lives.
We have found that to be the case even though there are elements to our ministries that we do together. Far too easily you can wake up one morning and realize that you are no longer traveling alongside each other; there seems to be some distance – and it is painful.
How do we Stop this Drift toward living separate lives that Kill our Joy in a Christian Marriage?
If possible, try and catch it before that realization happens.
But when you do realize it, take time to remind yourself why you were attracted to your partner in the first place.
Because you are probably feeling:
- Let down
And believe me, I know firsthand what can happen when you let yourself dwell on those emotions.
If you are struggling in that downward Spiral, check out the Full Marriage Course (Finding Hope and Joy in My Marriage) in the HopeJoyInChrist Shop!
In my book Taking Off the Mask, I talk about how I viewed everything from a victim mentality for years. That’s how I got to the point of walking out. Thank God that He stepped in and, through His mercy and grace, and my husband’s humility, we worked things out.
We’ve come out on the other side of a crisis in our marriage.
You have to recognize that it isn’t easy to choose to remember the good things about our spouses.
I can still spiral downwards at times, especially when I’m tired and feeling hurt. However, I have learned to listen to the Holy Spirit’s nudging, when He’s reminded me of the counselors’ question: ‘What was it that attracted you to him in the first place?’
It’s often followed with a:
‘What do you want to model to your children about marriage? About the way to treat one another?’
It’s a hard, but true, fact that our kids are watching EVERYTHING! If we give in to self-pity, rather than choosing to remember and be thankful, they will learn unhelpful behavior from us.
So, while this is a piece of advice that I would say has really helped me over the years, I also know it is a real challenge. It can seem far easier to simply allow the relationship to continue drifting, to dwell on the ways your spouse has made you feel bad. But the long-term effects are too far-reaching, too important to let that happen.
– and by asking yourself this simple question regularly I truly to believe it can help turn you from dwelling on difficulties to being thankful to God for bringing your marriage partner into your life. This is the Path to Reclaim Joy in a Christian Marriage
So, let me ask you:
What was it that attracted you to your spouse in the beginning?
Thank you, Claire, for that heartfelt reminder to look back at the beginning of the relationship for ways to Reclaim the Joy we once had!
Claire Musters is offering a Giveaway of her Book: Taking Off The Mask
- Too often we hide our true selves from the world behind masks we have carefully constructed. This is not how God created us to be. Through her story, Claire Musters shows how it is possible to take off these masks and live a freer and more authentic life.
Be sure to enter for a chance to win and check out the Giveaway page where over $16,000 in Christian Resources are being Given away to grow your Faith and Marriage!
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31 Ways to Reclaim Joy in a Christian Marriage
Over $16,000 in Faith and Marriage Resources will be given away – Be sure to Look at the Giveaway Page! And Join us in the Wives only Facebook Group – Reclaiming Hope and Joy in your Marriage
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Claire Musters is a UK-based author, speaker and editor, mum to two gorgeous children, pastor’s wife, worship leader and school governor. Claire’s passion is to help others draw closer to God and be all that they can be in Him. Her latest books include: Cover to Cover: Ezekiel and Taking Off the Mask. Find out more about her at www.clairemusters.com