When I see engaged couples, we talk about marriage using the imagery of a building. Each couple works to lay the foundation of that building with love, respect, trust, and safety. In our Get It Right program, we work to open communication in different areas of the relationship, as well as identify any cracks in the foundation of the relationship. Take a moment to think about your relationship foundation – is it healthy? Are there cracks showing some wear and tear? Is the foundation completely broken, requiring major construction and rebuilding?
Love: Do both of you feel loved? Whether it’s mowing the lawn, writing a love note, holding hands, or going on a walk, work to come up with some ideas of ways you could show love better this week.
Respect: When he talks, do you listen or shut down? Do you automatically assume she is wrong? Do you talk him up to your friends? Do you throw her under the bus with your words? Try listing the things you love about your partner. You are both created in the image of God and worthy of respect!
Trust: Are you being transparent with your partner? Do you find yourself hiding information from him? Think of something you could do to be more trustworthy this week. Share about your day, show up when you say you will, put down your phone and engage your partner. Trust is built in little increments over a period of time.
Safety: Do both of you feel physically and emotionally safe in your relationship? Do you protect your partner by taking a time out when you’re angry? Do you speak gently in an argument, or resort to name calling and cursing? Take a look at your conflict style, and make sure it reflects care and respect to your partner.
There is no relationship beyond the point of healing when both partners are actively working toward that goal. God cares for you, and will always provide restoration and redemption when you ask for it.