So yes. After a wee bit of a hiatus, I’m back in the saddle, and it feels so good! Read on to get my take on goodness from Galatians 5, and how I see it relate to marriage.
It’s an easy one, people.
So, you all by now probably know that I like definitions of words to help me brainstorm. And today’s no different. Goodness is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the quality or state of being good.”
My personal belief is that we can’t be good apart from God.We’re all sinful people. We do wrong by one another. We may have moments of kindness, but overall we’re a selfish people. I mean, I want that last scoop of ice cream rather than give it to Donkey.
Differentiating between goodness and kindness can be hard at times. We tend to equate the two when really, they are different. So here are some practical ways we can bring goodness to our spouses and our marriage.
- Listen! You know that saying, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Yep. That. But instead of just hearing what your spouse is saying (you know, hearing their voices drone on while you’re thinking of something else or what you’re going to say to negate what they’re saying…#guilty), stop thinking and really pay attention.
- Encourage your spouse. Especially when you know they’re struggling or down in the dumps about something.
- Tell your spouse what you appreciate about them. Every day. Seriously. I think one of the keys to long-lasting marriages is a genuine appreciation for and looking for the positive in your spouse each day. Tell your husband you appreciate how he provides (or helps provide) for your family (even if it’s just the two of you). Tell your wife you appreciate what she does around the house or how she helps provide. Be specific!
- Pray for your spouse. Not that God will change your spouse, but that He will change you and help you be a better spouse to your partner. Pray for those areas you know your spouse is struggling in, and pray for protection for your husband or wife. Let’s face it: there are temptations everywhere we look. Pray for God to protect your spouse both in mind, body, and spirit.
- Have fun together! There was a meme that went around Facebook a few years ago that showed a wife’s note to her husband along with a Nerf gun. The note and Nerf were ready for him when he walked in the door that evening. She warned him. Haha!
A side note: I can’t let the events of the past couple of weeks go unmentioned. The shootings of so many people–out of fear and out of revenge–is abominable. Goodness isn’t just for marriage. It’s for life. It’s how Jesus wants us to live–that’s why it’s in the Bible. These five ways I mentioned don’t only apply to marriage, but to every relationship. After all, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27, English Standard Version). Every individual mirrors an image of God, if that makes sense. There are 16,000–sixteen thousand–people groups on this planet, and each is an image of God. How diverse is our Lord??? There is no one ethnicity that is greater than another. So be good to one another. Be kind. Show love.
So, what are some ways you bring goodness to your marriage? I need more ideas! (We all do!) If you aren’t married, what have you seen in other marriages that you admire? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Because, you know…I’m curious and am always up for learning more!