Three Keys to Thriving in a New Marriage

Chris CarrFeatured1 Comment

Newly married couples often feel the weight of this new season of life and all of the many changes marriage brings. We suddenly become responsible for more than just ourselves when we get out of bed in the morning. We now shoulder the responsibility of caring for our spouse; looking out for their best interests above our own. Now add kids into the mix and the responsibility increases exponentially. The learning curve is steep. What are the essential things to keep in mind in the midst of this season?

The big question I am asking today is – What do Young Married (and young parents) need to remember?

Here is the short list:

Fighting our battles early can save us potential pain and hardship later.

Marriage presents us with some battles that need fighting, especially the battles within our own hearts and character.

When the Israelites entered into the promise, God gave them a very important task; “drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you…” (Numbers 33:52 NIV). God knew that in order for the Israelites to remain faithful to him, they must be set apart, so it started with driving the other nations out of the land. He went on to describe what life would be like if they did not carry out this important task; “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live.” (Numbers 33:55). God wanted them to avoid this misery.

In the same way, God asks us to fight the hard battles within our own heart early on in marriage, for the sake of our marriages long-term! This looks like repentance. This looks like ridding our own lives of compromise before we point fingers at our spouse. This looks like getting accountability from others and taking steps forward.

Just like God warned the Israelites, if we do not submit to him and fight our battles early (the sooner the better!!) we will likely face a few barbarous thorns in our married life.

Beware distractions that keep us from fighting for our marriage.

Each year my wife and I chip away at a few more projects on the yard, all in hopes that one day we will have a finished yard. This summer our project was the flower beds in our back yard. One thing that bothers me to no end with gardens and flower beds is weeds. Pulling weeds is a never-ending task throughout summer. Turn your back for one second and another loathsome guest appears in your mulch.

You want to know what doesn’t help deal with the weeds that need pulling? A nap. I know; I’ve tried. Neither does watching TV, playing sports, or any other activity that doesn’t involve pulling weeds! All of these other things, although not entirely bad in and of themselves, act as distractions from the difficult task. They keep us from the hard work of maintaining a yard.

The same is true in our marriages. As I mentioned earlier, we all have battles that we need to fight early on in marriage. For some of us, our battle is angry outbursts. For others its sexual sin, a fear of honesty, or maybe out of control financial habits. Whatever it is, it is important that we uproot it, just like a weed in a garden.

What keeps you from fighting for your marriage? Perhaps for you it is work. As a young married person, it can be so easy to find value in establishing yourself in a career or working some extra hours to bring home that well-earned money. But is it keeping you from investing in your marriage? Is it distracting you from fighting your battles inside and growing as a spouse?

Remember: Life is short – so love deeply.

“What’s love got to do with it?”  As it turns out, love has everything to do with it. The apostle Peter wrote, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8).

Life is short. I mean, really short. In the grand scope of time, we get a handful of years on this earth to fall in love, get married, grow a family, and reach out to others. We have so little time to love, we ought to love deeply!

The thing is, it’s not enough to love with our own love. If all I have to offer my wife is the love that I have within me, boy did she get unlucky. And that’s not me saying I don’t love my spouse! I am just saying that all of me, as it turns out, is not all that much. But, God in me, loving with His love, makes it enough!

 Jesus said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” In God we find our ability to love deeply. In God we find a love for others that triumphs over adversity, makes the selfless choice, and chooses to forgive. In God we find the love to empathize with our spouse when they are weak, to encourage them when they are down, and to celebrate with them when they succeed! For the believer, this is because Christ first loved us!

Can I encourage all married couples to love one another deeply today? Next time you see them, grab their hand, look them in the eye, and tell them you love them. Life is short, and God is willing to help you! By his grace and power, he will help us to remember all these things (and walk them out!!), whether you are just starting this journey, or have been on it for many years already.

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Chris Carr

Young Marrieds Ministry Pastor

Chris is married to Elly and they have four, yes four, boys. He is Southland’s pastor to young married’s and loves equipping young families.

One Comment on “Three Keys to Thriving in a New Marriage”

  1. Hello Chris, when I read this I couldn’t help but feel proud of the man you have become. Daryl and I were thinking you were writing this for young married couples. But then I realized as Daryl read it out loud that Gods word and yours were speaking into our own marriage of 13 years. Daryl and I are reminded that we need to but Christ first in our marriage to love each other like Christ loves us. We are reminded that we need to keep Christ first, spend time in His word and pray for our marriage. Surround ourselves with Godly people and church family. Thank you Chris, this was a purposeful message for Daryl and i to read today. Love you mum and Daryl

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