No one wants to be labeled, “complacent.” We want to portray vibrant lives, moving towards God’s best for our lives. Unfortunately, complacency is the enemy of longevity. Have you heard of the saying, “familiarity breeds contempt?” We are all in danger of being too complacent in our marriage. So how can we combat this seeming epidemic?
Let me begin by saying that God blesses us with new mercies every morning (see Lamentations 3). Each day is a new day, a new adventure. Even as we go through the regular routine of life, God gives us opportunities to enhance our marriage each day. The question is will you comply to His commands or will you default to a complacent approach to your marriage?
Don’t Be So Easily Satisfied
I’m not speaking of a lack of contentment. Rather it’s the mindset that says, “This is as good as it gets.” Says who? Does it feel abundant, joyful, exciting? That’s what Jesus promised. Don’t let yourself believe that God cannot do any more for you and your spouse. Seek His blessings. It can and should get better.
Don’t Ignore Warning Signs
When we mess up, it’s easy to make excuses. “Well, that’s not what I meant.” “It’s been a stressful day at work.” “It’s just the way I was raised” or “That’s just my personality.” Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. Instead of making excuses, meet expectations. It’s about results not excuses.
This includes the excuse, “We just don’t have time for each other.” In the words of today’s teen – whatever! When you find yourself saying that, you’re just offering another excuse. Carve out the time necessary to put the fire back in your marriage!
Don’t Stop Learning
Do you know what good marriage experts, godly pastors and leaders have in common? They thirst for wisdom! They’re teachable! They know they haven’t arrived and guess what, neither have you. Read books, attend couples’ conferences, be faithful in your church attendance. You can never learn enough about marriage.
Don’t Get Stuck in the Past
Besides throwing past failures at each other, it is just as unwise to rely on our past victories. It’s good to reminisce (and we should) but the years have changed both you and your spouse. Things aren’t the same. Growth has taken place. Life has changed. Knowing how your spouse has changed (for the better) and adjusting to it is key. You’ll find that some things you did when you were dating may not work anymore. That’s okay because it forces us to grow, to learn, to communicate what makes each other happy.
If all we can point back to is the “good ‘ol days” then we are not working hard enough to have some “good ‘now’ days.”
It is so easy to just ride the wave of life and let it take us wherever. In our society, that “wherever” leads to divorce or at the very least, a bitter and sad marriage. God wants more for you and your spouse. Don’t settle by being complacent. Enjoy the marriage God intends for you to have today.