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4 Secrets That Cultivate A Thriving Marriage

These powerful four concepts have helped keep us intimate in our marriage through every season - bliss or storm, a few problems or a swarm. These four things have kept our hearts soft (full of vitality) toward each other, which is essential to sustaining a thriving marriage.

1) Kiss often. This morning my wife got a little frustrated with me, and I had no idea how she truly felt about my actions, despite how she felt as she was getting out of our car.... What she did blew my mind and softened my heart. She kissed me! It felt as though my heart dropped into my stomach. One of my favorite things about our marriage. We've made it a point to have at least one (often more) intentional kiss each day. It's amazing how your walls crumble, and hardness melts away with a deliberate kiss.

2) Laugh regularly. Yesterday, we received a frantic text from Denisse's grandmother stating. "We are suffering, but yet we are still alive. We are in pain, but yet we are still alive." We were deeply anguished at her families circumstances and we are torn by the suffering of the other Puerto Ricans. We can't begin to explain or even understand the dier circumstances going on after Hurricane Maria.

However, we found the perfect moment to (rejoice together) walking down the Aldi Grocery Store aisle as we were buying the supplies for the relief efforts to send to Puerto Rico.

"We were pondering on how bless we are to be a blessing to others."

Laughing reminds us of our friendship. It lightens our hearts and bonds us together. Even when we don't feel like laughing -- like we'd rather remain frustrated -- it has a way of breaking the ice and fixing our hearts on gratitude.

3) Apologize quickly. The Bible talks about being "sober minded". In other words, thinking wisely, honestly and accurately about yourself and those around you.

The toughest times are when pride takes resident in my heart during a disagreement with my wife. I've noticed how weak I am when things don't go my way. When you've messed up, recognize it and apologize without delay. Turn to each other for forgiveness. That's the first step in getting past the issue.

4) Forgive readily. Expect that you both will need forgiveness often. Deal with the sin out in the open, confess it, get help when needed, which is often, but in all things (be ready) to forgive. You have been completely forgiven in Christ, so you are free to forgive each other without restraint.

Each of these concepts directly relates to how hard (broken and bitter) or soft (having a sincere desire to be better) your hearts are. Hard hearts resist intimacy and put up walls. This is often the result of unchecked pride.

Keep your heart on fire for God, and embrace the gift of having a pure intimacy with your spouse and delight in the truth - that comes with being a Child of the Living God. The truth is knowing you were called to push back and destroy any walls of darkness that block "God's goodness" from your life. This is only possible if your sense of identity is rooted in Christ and his unconditional love. Without him, you will find your identity wrapped up in your "rightness" or any other of a thousand things. Keep your identity in Christ -- remind yourself of the gospel -- that you are a sinner saved by unmerited grace, adopted into the family of God through Christ.

Continue to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, keep His loving hands in mind, Allow Him to soften your heart, and love and honor each other with your total being.

Written By: Rashawn Copeland, Founder of Without Walls Ministries | Oklahoma City, OK

Connect with Rashawn on Twitter (@Hypesir7) or Instagram at @Hypesir

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