If you or your spouse tell each other you love them but there are no loving actions behind the words, your marriage may be headed off the cliff. Let's say you are driving down the road and your friend knows the bridge is out. You probably want them to tell you before you drive off the bridge (cliff). I am not trying to say your marriage is headed over the cliff, but if you are not following up your loving words with loving actions, your marriage at least may on the wrong road. If you are the person driving this car, do not get angry with the one trying to save your life (marriage).
James 2: 14-17 & 26 tells us, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Vs 26 "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible says, "If it hath not works, is dead - The faith that does not produce works of charity (love) and mercy is without the living principle which animates all true faith, that is, love to God and love to man." James is telling us that we must put action behind our words. Our spouse must see action and substance behind our words. Blessing, not salvation, is what is promised to the doer of God's work in James 1:25.
It just seems logical that if you are not working on making your marriage better that it could die on the vine. Or your marriage will just end up like millions of others - the married couples are just roommates. If you or your spouse are just going through the motions in your marriage, literally and figuratively, it is no wonder your marriage is not growing. Marriage is work. I know you have heard that before but it is true. The work can be horrid or it can be an fun adventure depending on how you see it. Choose to make it an adventure. It is up to you to believe for and have faith in growing your marriage. Pray that God will make the work easy for you and your spouse. Jesus said we have not because we ask not.
Having your dream marriage can be as simple as opening up and trusting your spouse with the inner most parts of your soul. Yes, real and open communication. As men, we are usually horrible at this. We were told from childhood to "suck it up" "you aren't bleeding" "men don't cry" etc. It's no wonder most men only speak in one word sentences. If you believe you can't open up completely, pray that God will open your heart to trust. Your trust may have been broken in the past but with God's help it will be restored like never before. First you must have the faith that it will be restored. Having the faith is key. Pray for God to increase your faith also. He will do that.
We must follow through with what we tell our spouse. Honest and open communication is a must for your marriage to thrive. Think of it this way. If your boss said you were getting a pay raise but it did not happen, how would you feel? Would you feel like you were slighted or lied to? I am sure you would ask why the raise did not happen. Your boss then says the raise will be there tomorrow. You feel enthusiastic inside because you know the raise is coming tomorrow. But if it doesn’t, then your trust in every getting a pay raise can be diminished.
Making your marriage better can include reading Christian books or listening to Christian audio books together. I am emphasizing Christian here. Seek Godly council. There are several Christian authors whose books will help you have the marriage God intended. Read the Song of Solomon together. God included a book in the Bible about our marriage relationship. Yes, the Bible talks about married sex also. Well, God did invent sex and He intended it to be awesome when it is between a husband and wife. A little slice of Heaven on earth. However, if we have sex outside of God's context, marriage, the result will always be CHAOS!!!
Seeing a Christian counselor together is a sign of strength not weakness. Not all pastors, priests, Rabbis are marriage counselors. Make sure you find someone who is a Christian counselor. Many churches have them available to their parishioners at no charge. However, you cannot just go to them and agree with what they are saying, you must put some work behind the words.
I believe one of the best ways to work on your marriage is to try to out serve your spouse. Jesus said He came to serve, not be served. As husbands we are commanded to love our wife as Christ loves the church and wives are commanded to respect their husband (Ephesians 5:33). Our wife seeks intimacy on many levels: emotional, spiritual, financial, sexual, etc. Most husbands need respect more than sex. Many men say they would live in a loveless marriage if they were just respected.
Spend the next month trying to out serve your spouse. I know a month may seem like forever. However; it just may be the beginning of the rest of a beautiful and God based marriage. Just think of the example you will be showing your children. We, not the world, must model a Christian marriage to them.
We are praying for your marriage.