Covid-19 has completely flipped the script as it has broken many of our normal routines. From disruption at some work places by going to work daily to now working from home, schools transitioning from in-person to online, to mandates that require as little interactions with others as possible. These changes have changed the rhythm of every household causing us to adjust to the new requirements while combating anxiety and stress. Even though you love your spouse and family members it is easy for tension to rise and frustrations to flare as being stuck in one place together can aggravate any irritants you have towards your family. Therefore marriages are being tested, as the weight of all the changes weighs heavy.
Even though we are walking through some unprecedented times it is important to persevere, continue to grow and move forward rather than remaining stagnant. It’s a great time to rekindle your love for the Lord and for your spouse. This pandemic doesn’t have to break your marriage rather it can strengthen and deepen it like never before as you choose to pursue God and your spouse. It will take intentionality but it will be worth it. Here are some ways to honor God as you deepen your relationship with your spouse during this pandemic.
Lean on God first
What a mighty God we serve! Despite the chaos of the world and all the uncertainties that lurk over us, one thing that is true and constant is the sovereignty of our God. It is easy to allow the weight of the world burden you and bring negativity, but when we run to Jesus and focus on His goodness and allow His peace, that surpasses all understanding, flow through us we can find the positive. Despite the circumstances look for ways to praise God, together with your spouse, for His character and His promises that you can stand firm on. Delighting in the Lord and offering praise to Him is one of the best ways to combat anxiety, fear, and worry. It reminds us whom we serve and how big our God is and that He is in control.
Then pray, pray together with your spouse and seek the heart of God. The best way to settle any frustrations in your heart is to spend time in God’s presence. Pray over your home, your family, the church, our leaders, and our economy. Pray for personal growth, protection over your marriage, discernment in how to utilize resources, healing and comfort for those suffering and opportunities to shine Jesus light in this dark world. As you choose God above all else and choose to lean on His strength rather than your own understanding you will not only see personal growth but growth within your marriage.
Have good communication
No matter what’s going on in the world communication in any relationship is vital, however in the midst of crisis, even more so. Be intentional with how you communicate by being willing to be open and vulnerable but to also be eager to listen. Show one another support and care by asking good questions and checking up on each other daily. Be understanding of what your spouse needs, which may include space, or even a better balance with household tasks. Be mindful and don’t take each other for granted. Remain in tuned with what your spouse needs but also make time to connect and communicate your love towards each other through affection. Since life has slowed down a bit make a habit of sharing longer hugs and kisses. Communicate your love through words of encouragement and affirmation. In a world that is full of negativity be each other’s greatest cheerleader. Choose to bring the best out of each other, and don’t just survive but thrive together.
As you run to Jesus during these times you will find a joy that transcends your circumstances and rejuvenates your soul. Thankfully we have an anchor for our soul (Heb. 6:19) that grounds us and holds us near to God. However with so many unknowns it can be difficult to find ways to laugh and enjoy life. So we must heed the truth of Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Find joy by looking for ways to surprise your spouse, whether it’s taking them on an adventure or making their favorite dessert. Discuss the future and begin to dream again of what it could look like and what steps you may need to take to get there. Find ways to have fun together even in the mundane tasks of the day like making a meal, it’s always more enjoyable creating something together. Play games and have some good healthy competition between the two of you or the family. Learn to laugh, be willing to be silly and make light of a heavy moment. Cherish a slower pace and make the best of it by reading God’s word together as a couple and having deep, enlightening conversations. There are so many ways to find joy but it takes being intentional.
Have grace and forgive quickly
You and your spouse are human, therefore no matter how intentional and how great things might be going there will come a time when your husband or wife will annoy and frustrate you. It is inevitable that at some point you will say or do something that hurts your spouse, but the resolution comes when you are willing to respond with grace and humility. Don’t allow frustrations and disagreements to fester, instead give yourself and your spouse some grace. Be quick to apologize if you do something that offends your spouse but also be quick to forgive if your spouse offends you. Heed to Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
Develop a healthy routine
Upheaval has occurred and many of us are facing changes in our daily routines, which can raise questions to unmet and uncommunicated expectations. A routine provides a sense of stability and reliability, which is important when walking through a pandemic. So take time to work together at identifying goals and tasks that need to be met. Create a schedule that works best for you and your family that includes time to connect with God and with each other, and a time to maintain a healthy lifestyle like exercise, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep. Involve some creativity in your schedule, whether it’s a creative date night, a new recipe, or an intriguing project. Regardless create a schedule and new routine that revitalizes and rejuvenates you and your spouse.
We will reap the blessings of joy and peace when we keep our eyes fixed on the Lord and not our circumstances. Even though the pandemic feels never ending we can stand firm on the hope and strength that comes from Jesus. As you rest in His presence you will begin to see your life and your marriage flourish.