Be Still and Lighten Up
By: Amanda Idleman
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” - Psalm 46:10
If you want to grow in your marriage, sometimes you must take a step back in order to move forward in a fresh direction.
What if you committed for one week to keep things light? This is intentionally choosing to be still, to calm the waters of your relationship, to stop poking and pestering one another over the same old failures, to seek the Lord anew for a fresh dose of his grace in your lives together, to pass on the deep talk for a bit in favor of just being together.
Think back: falling in love didn’t require deep investigations of one another. Sure, there may have been some long late-night chats, but falling in love usually happens in a very lighthearted way. It’s having fun together. It’s choosing to be near one another over the chance to be near others. It’s somehow magically only seeing his strengths, glossing over her failures.
To move forward in a better space, we may need to take a step back in time and revisit our beginnings. Vow to go back to that place where you started: keep things light, focus on each other’s best traits, and let fun bring you close again. Remove the pressure to solve all the problems or confront all the failings.
Lean on Jesus While You Keep Things Light
This retreat could also look like leaning into Jesus rather than dumping all our needs onto each other. Instead of exclaiming how lonely you are to your spouse one more time, make the choice to cry out to the Lord asking Him to meet your needs.
It could be seeking the Lord to give you fresh doses of love and patience for your spouse. 1 John 4:19 tells us that we love because He first loved us. On our own, we all run out of the strength we need to love our spouses well. It’s essential we tap back into the ultimate well of love, so we can be given fresh passion for one another.
The Benefits of Being Still
1. Being still helps to calm the anxiety that can tear away joy in our relationship. When we stop and soak in the knowledge that a loving God is holding our marriage and lives together, we find peace. Being still brings rest to our hearts that spills over into the way we interact with one another.
In case you haven’t noticed, anxiety is contagious. One spouse’s worry becomes both spouse’s worry and everyone gets stuck in fear. Peace paves the way for loving interactions. Fear and love can’t inhabit the same space.
2. Stillness makes room for creativity. If we need a new solution to an old problem, creativity is required! Pausing, stepping back, seeking God- the one who restores our souls- makes room for that creative problem solving to arise to the surface.
Reflection and retreat cultivate the soil of our hearts for new life to begin. It allows dormant buds to sprout back to life in the dead corners of our souls. God can shine through what once looked like a fault line of our lives together. When we step back, He can step in and be exalted through His redemption story being told in your life.
If you are in need of a new direction, don’t search for all the ways to solve your current problems. Don’t vent to all your friends about how stumped you are in your married life. Don’t keep harping on the same issue to your spouse. Instead, be still, remember God’s in control of all the threads that make up your life together. Seek Him and find that new path forward.
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for the Daily Bible Devotions App, she has work published with Her View from Home, also for the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her blog or follow her on Instagram.
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