We’ve all had those moments when we don’t quite “like” our husband, haven’t we? They do something and we still love them, but whether or not we like them is out for debate. But sometimes…sometimes, we get locked into the crazy cycle and we forget. We forget what those early-dating days were like. We forget why we married him in the first place! So, today I thought I would share how to rekindle love for your spouse when you’ve lost it.
A while back I wrote a post titled, Why I’m Not in Love with My Husband. And over a year later it is still resonating with you all. To sum it up, love should be unconditional in marriage and this idea is based on the word agape. Read my post to hear all about it, but back to what we’re discussing: unconditional love.
The mundane tasks of life, work, children, and a busy schedule all weasel their way in between you and your husband. You start to bicker over little things and then you don’t talk as much. You’re growing further and further apart. You don’t go on dates, and ultimately, you’re roommates. There seems to be no time left for the two of you as a couple anymore. Okay, so maybe not to this extreme, but you’re probably at a point where something has to change.
My husband and I have come to this point a few times in our few years of marriage. Times when we told each other, something has to change because life can’t go on like this. It seemed like sacrifice of some kind was always involved, but we forced our circumstances to change and built a bridge back to one another. It isn’t an overnight fix. And thanks to being parents, sometimes we can’t take care of the issue right away. We have to be patient and wait until naptime or bedtime. But we do prioritize it.
Feeling love for your spouse in the midst of arguments, disagreements, or whatever you want to call it, is challenging. It takes bravery to be able to still love someone despite all your frustration at them, despite the hurt they have inflicted. Not to be Debbie Downer, but you can’t agape love him on your own. To be able to give God’s kind of love, you must first be able to receive it from its source: God.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” – 1 John 4:7, ESV
As with most things, to work through the things in your life, you must go to God first. So, in order to rekindle love in your marriage, start by restoring your relationship with God, begin praying the word over your marriage and husband, and let go of things outside of your control. You can’t control anyone else but yourself. So start by guarding your tongue! Filter the words that come out toward your man. Is it edifying? Encouraging? Loving? If the answer is no, you may want to reconsider your tone and word choice. The Bible says, out of the abundance of heart, man speaks. (Luke 6:45) If we are trying to break this crazy-mad cycle, it can start with you guarding your mouth.
In addition to spending time in God’s word and in prayer, try to recall what attracted you to your man in the first place. Was it his smile? Dashing good looks? His confidence? His walk with God? Or maybe it was his laugh? Remember this, and think about the way you used to feel when he walked into a room. I start to blush when I think about that. I would get all jittery and was desperately trying to hide my feelings. What about you?
This next tip is going to be a little harder, but it’s worth it! The next time your husband does something that aggravates or annoys you, keep it to yourself. Take a deep breath, and let it go. Choose forgiveness on the spot and refuse to dwell on it. This takes practice but just remember, it is doubtful that he did it on purpose. Even if you’ve told him a hundred times not to do that one thing! Men think differently than women. When I have confronted (lovingly) my husband about something he did, he explains to me that he didn’t even think about it that way, and apologizes immediately. Choose to believe that your husband has the best of intentions.
Another tip, when you’re in the same room together but not actively interacting, stop what you’re doing and watch him. Find something in him in that moment to love. Recently when my husband offered to do the dishes, I could only watch him in awe, knowing that he hates this task as much as I do. Still, he was choosing to serve me instead of himself. This actually brings me to my next and final tip.
Somehow in the next few days (or today!) find a way to serve him when he least expects it. Maybe it’s throwing some cookies in the oven and bringing some to him while he plays video games. Or maybe it’s making his lunch for work the night before. Think about your situation and work schedules and come up with something. Trust me, he’ll be taken back by your kind gesture!
There are so many ways to rekindle the love in your marriage! A kind gesture, trying something new together (also known as creative dates), or doing something usual in a different place! Like, eating supper on the living room floor, going for a walk instead of cuddling on the couch. You get the idea, of course. Above all though, remember that you can’t love him the way he deserves until you put God first. Because when you do put God first, everything else will fall into place.