Using the acrostic H-O-P-E-F-U-L, we are addressing seven practices that encourage a persevering marriage.
The second letter of the acrostic “O” stands for
Qualities of a persevering marriage include openness, transparency, truthfulness and vulnerability.
What does it mean to be open with each other?
4 ways to Live Transparently
Keep no secrets.
- Be open about spending habits. If asked how much you spent shopping today, do you tell your spouse the truth, or do you hide the fact that you indulged in a purchase that wasn’t in the budget? Do you hide the evidence so it isn’t known?
We recommend joint checking accounts instead of separate accounts. Not only does it reveal transparency about where the money goes, it also offers accountability to each other.
- Be open with cell phone, computer, mobile device or anything requiring passwords.
Your spouse should know your passwords and be given the liberty to check your phone, Facebook or email accounts whenever they want.
The importance of respecting each other’s privacy is understandable. But if you are uncomfortable with this, what are you hiding?
Unfortunately, more affairs have started when old friends reconnect on Facebook or some other social media.
Dave Carder authored the book, Close Calls . He says the concept underlying his “close calls” message is that an attraction to another individual will happen. That means it’s essential that we be alert to risk factors and be intentional about strengthening our marriages.
Once you come across old friends, their ongoing and intensifying connections can become mood-altering experiences that brighten your day. You will start looking forward to those interactions …
Read more here.
Having openness, truthfulness and vulnerability is the only way to create security in your marriage.
Barry and Lori Byrne stress that hiding important negative information about yourself (past or present) creates a breeding ground for the enemy to bring shame, guilt, confusion and separation in a marriage.
You may think If my spouse finds out about my “secret,” then they would know how bad I am.
Whatever your struggle– pornography, addiction, over eating, reckless spending, WORRY–share it with your spouse.
As far as relationships are concerned, there is nothing as freeing as having nothing hidden and nothing concealed. ~ The Byrnes
This uncovers the secret, loosening the hold shame has on you. Seek an accountability partner or marriage counselor to aid in walking out your freedom.
Randy Alcorn in Cultivating Your Marriage and Guarding Against Impurity:
Lust thrives on secrecy. There is nothing that defuses lust as effectively as exposure. Honest communication between husband and wife makes them allies, not adversaries. When discussing sexual temptation, there is both initial pain, and some immediate relief. ..spouses can better understand their mates, pray more effectively, and be more sensitive to each other’s needs—all of which will draw the couple together.
Stop all contact with former love relationships.
You married your spouse and promised before God to honor that marriage covenant. We’re just friends. It’s nothing serious. Then why the need to keep contact with someone you were once romantically involved with?
The enemy of your soul will set up every opportunity for you to break your marriage vows. He wants nothing more than for you to invite a marriage-breaking spirit into your one-flesh relationship.
Get rid of romantic gifts and notes from former lovers.
These items linked to someone other than your spouse. If they hold any sentimental value to you, it may indicate your soul is connected to it. This is an unhealthy soul tie.
Open your mouth. Your spouse is not a mind-reader.
This has been a major conflict starter in my marriage to Dennis. Just because one of us thinks it, doesn’t mean it will get beamed over to the other’s brain.
Yes, he should know what I want, like and need.
Yes, I should know that he likes a particular goodie from the bakery. He thinks I should get it whenever I am there. And when I don’t think about it, he says “It would have spoken love to me if…” How many times have I heard him say this?
These four ways of being open with your spouse are crucial for cultivating a long, lasting marriage.
Which one will you practice this week?
You are loved,