National Association of Marriage Enhancement

Marriage: Taking One Step at a Time


I think the reason that most people are largely disappointed in their marriages is because of the long list of things that they want changed in their marriage. No earthly marriage ever will be perfect. Yet we often set up these unattainable lists with hundreds of expectations that we demand be met. If he cares about this marriage he will… start taking out the trash, stop falling asleep on me when I’m talking to him at night, make dinner a few times a week, work out at the gym, go dancing with me, ask me throughout the day how my day is going, notice the new make up I have been using, etc, etc, etc. The people in these disappointed and demanding marriages want an over night change for their spouse to exactly meet all their tick marks on their list.

List making can be a dangerous and deadly marital habit. It starts out with one “I wish,” and it turns into a thousand more. Then, the cycle of dissatisfaction starts and nothing, even one wish fulfilled, ever seems to be enough. We have a lot of disappointed marriages in our society because we have an entitled society that demands immediacy. Husbands and wives believe they are entitled to the best spouse NOW. If only she acted like the woman I want her to be… If only God changed her immediately, so then I wouldn’t have to suffer through all her nagging and complaining… When we study our thoughts, we find that they are often indicative of the personal issues we have – selfishness, discontentment, impatience. Our negative thoughts toward marriage and our spouse constantly reveal the hidden, mistaken ideologies about marriage that should never have latched onto us in the first place.

The True Reality: Marriage is a step-by-step process of change. You will never having your wedding day back, and ultimately, that will be a GOOD thing. If you commit to taking marriage one step at a time, God will slowly strip away the impatience, selfishness and discontentment that are plaguing your marriage. God will rid you of your entitled immediacy and show you the beautiful process that is your spouse. Yes, you both are in your own personal process of change whilst being inside the covenant of marriage. God is working on you, sanctifying you, and rooting you in Him. And at the same time, as you allow these processes to take place, God is maturing your marriage… one step at a time. There is no overnight shipping option, no fast pass to the front of the line. Marital change requires patience and effort. Slow down, one step at a time, and appreciate the process that is occurring in your marriage.