When I think of a Great Commission marriage I think of a married couple spending their time sharing the gospel with others; a couple serving along side each other on a work project to help serve the needs of someone else, or leading a small group at their home for the spiritual growth of those at their church. Even though those are perfect examples of a marriage truly invested in eternal things God has been working in my heart to show me that investing in eternal things through marriage isn’t just when a couple is intentionally investing in others. For instance, when I am doing the laundry at home, does that have eternal value? Is doing one of my husband’s hobbies with him investing in the Great Commission?
When my husband and I were first married we had that normal adjustment period where we both had different habits or ways of doing things, laundry was one of them. My husband has a certain way he likes having his laundry folded, he isn’t demanding about it, but to him this specific way he folds his laundry is the most efficient way to have wrinkle free clothes. I knew this preference of his mattered to him so I began folding the clothes like he does. As I started doing this little thing for my husband he shared with me that it made him feel appreciated and loved and really showed him how much I valued the things that mattered to him. This one simple act was building up our marriage.
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10. Living this verse out in your marriage has eternal value even if it looks like honoring your spouse’s preferences to laundry, or doing a hobby that they enjoy but you don’t.
An outward focused marriage (one that invests in sharing the gospel and discipling others) is strengthened when there is unity in your marriage inwardly (when it is just the two of you). Here are a few other ways to build up your marriage inwardly:
1. Go on a marriage retreat! Marriage retreats help you take some time away to sit down and work through struggles, or difficulties you may already be working through, it also helps refresh your time together and learn of new ways to invest in your time together once you return home.
2. Set up a date time! Setting up time in advance to spend time together on a weekly basis is important. Set apart this time to just hang out and do something fun. Try not to talk about other commitments or talk about things that still need to be done but be intentional in learning more about each other and learning to just laugh. (Yes God does want you to have fun in your marriage!)
3. Pray for your spouse! For me it helps to write out prayers on a prayer card so I can pull it out whenever I need it and be reminded of ways I can pray for my husband and our marriage. Try to be consistent and pray for your spouse daily.
4. Initiate doing something special for your spouse! We all have different love languages and learning your spouses can help you learn how best to show your spouse love and affection. My husband feels most loved when I do something out of the blue to serve him, like making his favorite meal as a surprise for dinner. Get creative and be intentional to do something to show your spouse you love and appreciate them!
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
Hope McCleary graduated from Mesa State College with a degree in Mass Communications. After graduating she spent two years working in local news at KKCO 11 News in Grand Junction, Co. She decided to give up her career in the media to share the message of Christ full-time. She joined full-time staff with Master Plan Ministries the summer of 2012 and got married to Forrest McCleary in September of 2012. Through her own personal ups and downs in college Hope has a heart for college women understand their worth as God’s daughters, to see them grow in their faith, to grow in the unique gifts God has given them, and to stand firm in their faith even with the pressures of the world all around them. Hope’s interests include world and local missions, photography, singing, playing guitar and writing music, reading, meeting new people, coffee, and hiking.
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