Listen, friends, if you want the honeymoon to never end, you must first understand something:
Personal holiness is the greatest asset of any marriage.
What that means is the more you adopt godly attributes, the more you will please your spouse. There is some truth in the oft-repeated adage among men of “happy wife, happy life.” Of course, that applies for women too. Happy husbands make for happy homes as well. Whether male or female, the more you grow in personal godliness, the more harmonious your relationship with your spouse. As you mature in personal holiness, your ability to love your spouse increases, and the demands of your own flesh decrease.
Take a moment and examine your life: Is your Christian behavior conditional, depending on the actions of others? Do you love only those who love you in return, or do you offer mercy, grace, and honor even to those who don’t seem to deserve it? Are you living out the mandate of Romans 12:10–13, or have you discarded it as irrelevant to your married life?
Never forget, the behavior that initially won over your mate is why your spouse married you in the first place. It’s who they thought you were. I have often said if your behavior now is different from your behavior when courting, you need to change it back (unless it has improved, of course). Your behavior in your home should be as exemplary as your behavior outside of the home. When your spouse fails you in some way, for example, the same patience you show to coworkers and casual acquaintances should most certainly be demonstrated to your mate.
Sadly, that is often not the case. As the honeymoon behavior begins to wane, tender mercies, kindness, and humility are often the first things to fly out the window. But this is not what the Word of God tells us to do. As Romans 12:3 exhorts, “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
Isn’t it interesting that the very one we spent so much time pursuing, the beloved who could do no wrong in our eyes, suddenly transforms into a person who can do nothing right after only a few short months of marriage? I want you to know today that changes in your mate’s behavior are not what you need to keep the honeymoon fire burning. No, if you want that fire to burn bright, then you will have to learn to show the same godly behavior to your spouse that you so easily extend to others. Again, if your courting behavior was more tender, forgiving, and patient than is your married behavior, change it back! Go back to the things you did in the beginning, and cultivate the thoughts and ideas you practiced without effort in the early days.
Excerpt from “Happily… Even After” now available on Amazon.