Does your marriage have built-in support systems that will help it flourish?
Every couple needs support!
Marriages who have taken steps to identify intentional support systems have a greater chance of marriage success!
Here are five support systems that may help keep your marriage strong:
1. Marriage mentors: Couples who are deeper into marriage and in different life-stages can offer unique perspective, wisdom, advice, and hope. To tap into their “been there—done that” experience adds a huge benefit. If granted permission, they can also speak to the “blind-spots” they perceive and guide you to safer places in your marriage.
2. Marriage “peers”: We’ve discovered that some of our greatest spiritual-growth times have happened when we’ve been with other couples who challenge us through their thinking, heart, and lifestyle. We’ve learned that we’re ultimately better together with others who share our faith in Jesus. You don’t want to live out your marriage or your faith on an island. So, don’t overlook the power found within other couples who share a similar life stage as you. They can provide neutral perspective from a peer point of view. Great conversations can be started with something as simple as, “Are you guys experiencing this [fill-in-the-blank] in your marriage?
3. Mentor younger couples: By building relationships with newlyweds or younger couples you will be forced to think through some life-issues and unique perspectives that will cause you to reflect on and deepen your own marriage.
4. Learn together: Continuing education is a requirement for many of our jobs; it should be no different for our marriages. Growth requires learning and thankfully there are many ways that couples can continue mature in your faith and as a couple. Your marriage doesn’t have to be in trouble to go to a marriage conference, workshop, conference, or to read a Christ-centered marriage book together. Cathy and I (Doug) recently revisited The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, and even though we read it years ago, we loved the new discussion it generated.
5. Counseling check-up: Counseling doesn’t equate to “being in trouble.” Every couple can gain tremendous benefit from professional marriage counseling. Many couples find that having a marital check-up with a marriage counselor once a year is a helpful way to keep their marriages healthy and on track.
Like all helpful actions, these need to be pursued and initiated. We encourage you to be proactive in building the support system your marriage needs!