Spring is here and for many of us that means spring cleaning. That annual ritual of scrubbing our homes from top to bottom after being closed up all winter. The goal is a house that is fresh and clean. For many of us, our marriages may need a little spring cleaning too, because they get cluttered with hurt feelings and unresolved issues that can make them unbearable. Here are four activities that will help us spring clean our marriages…
Clear out the clutter. Odds are we’ve hurt our spouses. We need to take responsibility for our words and actions, even if our intentions were not hurtful and apologize. Sweeping stuff under the rug piles clutter up that will ultimately produce a trip hazard. So swallow your pride and say, “I’m sorry. Will you please forgive me?” And when our spouses come seeking forgiveness, we’re commanded in Matthew 18 to pardon them. Forgiveness takes out the trash that clutters relationships. Unforgiveness keeps that trash in a pile that causes a stink. And who likes living in a smelling pile of trash?
Fixing and Finishing. We usually discover some uncompleted projects that need to be fixed or finished. Unresolved issues about money, kids, and work all need to be nailed down through open and honest conversations.
We need to do some dusting. We get so comfortable that we neglect to show our spouses how much we really love them and begin to mutually coexist. It’s time to dust off the romance so we can see the luster of those loving date nights, notes, flowers, favorite meals, massages, kind words, holding hands. Hey, once you get started, it’s going to come back to you.
Scrubbing the spots will probably uncover some selfish spots that need to be removed. Marriages thrive on both spouses being selfless. Putting ourselves second is not easy. It requires some scrubbing by the Holy Spirit to help us surrender to God and our spouses.
Spring cleaning in our homes requires hard work, intentional behavior, and an action plan. So does spring cleaning our marriages…but the results of a clean, fresh home and a loving, fulfilling marriage are both worth the effort. Does your marriage need some spring cleaning? Where are you going to start?