On one of the forums I attend, there was a request for prayer from a US military man which reads:
"I serve in the military which makes for constant stress. My marriage, however, has suffered lately mostly due to my neglect. I believe I have put my finger on the problem--a lack of tenderness. No violence to repent of nor verbal abuse, just a lack of respect for my partner's need to be uplifted and honored more.
Please pray that I will overcome this lack before it destroys our household. Thank you. Happy New Year to you and yours."
I answered with:
"My prayers are with you both and with your household.
For divine results, the kingdom between spouses gets secured and re-enforced by finding and by cultivating the free flow of thanksgiving to God for His gift of the other, being both guided deeper and deeper in the communion that feeds and shapes each one's praise and worship together, by His presence in our midst.
Anything that keeps me from being genuinely thankful for her, has a direct effect on her, no matter how far nor how long we get separated by stress and/or by any other form of adversity.
There is a lyric from a Neil Young love song to his wife that comes to mind which goes:
"No one kills me like you do..."
A divine marriage is one that grows into a habitation of God in Spirit, and which comes about by each spouse dying through the denying of self and of picking up the cross, so that we may live from the power of resurrection by following our risen
Lord. Holiness of each alone and of both together is God's primary aim in all marriages.
In God's hand, no one forces the awareness of the need to die to self at the cross like a spouse does.
This is so that as we deny the mortal self and pick up the cross, eternal life gets to be imparted by the Holy Spirit, as He nurtures each to radiate His divine nature of being of having and of doing along with Him, in Him and for Him, by which His kingdom gets to grow on earth as in heaven.
We must always remember marriage's limitation, which is that in heaven, there is no marriage.
It is writen that Jesus said:
"The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying: “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.”
Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. Mt 22, 23-30"
The only spiritual value of marriage, is for the sake of each one's personal sanctification by and into God's Holiness.
Loosing focus of that, pushes the marriage into the grip of mortality's dominion and into idolatry of each other, which may feel soothing to our mortality but profiteth of nothing to God's assembling of us nor to our eternal life's vitality."
...may all blessings be with us all...