What practical steps will help me be a better spouse?

What practical steps will help me be a better spouse?

Grow spiritually. If the objective is to be a God-honoring spouse in a marriage that can then be God-honoring, a first requirement is spiritual living. This does not mean perfection, but submission to the Lord through obedience to His Word and communion with Him - daily reading and prayer. The Bible is not a manual on how to have a good marriage; it is food that enables spiritual living.

Forgive graciously. Forgiveness is a basic Christian grace (Ephesians 4:32). You may be very aware of your spouse's wrongs; however, the balance in your marriage between acts which you could forgive and acts for which you need to be forgiven is likely closer than you realize. Besides, the Lord has forgiven you far more sins than the wrongs done to you. Even when your spouse doesn't recognize wrongs done, a forgiving spirit doesn't require a penalty for those wrongs.

Confront effectively. Effective confrontation is a difficult but necessary art. Confrontation that creates alienation is not effective, but avoiding confrontation is self-serving and unkind.

Effective confrontation recognizes a behavior that is detrimental to the spiritual, emotional, or physical well-being of the spouse. For the glory of the Lord and the good of the spouse, effective confrontation finds an appropriate time to state some positive means for dealing with that behavior. Tenderness and meekness (Galatians 6:1) are requisite.

D. Oliver