After a long, hectic day at work, David sighed as he sat in his parked car. He reclined his seat to lay back with his hands on his head. David sat there for a minute, thinking about when he and his wife first married. He reminisced about the days when his wife would run to meet him at the door with a hug and a smile. Little did he know, his wife, Stacy, had the same thoughts as she folded laundry. Stacy thought about when she and David would lay on the sofa, watch a movie, or have deep conversations. Unfortunately, David and Stacy had stopped pursuing one another, and their marriage started to lose its spark.

God created marriage as an illustration of the relationship between the church and Jesus. He instructs wives to subject themselves to their husbands like the church subjects itself to Christ. In the same way, he commands husbands to sacrificially love their wives just like Jesus loved the church and gave Himself for her, as described in Ephesians 5:22-26. These assignments ask that spouses be very intentional and constantly evaluate their habits. Here are four reasons why you should continuously pursue your spouse.

Lost love displeases God.

God’s kingdom focuses on growth and increase. He looks down on lack of progress and unfruitfulness. When God starts something, He assumes it will bear fruit over time. In Luke 13:6-9, Jesus curses the fig tree when He learns there’s no fruit on it. He also gave a story of a barren fig tree whose owner was annoyed when the tree bore no fruit for three years. However, the vineyard keeper had the idea of not cutting the fig tree but instead trying to fertilize it. If the tree didn’t have any fruit after that, it would go. God is the creator of marriages, so He expects to see improvement and growth over time. A humdrum marriage breaks His heart because it doesn’t reflect Jesus’ sacrificial love for the church.

Marriages lose their luster mainly because spouses stop pursuing each other. People get married and immediately rest on their achievements. They presume the union will work itself out, and their shared love should be enough to sustain their marriage forever. However, you set your marriage up for failure when you stop pursuing your spouse. Like the Ephesus church described in Revelation, they stopped doing the “first works,” and the marriage unintentionally slips into a lukewarm state. The enemy slips in and plants seeds of doubt. Don’t let your love subside. Keep meeting your spouse’s needs and pursuing them.

Pride is pricey in marriage.

Let’s be truthful: pride is another thing that keeps you from pursuing your spouse. You know your marriage is on shaky grounds, but you’d rather sit with the dissatisfaction, waiting for your spouse to make the first move. In the end, the union keeps worsening beyond fixing. God wants us to put our spouses before ourselves. When you do, you’re willing to reach out to them, meet their needs, and prioritize them. Embracing humility takes the focus off of you and onto your spouse.

Jesus gave the perfect example of how we should put others before ourselves. Even though He was God, He humbled himself and became obedient. He didn’t think about equality with God as something to attain. Assess your life with a fine tooth comb and find out what’s keeping you from pursuing your spouse. Is it resentment, warped attitudes, or pride? If you’re feeling any of these emotions, let them go. Ask God to help you with humility so you can put your spouse above yourself.

You reap what you sow.

2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “But this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” Reaping and sowing is a profound principle in God’s kingdom. No amount of fasting and prayer will allow you to harvest wheat when you plant corn. This concept is also true in marriage. What you put into your marriage is what you’ll get out of it. If you’re empathetic, kind, eager to meet your spouse’s needs, and quick to forgive, your spouse will do the same willingly.

However, if you’re a lousy communicator, disinterested, disrespectful, and never make time for them, they’ll have issues doing nice things for you. Moreover, you may not reap a complete bountiful harvest if you drizzle good actions into your marriage. So would you rather sew bountifully or sparingly? 2 Corinthians 9:8 says that God can make His grace abound to you so you can have an abundance for every good work. As you sow good deeds in your marriage, any barriers and walls built by your spouse will come tumbling down.

Your children are watching.

Unfortunately, children lose the most when a marriage falls apart. They’re sensitive and pick up on non-verbal and verbal cues of unity or lack thereof between their parents. Research indicates that children who grow up feeling unity and love between their parents exude a strong sense of security and are happier. At the same time, children who see divorce or hostility feel the turmoil the most. They could become anxious, irritable, or depressed. It may also negatively affect their performance in school.

It would help if you always remembered that you’re the first example of marriage that your children see. If you project lackluster uninteresting unions, your children will do the same in their marriages in the future. They might not concentrate on pursuing their spouse if they never saw their parents do it. They might not feel like they have to go the extra mile for their spouses because they didn’t see that from their parents.

In the busy moments of everyday life, you may feel like prioritizing and pursuing your spouse isn’t necessary. However, for the sake of your marriage, you and your spouse must never stop dating each other. Take some time to remember why you fell in love in the first place. After that, take the time to fall in love with each other all over again.

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