A lot of people say that they want their marriages to be better. But, I can tell that they don’t want it bad enough. I can tell that their heart isn’t in it.
When your heart is in something, it is a central part of who you are. When your heart is in something, your feelings, your emotions, your time, and your money are all invested it.
When you have a heart for your marriage, you are going to be willing to invest all of who you are, from your time, to your money, to your emotions, towards making your marriage work.
If your heart is in your marriage, you will be able to answer yes to all of the five questions below.
Are you willing to invest money into your marriage?
This past Sunday, the marriage ministry in our church announced that they are about to start a marriage seminar and the cost is $150 per couple. I could see some people squirming in their seats, because they don’t want to attend marriage events unless they are free or low cost. But what’s $150….one month of cable, 2 skipped dining out experiences, one or two less pairs of shoes this year? How much money are you willing to invest into making sure you have the tools that you need to make your marriage succeed?
If you are seriously strapped for cash, and just don’t have any extra money, then this does not apply to you. My point here is that people spend money on what they want to spend money on…and they “find” the cash to do a lot of things that they want to do. But when it comes to their marriage, they are not willing shell out the cash for the most critical investment of all.
Are you respectful to your spouse?
If you are harboring ill feelings and thoughts for your spouse, it’s going to be reflected in what you say. You can tell what’s in a person’s heart by what comes out of their mouth. I can tell if a person’s heart is in their marriage by just listening to them. Are they speaking ill of their spouse and/or marriage. Or better yet, are they speaking about their spouse at all.
Are you giving your spouse prime time?
Again, you can tell what’s in a person’s heart by how they’re spending their time. Your spouse deserves prime time/top billing and nothing less. Outside of your work and fulfilling your responsibilities, are you making your spouse and family a priority in your life?
Are you willing to sacrifice for your marriage?
One of the keys to a good marriage is being able to put your spouse’s needs before your own. You are not going to be able to get your way all of the time in your marriage. There are going to be times that you will have to sacrifice for the good of the marriage. And mostly, it's going to be making the very small sacrifices on a daily basis like: what you want to watch on TV or what you want to eat for dinner that night…because you want to make your spouse happy.
But there are other times where you might have to make major sacrifices for the sake of your marriage. And that’s when you really find out if your heart is in it. Would you be willing to give up a job and move to another state for your spouse? What about giving up a friend or a family member that is not a good influence on your marriage?
Are you willing to go the extra mile for your marriage?
Sometimes, you are going to have to “go all out” for your marriage. If your marriage is in trouble, are you going to be willing to do whatever it takes to fix it? This means, if you try one thing and it does not work, then try something else. It means, if you have to humble yourself to rebuild trust, then you do it. It means if you have to put in extra work to support your family, then you do it.
When you characterize a person as having “heart,” it’s because that person is going all out. You would never say: “Wow…that person has heart,” about someone that is not putting their all into something. Do you have heart for your marriage?
Don’t be half-hearted.
As stated in the beginning, you have to be able to say yes to all of these questions. If your heart is truly in your marriage, then you will be willing to give your money and your time for your marriage. You will be respectful to your spouse and you will go the extra mile. Anything less is half-hearted.
Change of Heart
Chances are, if your heart has not been in your marriage, then your marriage reflects it. However, it’s never too late to turn things around. And this change is going to come from the inside. Instead of focusing on what your spouse is or is not doing, you should work on having a change of heart. Work on making improvements in the areas that we have discussed here, and I guarantee your spouse will recognize your new heart.