How to Grow a Marriage
by: Michael Fuchs
Early in our marriage we strive to find activities, interest, and ministries we both loved doing.
Sherry liked to cross country ski and liked to downhill ski. When we would go downhill skiing, Sherry ended up sitting in the clubhouse while everyone else hit the slopes. Sherry and I would go cross country skiing and have a blast. This went on for a couple years.
We also tried to roller blade together. This was … Different. We would roller blade with a couple we became friends with through one of the marriage classes we attended. He was our Chiropractor. He would roller blade, and his wife would ride her bicycle, with us. He was good and would guide, with long smooth strides. However, Sherry and I would have our arms flailing around, attempting from falling, and crashing into things. I went into his office for an adjustment one day and he said, “WOW, you are toning up, and building some muscle in your back”. I said, “It is probable from me flailing my arms around when we roller blade”.
The next summer I ask Sherry if she liked riding bicycles. She said, “I never rode much”. After talking about it we decided to try bicycling together. We purchased a couple of cheap bicycles and started riding together. This was the activity for us. We feel in love with bicycling together. This was a great way to exercise and spend time together … quality time together. At the end of that summer we got rid of the cheap bicycles and purchased a couple of good bicycles.
When we met Sherry was very active with the youth ministry at our church. I was involved with drama and very active on the sound team. In looking for a common ministry we both joined the ushering team at the church. This would allow us to serve together every 4th Sunday and continue to build common bonds as our marriage relationship grew.
At that time I was offered the opportunity to oversee the ushering teams. In building the ushering ministry, I would encourage couples to join the ushering team. We ended up with the majority of the ushers being married couples, and serving together.
At the same time we would talk about our bicycling experiences together. That summer we also had a group of bicyclers, made up of married couples and individuals that would meet weekly, at the bicycle trail, and ride together. What a great time of fellowship, and fun, while we were able to connect with others.
This became the major turning point to draw us into reaching out to help marriages. We found that the more we would connect with other couples, for constructive reasons, the more our marriage relationship grew. While helping others to better their marriage, we would strengthen our marriage.
This is when we discovered our hearts desire … to help other couples have a God honoring marriage relationship. At this point Sherry and I started facilitating marriage enrichment classes. We used group study material from Family Life. These studies would from 6 to 8 week studies, and our groups would have 4 to 6 couples.
Our marriage relationship grew from the interactions with other couples, with their perspectives, understandings and insights. At this time our church ask us to part of the marriage ministry team. These studies would cover: ‘The Covenant Marriage’, Conflict Resolution’, ‘Communication, ‘The Blended Family’, ‘The military Family’, and more.
Through the years we have done many marriage enrichment classes from many teachers, pastors, and authors. All of the classes and studies helped strengthen our marriage, but some actually made major impact on me, in my growth to become a better spouse, a more God honoring spouse.
I have made it a priority to find teaching, and material to help grow our marriage. I have made it a priority to invest my time and money to help grow our marriage. I have made a priority to love Sherry unconditionally … without limits, and without expectations. I understand that loving Sherry unconditionally … requires: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Understanding that, I can only receive this through the help of God, by drawing from His resources, following His guidance, and living according to His Word.
This is my pledge of faith to Sherry:
To have and to hold … in all aspects of your life: physically with my arms and my hand, emotionally with feelings and companion, spiritually in prayer and supplication. I give you this covenant promise from this day forward … now and forever. I will unconditionally love you for better, cherishing the good times, and for worse … doing everything in my power to make the bad time better. I will unconditionally love you for richer, when our life is full of blessings, and for poorer … when it is difficult to see the blessings, in sickness, regardless of the required effort it takes to care for you, and I will unconditionally love her in health. I vow to love you unconditionally and to cherish you without ceasing. I will unconditionally love you till death do us part … when we will no longer be able to connect physically, and emotionally… until the day we are call home to be with our Lord. This is my covenant vow to Sherry.