Inside Out: Making Marriage Beautiful

01.04.17 | Martha Manikas-Foster

If you’re married, you may be starting this new year with a pledge to improve your marriage. Often when we think of making our marriages better, we focus on changing our behavior. Maybe for you it’s a commitment to listen well, or to spend more time with your spouse on the weekends. 

“I can decide, ‘This week I’m going to make sure to say thank you to Christopher every day something that he does.’ Or, ‘This year, I’m going to stop being so sarcastic,’” says Dorothy Littell Greco. “Those are measureable steps.  And those kind of goals will absolutely increase marital happiness. But they won’t go as far as committing to follow Jesus every day of my life.”

The best way to improve a marriage is to grow in holiness, says Greco, the author of the new book “Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You.”

Marriage is hard work, as no doubt you were told before your wedding day. But what you might not have been told is that when the hard parts of marriage send us to Jesus, He uses those times to make us more like Him.    

When I think about, personally, how incredibly stubborn, how opinionated, how selfish I am, the only thing that gives me traction to becoming a better lover is when I choose to become more like Jesus,” says Greco.

Still, even when we’re committed to work on our marriages and want to be like Jesus, we learn it’s not enough.  

This transformation, or growth, however you want to refer to it, is sort of like a synchronized dance, where we allow Christ to lead us—we follow, we cooperate with him—but there’s also a powerlessness about it. We can only do so much,” Greco says.

It’s God who does what we cannot.

I know for me, without the power of the cross, without Jesus’ advocacy and love, I don’t think I’d have the motivation—or the resources---to change in the way that marriage asks me to change,” Greco says.

Pursuing Christ—and what happens in us as a result--will make a marriage beautiful. 

“I think that when we actively, intentionally choose to become more like Jesus, we’ll grow into men and women who fearlessly, passionately, and sacrificially love.”

Hear what Dorothy Littell Greco has to say by joining us for our 18-minute conversation. Just click on the LISTEN or DOWNLOAD icon above.

Learn about Dorothy Greco’s book Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You.

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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.

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