Updated: Aug 1
By The Marriage Investors, LLC
MARRIAGE IS HARD WORK, but so is anything worth fighting for. “People work hard on their finances … they work hard on their education … they work hard on their career … but they seldom work hard on their marriage,” says Joel Mitchell, co-founder of The Marriage Investors.
Recognizing a need to revive marriages with a dose of excitement and reality, Joel and Naomi Mitchell created The Marriage Investors. Their company is a global coaching service that provides one-on-one counseling, group sessions, and seminars for couples. “We remind people that it’s important to invest in their marriage — as much as they invest in their health, finances, and other things,” says Naomi. “The process isn’t easy, but we try to make it convenient. We offer coaching both in person and via various online platforms. It takes time to rebuild trust. It takes time to restore intimacy. This process takes time, but we guide couples every step of the way,” Joel adds.
According to the Mitchells, Satan (“the devil”) understands the power of marriage more than we do, and that’s why he tries to destroy it. “We have an enemy who is always accusing our spouse. He does this to divide us — to keep us apart. The enemy’s job description is found in the book of John 10:10a, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy…” It has been our observation that he will use our own hands to do it because he is a dirty fighter. However, the b clause of that same text says, “But I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly”. Therefore, we must choose to rise above the enemy’s efforts and fight for our marriages. We can choose to love when we feel angry. We can choose to listen when we want to shout, we can live abundantly through Christ” Naomi encourages.
With more than 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, we asked Joel and Naomi to share their advice on divorce-proofing a marriage. These tips will really help!
TIP #1 — Keep God at the Center
“Marriage isn’t a 50/50 split. Sometimes one spouse will give a little more (or much more),” Joel shares. The key, according to the Mitchells, is remembering that God makes up the difference. It’s common to get frustrated when one’s spouse isn’t pulling their equal weight (with the kids, the cooking, the cleaning, and the earning), but marriage isn’t a scale — it’s a three-cord partnership. God is the third cord. “In our business and ministry, we often quote Ecclesiastes 4:12,” Joel says. “The Scripture states that ‘a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.’ God is the cord that binds a marriage together. When marriage gets tough, people can say vicious things. They call each other names, and they try to punish one another. But we must remember to keep God in our marriage. We do that by continuously praying and leaning on His Word — especially when our marriage gets ugly — and, boy, can it get ugly” Joel continues.
TIP #2 — Axe the Exit Clause
“People now enter marriage with an exit-clause in mind,” says Naomi. “They get pre-nuptial agreements, and they have back-up plans stored in their hearts. We understand that sometimes that may be necessary, seeing how there are various dynamics involved in merging lives, assets, and families. However, we should not enter the marriage covenant with divorce being plan B. Saying things like, “Well, if this does not work, we’ll just get a divorce”. Instead, we should prayerfully enter the marriage relationship with as much assurance as possible about our choice, every intention to make it work, to see it through, and to give our all. Every successful partnership requires a firm commitment. Couples must commit to winning. They must agree that, not only can their marriage succeed, it absolutely will succeed,” Naomi asserts.
TIP #3 — Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
“Women often complain that their husbands don’t communicate, but a man is always communicating,” Joel shares. “He might not be communicating the way you want him to, but he’s communicating. Communication isn’t always verbal. So, it’s important for a wife to study her husband, and it’s important for a husband to study his wife. A kiss is communication. A touch is communication. Even silence is communication. We must always ask ourselves, ‘Am I trying to understand, or am I trying to be understood?’ Good marriages have respect at their center. It’s important to respect the communication style of one’s spouse, look for the no-verbal cues, give space when space is needed, and try to truly understand — instead of insisting on being understood,” Joel recommends.
TIP #4 — Make Love Often
Sex is so vital to the success of a marriage that God dedicated an entire book of the Bible to it. That’s right! Give the Song of Solomon a good read. “When you’re not getting along with your husband, it’s hard to make love,” Naomi admits. Women are emotional beings, and if there is something out of sync with the relationship, women may find it difficult to connect to their spouse, because their mind, will and emotions are not connecting. “But I encourage women to try. Sex has incredible power, especially when it’s used as a healing instrument — rather than as a weapon,” Naomi continues. And from a man’s perspective? According to Joel, “a man can be vulnerable in a marriage. Sex (with his wife) can be a safe place of vulnerability and passion. Intimacy isn’t always physical, but sexual closeness is a powerful way to connect with your spouse. It’s also a powerful way to communicate with your spouse. Sex can help heal and strengthen a marriage,” Joel confides. He further states, “We do not condone any type of violence. We encourage the victim to seek a place of safety first and foremost, even if they decide to work on the marriage, they can do so at a distance.”
Watch the full interview with Joel and Naomi, the Marriage Investors, on our Faith on the Journey show premiering July 13th.
About the Author
The Marriage Investors, LLC
In life, people invest in various things — such as a home, car, education, and retirement. But sowing into one’s marriage is one of the most important investments that a couple can make. Although there is no “easy” path to a happy and long-lasting marriage — with the right investments — couples can achieve (and enjoy) marital success. Our comprehensive consulting and coaching services (for couples, individuals, retreats, and workshops) are rooted in the power of prayer, the power of Scripture, and the power of strategic action. We believe that marriages can be rebuilt, brokenness can be mended, and hope can be restored.