Marriage – the best of times, the worst of times.
So much joy and love, yet sometimes due to our human nature, we lash out so harshly at the ones we love the most, creating so much pain.
My son recently got married (4/12/2014) and my husband and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary in October, so I wanted to give some advice to the happy couple, because no matter what stage of marriage you (we) are in, the following will always apply.
- Keep the Lord first – without Him, nothing works
- Keep your spouse second – children grow up and go on their own journey, your spouse will be with you after they’ve left the nest
- Keep your children and family third – yes, ministry is important and I’m 100% for it, but if you place your ministry before your children and your family then they will likely walk away from the Lord. Find a healthy balance and always….always make time for family. (Jesus always makes time for His children)
- Always kiss goodnight
- Hold hands as much as possible
- Read the Bible and pray together as much as possible
- Continue to date long after the wedding vows have been spoken
- The treats, treasures and surprises your spouse loved before the wedding – they still love
- Be willing to forgive….and often. Hurt is a part of the process, just like love, joy and compassion.
- Have meals together as a family, around the table and chat. (We had a no phone rule, I would suggest you establish one as well)
- Have some time with friends. Don’t go overboard, but still enjoy just some girl time and guy time
- Have fun – yes, be serious when necessary, but do fun, random and silly things
- Point out the amazing, wonderful qualities about your spouse….and do so often
- Do things without expectations – imagine if BOTH of us did this…. complete joy
- Pray for your spouse. Even when you are angry, hurt or mad and especially when you aren’t. You absolutely cannot stay mad at someone you are praying over daily
- Dream together – make plans for the future. It could be a nice vacation or a weekend getaway. Plan something together that you’ll love doing
- Speak kindly of your spouse – if you are always speaking well of them, that means you are always thinking well of them
- Don’t Compare – This is true about anything. One of my favorite quotes is “comparison is the thief of JOY” Don’t do it.
- Don’t Assume – Ladies, stop assuming your hints were dropped so well your husband can’t miss it. Men, if you don’t know…ask. Neither of us are mind readers.
- Marriage is a combination of sacrifice and commitment. Commit to it, be willing to make some sacrifices along the way and watch how God can use your relationship to help inspire and encourage others.
**Bonus – Sex and Romance are two very different, yet very necessary things. Both men and women should do their part to make sure their spouse is pleased in this area.
These are just a few things that will help our relationships. What would you add?
What are you doing in your marriage to keep it strong?
Please take a few moments to add to this conversation and be a blessing to others.
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Visit Marie at Spreading-Joy.