In light of the upcoming “Holiday of Love” I thought I’d share some thoughts on marriage in a rather exposed, up close and personal kind of way. So for the next few posts, I’ll be talking about love and marriage. During this time, I’d really love to hear from you as you share your story and your views on how to have a strong marriage. Every time you comment on one of these posts, you’ll be entered in a drawing for The Husband Project, by Kathi Lipp.
My husband is my best friend. It hasn’t always been this way, but after 23 years, I can say we’re more in love now than the day we said “I do.” Marriages seldom come neatly wrapped in conflict free packages and our’s is no exception. Polar opposites with different passions and pursuits, our only real common denominator has been Jesus. And to be honest with you, He’s been the glue that’s kept this marriage together when our hearts were weary with each other.
Like a great pound cake, there are certain ingredients that are absolutely necessary for it to be successful. Today, I’d like to share a few we’ve learned over the past 23 years. It’s not a comprehensive list and I’m not listing them in any particular order, I’m just writing them down as spontaneously as they come to my mind. Perhaps you can relate to some of them, or maybe you will see your need to implement a few. You may just want to add some of your own. If so, I’d really love to hear from you.
1. Laugh Together – Laugh at each other; laugh at yourself; laugh at your circumstances…but whatever you do…laugh together. There’s a wonderful bonding process that takes place when your jaws and your bellies hurt together. You may just have to quit taking yourself so seriously to do it, but look for the absurd, crack yourself up, prank each other, watch comedies together…do whatever you have to, but laugh together. Think about it, when’s the last time you saw a couple laughing their way to divorce court.
2. Respect One Another – Aretha Franklin is famous for the familiar song, “Respect”…All we’re asking…is for a little respect. Just a little bit. Just a little bit. They may be cute lyrics in a song, but respect is a basic human need…especially in marriage…especially for a man. Our husbands not only want our respect, they really need it. I honestly believe the Proverbs 31 woman’s husband found himself sitting at the gate because his wife believed in him. She supported him, she encouraged him, she respected him. A wife’s respect can bolster a man’s courage and confidence and give him strength to fulfill his potential. A husband’s respect for his wife fosters security and assures her that he values her thoughts, her efforts and her opinions. Strong marriages require a mutual respect.
3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – We’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit arguing over things that really didn’t matter in the grander scheme of things. Our differences were often the spark that started the fire, but our immaturity seemed to keep it ablaze. Does it really matter if he folded the towels wrong? Is it such a big deal that he thinks surfboards make great wall decorations? It’s funny how we find ourselves deep in battle and all of a sudden realize we don’t have a clue what we’re arguing about. There’s no sense in making a big deal over little issues. In fact, when your small issue becomes a mountain-size argument, it would be a good idea to employ #1 and just laugh together instead.
These are just a few steps on our way to maintaining or regaining that loving feeling, but I’d like to hear from you. How do you keep your marriage strong? Share your story and encourage others. I’d love to see this blog on “Love” help to strengthen someone’s marriage because you shared!
In my next blog we’ll talk about what love is, and what love is not. We’ll also cover the coveted concept of submission. You may be surprised by what it really means to submit. 🙂