Love is in the Air


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. 🙂

14 Comments

  1. I met my husband on the first day at a new job (he just happened to be my supervisor). Since he was my boss nothing really happened at first. He would walk me to my car because i worked the night shift. about 3 months after I started my job I had to changed departments due to a new schedule and one day he asked if he could walk me to my car. I didn't think anything of it so I said yes. Little did he know I had just asked my ex for a divorce so I was really only single for 10 hours. It was the beginning of God healing me and creating one of the most wonderful relationships I have ever had. He always told me it we would make it an adventure together. He wasn't kidding we married on a pirate ship. Have 3 wonderful kids and let's just say God has healed every aspect of my life with one little jesture of walking me to my car. He is my friend and I thank God daily for him!

  2. Hey girl! Great post! Love this, so true!! Especially #3 … I am terrible about this but the Lord is really working on me in that area. Thank you for sharing such great insight!!

  3. Grace, grace and more grace!
    None of us are finished products, the potter still has His hands all over us. Accepting that as truth makes it easier for us to live with each other's imperfections and love through them.

  4. I don't try to be his “Holy Spirit”…I pray for him daily and let God work. And, I am asking God regularly to make me into the wife that HE wants me to be! I also make it a point to find one thing each day about him that I am thankful for–

  5. 2 thoughts….My husband's first wife died tragically in a car accident. His regret was that he did not tell her he loved her when she left for work the last day of her life. I am very blessed that Danny is very vigilant about expressing his love and commitment to me, because…. you NEVER KNOW if this will be your last day on earth. Secondly, on our date nights, I ask, “What was one thing that made you truly feel loved and cared for that I did this week?” I am often surprised at the answer. VERY insightful. Then, “What was one thing I did that made you withdraw and feel hurt.” Again, often surprising! Knowing my actions have such an often hidden but powerful effect on this man God gave me to love is motivating to keep striving to keep his heart tender and loving towards me. Thanks for the post Stephanie, and Happy Anniversary! -Heather Nelson

  6. Welovereagan,
    Thanks so much for sharing your story and your heart. God certainly specializes in healing broken lives and hearts and I'm so glad to hear you share such sweet story.
    Eternally His,
    Stephanie
    Phil 3:7-14

  7. Teri Lynne,
    Wouldn't it be wonderful if we mastered every area of our lives and our marriages! I've still got so much to work on. You'd think that after 23 years, I'd have victory over a few areas. Only when I'm walking in the Spirit. 🙂
    Can't wait to have you as a guest blogger!
    Stephanie
    Phil 3:7-14

  8. HisFireFly,
    Thanks so much for reminding us that we not only need to extend grace, but we are a people in need of receiving grace, as well! I often say, “We need to give people room to grow.” That's especially true with our husbands, our children and those we love!
    I checked out your website and really liked it! Keep on keepin' on for Jesus!
    Eternally His,
    Stephanie
    Phil 3:7-14

  9. Debbie,
    Great advice! Letting God do what only God can do and making our husbands one of our greatest prayer requests!
    You've inspired me to think about one thing each day about my husband that I'm thankful for!
    Eternally His,
    Stephanie
    Phil 3:7-14

  10. Hi Heather!!
    I didn't know that about Danny. You and I spent a week on a mission trip together and I never knew that. You guys are a great couple and I love that you are so thoughtful about how to be a good wife for your husband. Thanks for helping me grow as a wife by sharing your own heart.
    Love ya girl!
    Stephanie
    Phil 3:7-14

  11. My husband and I celebrated 25 years of marriage on October. We got married 5 months after we met and were engaged within a week. There were many naysayers, needless to say, but we knew that God wanted us together. That's a bold statement to make and there is a story behind that but this is your blog so I'll share it on mine some day
    The advice you have shared is paramount. In addition to this we've done a couple of things:
    1. We've vowed to never go to bed angry. It's Scriptural and it's relationally important. We don't really get mad at each other very often but in the event that we do the issue is resolved before we lay our heads down to sleep.
    2. We pray together. It's been one of the most powerful forces in our marriage.
    3. We play together. It is important to find common interests in marriage. There are obviously differences because we are each uniquely created. My husband and I both enjoy music so we go to concerts, despite our limited income. We've just recently started doing some photography together.
    Along with so many of the other women who commented one of the greatest honors I've had over the years is to pray for my husband. I was actually praying for him before I ever knew him. I've continued to make it a daily part of my life.
    It is my desire for God to make both of into the man and woman of God He's created us to be. It is a process not an event.
    About 4 years ago in a span of less than a week my husband and I almost lost each other. I died and was revived. He had some chest pain that resulted in emergency open heart surgery for a 99% blockage of the main artery to his heart. Oh how thankful both of us are for the continued journey together. What a blessing!

  12. My husband and I actually met at church in the singles class. I'm not sure why, but I never thought of church being the place I'd meet my husband. Well, duh! I had been a Christian for 14 years, so I loved God and tried to follow His will. I'm not sure where I thought I would meet my husband. Anyway, it truly has been a God thing. We have had our share of ups and downs, but God truly knew what He was doing when He put us together. We are like-minded in many ways, especially when it comes to parenting. We have been blessed with two beautiful children who love the Lord and have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. In fact, our daughter may be baptized on Valentine's Day, which just happens to be the 13th anniversary of our engagement. I'm so thankful for the life God has given me with my husband.

  13. Melinda,
    GREAT ADVICE! I totally skipped over the “Don't go to bed angry” one. I must confess, we've done that a few times and it's not fun.

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey and your advice. Marriage certainly requires diligence and your comments to encourage us!! 🙂

  14. Hi Jennifer,
    Your comment about being like-minded is a huge encouragement for those who are considering marriage.
    Many say that opposites attract and cause us to grow, but marrying those with similar interests and personalities certainly make for smoother sailing!
    Thanks so much for sharing!!

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