Now you know our story. We have had the highest of mountaintop experiences and the lowest of deep valley experiences over our nearly 31 years of marriage. I hope as you read our story the one thing you for sure took away was that God brought us together, kept us together, and continues to grow our love for each other. We certainly aren’t marriage experts, but we have years of experience!
My Thoughts on Christian Marriage
1. God has to be first in both of your lives. This will be evident in so many ways. Do you go to church together? How is your prayer and Bible study life? Are you committed to following God’s will for your lives? Are you raising your kids His way? Hear me out. This is much harder than it should be. Doug and I have had periods in our lives where this was simple. Right now we are wading through the rough waters of figuring out how to be involved in church together and to spend time in study/prayer together with his crazy work schedule. We fail miserably and often. BUT we keep working to get there!
2. My husband is second in my life. I am second in his life. This is a lesson we worked to have our children understand completely and hope they pass the same lesson on to their kids. We want them to know that we love them…completely and unconditionally. Children should not take priority over your husband or wife. Don’t allow them to move into the spot where your husband or wife should be. Remember, one day the kids will fly from the nest, and the two of you will have that nest all to yourself. [NOTE: I know in today’s world this can be a slippery slope with blended families or with other situations where any type of abuse may be present. Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. Children should ALWAYS be loved and protected from ANYONE who would hurt them, whether they are your children through blood, heart, or otherwise.]
3. When you get married, the focus should change from “I” to “WE”. When a couple consistently socializes separately instead of together, trouble is soon to follow. To get to the point of marriage, what did you do? You went out together. Marriage shouldn’t change that. If anything, it should make it better. The lowest time in our marriage is when we were both going out with friends separately instead of together. We invited trouble into our lives by opening a door for Satan to step right into. Why go to dinner with a friend on a Friday night and leave your spouse at home…especially on a regular basis? Think about how often you are spending time with other people away from your spouse. [Again, I’m not saying you should never have an outing with friends. Friends are important for both of you. However, time with your spouse should take priority over time with others.]
4. Work to make your marriage the best it can be. What have you done for your husband or wife today? What have you done today that says “I love YOU” without using the words?
5. Learn early to say, “I’m sorry for _____________. Will you please forgive me?” Remember, saying sorry means making a point to not do that thing again. Then also, learn how to forgive quickly even when it hurts.
6. Play together. Laugh together. Again, what did you do before you got married? You had fun together. Why stop? Never stop dating!
7. Hold hands. ♥
8. Flirt with each other…no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been married!
9. View your marriage as a FOREVER promise. God is an amazing God that can heal hurts, give peace, calm fears, and in the process SAVE marriages. We are living proof of that!
10. All of that to say, put in the effort! There are times a marriage takes more work than other times. Your relationship with your husband or wife is always worth the effort!