Here's another one! New pal Brit wrote a great blog post on marriage yesterday. Yeah, she's a "pup"…for some people, she's too young to be spouting marital advice that sticks. But don't rush to judgment…she has some great things to say about marriage. I've read entire books that were a waste of time when it came to marriage encouragement…this ONE post is good enough to live on for a few years. Take a peak! Brit, proud of you!
This past Sunday Dan and I celebrated 12 years of marriage! One woman commented on my FB page, "You're off to a great start" (She's been married 46 years!)
Do you realize the current divorce rate is 33% ?!? Even in the Christian community. One-in-three marriages will end in divorce.
While I don't consider myself a marital wisdom expert, I am reaching a point that I need to follow Titus 2:4. "[older women] train the younger women to love their husbands…" Perhaps if more of us in good, healthy relationships spoke up, together we can reverse that ugly statistic above.
Tips from 12 Years of a Happy Marriage. (From a Wife's perspective)
1) Go in to marriage believing it is a life-contract.
Shortly after Dan and I first wed, we attended a marriage seminar. The
pastor spoke from 13 years of marriage experience and I wondered what
it would be like when Dan and I reached 13 years.
Did you catch that? I wondered what it would be like when – not if. Sure, a lifetime committment is scary. I admit to a couple panic attacks that first year of marriage, thinking, "What have I done? I can't just break-up with him! This is a marriage. A sacred covenant between Dan, me, and God!"
2) Respect Your Husband "…. and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:33
Notice the period. The verse doesn't read, "Respect him if he does the dishes, if he tells you how beautiful you are, if he makes lots of money". Respect is defined as i)giving paticular attenion to (consideration) or b) a high or special regard (esteem). In all
my thoughts and actions I should consider Dan. What would show him
special regard? I admit I fall short on this one. Too often I find
myself chatting with girlfriends and before I know it, I'm complaining
how Dan didn't buy me this, or Dan has yet to do chores ABC on my honey-do list. Or maybe it is in front of the kids I Husband Respect FAIL. I try not to, but it happens. I'll "correct" him and belatedly realize, that underminded his authority as the head of our household. I need to build him up – not tear him down…. especially in front of others.
3) Outserve your Husband.
All too often I fall in the trap of, "Why isn't Dan doing "X" for me?!?
First, that's a recipe for discontent. I need to focus on the postive. All the things Dan does do for me.
Secondly, I don't really want to step on the balancing scales of what "he does" versus "I do". Dan will win. Serving is an act of love. I love my husband. Therefore I should want
to serve him. Little things like packing his lunch. Making sure the
kids pick up their yard toys before he mows. Bringing in the trash
cans. Massaging his shoulders when late at night he mentions how sore
they are…. just after I've gotten comfy and I am SO tired I just want
to go to sleep! I need to worry about my end of the service bargain – not Dan's.
4) Date Nights. Every Week.
No Money? No problem. A date night can be as simple as playing a
game, watching a DVD, going for a walk. Sharing a tub of Ben and
Jerry's ice cream. The key?!?! No kids.
Hiring a babysitter and going out on the town is wonderful and should
be done as often as financially possible… but it is not necessary.
There is a reason God invented early bedtimes for children. Even if
the kids have to read for an hour in their bedroom. Do what it takes
to ensure you and your spouse have regular alone time to re-connect as
adults. As friends. As romantically interested friends-plus. 😉
There are others I've left off this list. There is so much, in fact, that entire books have been written on marriage. I highly recommend "5 Love Languages" and "Love and Respect" and "His Needs, Her Needs"
I can't end this post until I mention how much I love my husband. Dan
loves God, is honest, trustworthy, and faithful. He provides
financially. He treats me with kindness, gentleness, and never
belittles me. He helps around the house and is active in raising our 3
children. Sure, he has his faults. (I mentioned that honey-do list, didn't I?) Dan isn't perfect …….. but neither is his wife 🙂