For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
Happy Saturday! It’s a beautiful day here and I hope you have wonderful weather, as well. I also hope you will have time to spend with family and friends today.
We have now entered the wedding season where I live. While weddings take place all year, this time of year seems to be more popular. My husband and I are no different. We were married in May thirty years ago next month. Today, I’m going to a 70th Anniversary Celebration. Wow! That is exciting and gives me hope, especially when it is popular to stay single.
So, I have been pondering what does it take to stay happily married. This is a small list of some of the most important things to me. I hope you will let me know what you think is most important.
- Keep God in the center of all relationships, before and after the wedding. When my daughter was married, the minister said that marriage is between three, not two (God, you and your spouse). That is perfect!
- Get married for the right reason. When you are dating, get to know the person. Don’t rely strictly on passionate feelings. It is really important to have similar views and interests. Sometimes passionate feelings develop as the relationship grows. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you are going to change the other person. If you really love them, you would not want to change them. Don’t get married to have a wedding! Explore views on marital roles, raising children, and how extended family fit into the relationship.
- Once you are married, Be Committed! Don’t have one foot in the door and one foot out. Don’t talk bad about your spouse. Make them your life partner and best friend. Realize that life is not 50/50. Life changes things. There will be times when you have to carry the load, and just when you are at the end of your rope, your spouse will take on the heavy load. It’s teamwork. Be the one your spouse can count on above all other people. Together trust God to guide you. Pray together.
- Realize that everyone needs time away, but be mindful of toxic situations and relationships. I always avoid situations that might present temptation. I’m also very careful about couple and single friend relationships. It’s good to have friends, but be careful with external influences and temptations.
- Don’t let raising children destroy your relationship. Children are a blessing, but they can also stress a marriage. Take time for each other and be united in decisions. When the children grow up and leave, take time to reexamine what brought you together and your love for each. Always put God first and ask for guidance.
- Be forgiving. I realize that most people have a limit as to what they will give their spouse a pass on and how many times they will do it. I’m referring to extreme cases where there is abuse, murder, or something similar. Always forgive, as Christ has forgiven us. Let your spouse know up front what your expectations are. Sometimes marriage situations are dangerous. Seek help in these cases, with God and professionals in the area of concern.
- Be there and appreciate the other person. Know what is going on. Really listen and care. Spread the Love with your spouse by letting them know every day how much you appreciate them and how special they are to you. This doesn’t mean daily elaborate gifts. Often it is the smallest gestures that are appreciated the most. Try to keep the relationship positive and fresh. Be willing to try new experiences, but also be understanding if your spouse has a fear or extreme dislike of an experience. Try to find a middle ground. Do things together, whether it be a date or home improvements.
- Always love each other and show your love through gestures like holding hands, and kissing.
I love my husband more today than thirty years ago. I would never change one moment of our adventure. I hope you will enjoy the same kind of love!
I’m sure there must be many more suggestions to add to this list. I hope you will provide some. Have a great day and God bless you!