Sometimes it’s the stuff that we should remember that we don’t. As a result, we can get off track without really understanding how it happened. That’s especially true in marriage. On our wedding day we pledge all kinds of important things to each other, but eventually, as life gets rolling along, it’s easy to forget what we promised —that, which made our relationship strong in the first place. Sometimes we just need some simple reminders.
So here are 3 reminders. But first here’s a tip: “The road to success is always under construction.” In a good marriage, you never finish learning, growing, and adapting. There will be new things going on all the time in your life together. These are things that require you to adjust, readjust, build up, grow up, “un-learn” that, which is destructive, and learn new skills that will help.
So, in the construction zone of your marriage, remember to:
- Make it a top priority to treat your spouse in ways that show, (and they know it) that he or she is important to you. “As we juggle our busy lives, it’s too easy to let our marriages fall into the background. We’d never say our marriages weren’t important, yet we often act as though they’re not. Make your marriage your #1 priority after God.” (E. Sanna)
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But you and we know it isn’t. Life, people, jobs, situations, and events all have a way of smushing (and smashing) in between us —pushing us apart. Don’t let this happen. And if it IS happening, find a way to get back to making each other a priority. It’s all part of the “construction” of building a good marriage.
“Love convinces a couple that they are the greatest romance that has ever been, that no two people have ever loved as they do, and they will sacrifice absolutely anything in order to be together. And then marriage asks them to prove it.” (Mike Mason, from book “The Mystery of Marriage”)
If you find yourself going backward, look for a way to go forward. And do what you need to, to make this happen. Remember you promised, “to love and to honor, to have and to hold, from this day forward…” DO IT!
- When you encounter conflict as husband and wife, find ways to attack the problem —not each other. “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved” (Barbara Johnson). On your wedding vow you promised to love each other. Love is more than words, it is also doing what it takes to show and grow that love. It is a noun AND a verb.
We’re asked in Amos 3:3 the following question: “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” With intentionality, learn what you need to so you do your part to walk and talk as the loving partner you promised you would be. Don’t make excuses as to why it’s not possible to do your part in this.
“Have you counted how many if’s there are in your wedding vows? You know, ‘I promise to love you IF you treat me in a way that makes me feel good about myself’ or ‘I promise to love you IF you keep your attractive figure after bearing 3 children.’ Count them. How many ifs did you say in your wedding vows? -Larry McCall (from the book, “Loving Your Wife As Christ Loves the Church”).
- Capitalize on the tiny moments. “It’s important to celebrate those little moments, things like a really good day or a really bad day —those unexpected things that make someone’s day.” (Toben and Joanne Heim) Keep in mind: “Marriage does not have an automatic pilot. You can’t flick on a switch, lean back and forget about it. You have to stay at the controls, making adjustments, making it work. Every day you have to decide to love your mate.” (Dr. Kevin Leman)
While “constructing” your marriage, please know that “being married isn’t a decision you make once and then you’re done with it. The wedding ceremony doesn’t magically transform us into married people. Being married is a lifelong process —one we must commit ourselves to again and again” (Ellyn Sanna).
As Susan Yates points out, “The marriage ceremony isn’t like a graduation ceremony; rather it’s similar to the first day of kindergarten! It’s not the culmination but the beginning.” The start of something new is great, but so are “new” beginnings, when needed.
We hope these reminders, as you apply (or reapply) them will help you to “walk in love” with your spouse as we’re told in Ephesians 5:1-2:
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.“
Cindy and Steve Wright
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