The following are quotes from various resources on the subject of Marriage Enrichment. We pray these quotes will minister to your marriage and enrich what you have.
• Marriage: to strengthen each other in all sorrow; to minister to each other in all pain; to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable moments. (Unknown)
• Have you ever observed a husband and wife who share a deep love and emotional bond, wishing you could foster that same devotion in your marriage? In the first few years of my marriage, I remember watching such couples and thinking, “I want to be like that twenty years from now. I’m going to learn the secrets of a successful marriage.” What I noticed then and have observed since is that successful couples assign top priority to their marriage relationships. Part of fulfilling that priority is creating and sharing memorable times away. Special getaways merge with other positives in a marriage, slowly weaving a tapestry of committed love between partners. As spouses continue to foster such positive habits year after year, the fabric of the marriage relationship is enhanced and enriched. (Art Hunt, “A Weekend with the One You Love”)
• You say, “If I had a little more, I should be satisfied.” You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you will not be satisfied if it were doubled. (Charles Spurgeon)
• For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)
• We cannot tell what may happen to us in life. But we can decide what happens within us —how we can take it, what we do with it —and that is what really counts in the end. (Joseph Fort Newton)
• I talked to a couple recently who went to a beautiful bed and breakfast for two days together. They were both tired from months of hard work, so they agreed ahead of time how they would spend their time away. They took three movies along on tape and basically “vegged out” over the weekend. This included Jacuzzi time, good movies, good food, and much warmth and love. While this might not be the ideal schedule for every getaway, this couple enjoyed it partly because they had the same expectations for their time away. So discuss what you expect from your getaway, then do what you can to meet those expectations. (Art Hunt, A Weekend with the One You Love)
• PEOPLE JUST FALL OUT OF LOVE —True or False. ANSWER: False. Some people believe that they need to divorce their spouses because they’ve fallen out of love. They didn’t mean for it to happen, it just happened. To them, love is a feeling that is either there or it’s not there. If it’s there, you get married. If it’s not there, you divorce. This is one of the silliest ideas I have ever heard. The number one cause for the breakdown in marriages in our country is that people don’t spend enough time together. They take their marriages and their spouses for granted. Everything —work the kids, soccer games, community activities, extended family obligations, and so on —becomes more important than spending time together. The marriage gets placed on the bottom of the priority list.
When this happens, people grow apart. They become two strangers passing in the night. They’re no longer a team. And, because they’re distant, the little time they do spend together, they end up fighting. This distance and alienation sometimes fools people into thinking they’ve fallen out of love. They feel numb. They can’t imagine ever re-igniting those loving feelings. But the truth is, the love hasn’t been destroyed, it’s just camouflaged beneath the numbness. And, by retracing the steps taken to weaken love’s bond, the feelings of warmth, connection, friendship and intimacy can be restored. (Michele Weiner-Davis, from: Relationship I.Q. Quiz, Divorcebusting.com)
• Love, by itself, is not enough to sustain even the most loving couples —at least the kind of love Hollywood pumps into our culture is not enough. Marriage requires new skills in communication, conflict resolution and so on. Love cannot protect a marriage from harm. But love combined with effective skills can overcome all. (Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot)
• Marriage relationships, like all living things, need constant nourishment in order to flourish and grow. Simply put, marriage relationships need attention. It’s no good saying that you talked about a particular subject a year ago or that you said, “I love you” to each other a week ago. What has happened today?
Marriages are like my house. I live in a two-story home surrounded by evergreen trees. When I clean out the gutters, I think the job should last for a year. But I’m mistaken. Pretty soon, needles and debris choke the downspout again. I think that my front porch light bulb should last for an eternity, and I’m always surprised when it goes out and needs to be replaced. Our furnace has air filters which should continue unaffected for ten years or more. Instead, if not cleaned two or three times a year, they simply cease to function.
What’s the matter with my house? Nothing! Even superior homes containing good foundations are solid building materials require maintenance. Always, they require attention. In the same way, even superior marriages with great foundations of years together and solid relational skills require maintenance to realize their full, God-given potential. (Art Hunt, from the book, “A Weekend with the One You Love”)
• A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day. (From the booklet, “God’s Little Instruction Book on Love”)
• If we peel off the layers of activities and time commitments, what is underneath? Do you often have wistful thoughts about your mate? Do you use wisely the time you do have? We told our friends with three small boys that they probably needed to go somewhere and sleep instead of forcing tired conversation over a meal. We suggested that they try to get away for twenty-four hours and even offered to be the milkman for their baby. (The mother is nursing, and we offered to “pick up” her milk and deliver it to her baby son!) We call this “creative leaving.” What about your situation? Think back to when you first were married. (Dave and Claudia Arp, “The Marriage Track”)
• We have to fight against taking our spouses —and our responsibilities —for granted. And taking them for granted is easy to do, because on the day we marry, we gain a monopoly of sorts. (Gary Thomas, Devotions for a Sacred Marriage)
• You can commit yourself to your marriage yet remain totally passive about developing the relationship. But committed love is active! Our Father models this kind of love. We see it in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave“ (italics mine). Love moved our Father to action —to giving His Son, Jesus.
Dull marriages come alive when couples pursue their marriage vows as an active commitment to growth! Your marriage has so much potential, but you won’t realize those positive possibilities unless you decide to serve, listen to, appreciate, and affirm each other. Think of your wedding vows. Many people commit to the following: “to love, to honor, to cherish.” Are these words passive? Absolutely not! Instead, they bring to mind pictures of loving acts and loving words. Marriage enrichment leaves no room for passivity. (Art Hunt, A Weekend with the One You Love)
• A relationship is a learning experience—it’s not a static thing. If you haven’t learned something new about your spouse in the last month or so, you’re not trying hard enough. (From the book, “1001 More Ways to Be Romantic” by Gregory J.P. Godek)
• Strive to out-please each other. Out-pleasing each other means putting your spouse’s happiness first—especially in the mundane moments of life. When he washes the dishes, respond by keeping the kids out of his hair while he’s watching the football game. But … Don’t keep score. Marriage breaks down when you constantly compare your sacrifices to your mate’s. Concentrate on your giving and you will become one. (Jim Magruder)
• Marriage isn’t the act of choosing the one we’ll receive forever. It’s selecting the one we’ll give to for a lifetime. (Steve and Annie Chapman)
• In marriage, your self-sacrifice will not always be noticed, appreciated, or reciprocated; but it has the power to disarm our natural tendency toward passionate self-centeredness. (Dr Ronn Elmore, from the book, “An Outrageous Commitment”)
• Think about it: Do you treat your spouse worse than you’d even think of treating your best friend or a total stranger? Are you politer and more considerate of them than you are your spouse?
• There will come a time in every marriage when we are called to love not “because of” but “in spite of.” It has at its heart not just the feeling of love but the will to love. Unless we hold on to that, it is impossible for love to last. (Rob Parsons, from the book, “The Sixty Minute Marriage”)
• By definition, marriage requires that two distinct entities become one. No matter how much in love we are, making two entirely separate individuals into a single unit is not an easy task. The marriage ceremony does not magically erase the differences between husband and wife, nor does it cancel our selfish natures. Married harmony requires instead an acceptance that conflict is bound to occur; it also requires a commitment to ongoing reconciliation —for a lifetime. (Ellyn Sanna, from the book “Romance in Real Life)
• Every couple, no matter how strong and secure, needs occasional renewal in their relationship. We all need time to recharge our emotional and relational batteries. We need inspiration. And don’t think that newlyweds still enjoying the “honeymoon phase” don’t need the same thing. “Even youths will become weak and tired” (Isaiah 40:30). All of us need to renew our strength —no matter our age or stage.
…So take a moment to consider how you and your partner do just that. Study together Isaiah 40:31, and take to heart what boosts your marriage vitality; it’s a truth that is introduced by the little word but: “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Les and Leslie Parrott, from the Lesandleslie.com blog, “What Matters Most in Your Marriage”)