Facebook Quotes – Page 10

This is the 10th page we’ve created with various Facebook quotes, which we posted on the Marriage Missions Facebook page.

The following are a number of quotes that Marriage Missions International individually posted on our Facebook site as marriage tips, which can still be used in a variety of ways:

Pixabay.com
Pixabay.com

• A church, ministry, counseling organization, or an individual can use them to share on their Facebook site, if desired.

• They can be used as points of discussion in marriage classes, mentoring, counseling, or coaching situations.

• Couples or individuals can use these quotes to discuss or consider the issues raised, allowing the Holy Spirit, our Wonderful Counselor, to speak further to them.

They make great discussion points for those couples who want to use them for conversation starters for a 22 Minute Date (the guidelines are posted in the Romantic Ideas topic). Just make sure, if you use these quotes in a dating situation, you don’t get into heated arguments over them.

The point in sharing these marriage tips is to build marital relationship bridges, not construct walls of contention, causing a breakdown of communication. You can constructively disagree with these tips and with each other, and still learn more about each other and grow closer together, in the process.

It is our sincere hope that the tips below will help marriage. As you read them, please consider:

1. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?

2. Do you have further thoughts on the issue to apply personally or as a general rule? (If you’re reading them with someone else, please share.)

3. Do any scriptures come to mind, which apply to the marriage tip given? (If so, please share.)

The following are quotes to note for your use (each paragraph we were able to glean stands on its own —for your knowledge, the original sources are noted afterward in parenthesis):

“Even if 95% of the problems in your marriage are her [or his fault], you can still work on the 5% that’s yours. It’s what you have power over. Working on that 5% will do more for your marriage than whining about the 95% over which you have no power. What’s more, when you work on your stuff you give an example to follow” -P. Byerly “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” -Heb. 10:24 (Paul Byerly, gleaned from The-generous-husband.com article, “Why It’s Good That Some of it is Your Fault”)

“The public is so ill-prepared for & ill-informed about marriage. They don’t realize that the first 2 years of marriage is the time when a NEW CIVILIZATION is hammered out. We mislead by calling it the ‘honeymoon’ phase. We send them off without the basic understanding of what to expect or the skills they need to lay the foundation for a life-long marriage. So much needs to be done in the area of marriage education.” (Diane Sollee -Smart Marriages)

“Going into marriage without a plan is like playing a football game without memorizing the playbook. If you’re going to win, you have to have team meetings, set goals, learn and re-learn skills, and share responsibilities. You both need a copy of the playbook [which is the Bible]. If you want a ’till death do us part’ marriage you have to learn the plays so you can execute them correctly. That takes time.” -J.B. (Julie Baumgardner, from Marriagemissions.com article, “Marriage Message #199 – Till Death Do Us Part.”)

Two good guidelines when it comes to communication: (1) “If you don’t ask for what you want, you get exactly what you asked for… Nothing!” and (2) “If you get something you don’t like, say so, or you just might get it again!” (Noelle, from the web site, posted in the article, “Communication Differences – Marriage Message #5)

“In Ephesians 5 Paul writes about marriage. He says, ‘I’m talking about a great mystery. I’m talking about Christ & the church.‘ A healthy marriage reflects to the world, ‘This is the way God loves. This is the way the Trinity interacts, with selfless, honoring, sacrificial love.’ As married couples we can reflect that to the world better than we could as individuals. Maybe that’s why God put the 2 of us together.” (Mike and Debbie Breaux with Ginger Kolbaba, from Kyria.com article, “The Real Thing”)

“Check in with each other during the day. With today’s advanced technology, there’s no excuse for not communicating. Drop a quick ‘hope your day is going well.’ Whether you text, email, or use the old fashioned telephone, contact your mate at some point while you’re apart. If you’re busy, just say so but follow with, ‘I was just thinking about/praying for/missing you.’ A little effort goes a long way.” -C. Hatcher (Carol Hatcher, from Growthtrac.com article, “Recycle Your Marriage”)

While arguing, hurling absolutes, such as “you ALWAYS” or “you NEVER” can be equated to tossing gas upon a fire. “Nothing’s that simple. Only a robot is ‘always’ or ‘never’ correct. In those irritating moments, choose careful words. You don’t always do the right thing, & he (she) isn’t always wrong. You’ll never meet in the middle if you blockade the way with barricades of ‘always’ & ‘never.’ Banish absolutes.” -M.H. (Melodee Helms, from Kyria.com article, “Silent Arguments”)

“There’s more to effective communication than putting together and then practicing the right message. Picking the right time and place to convey it is also crucial. In a marriage, meaningful words bring life-giving water to the soil of a person’s life. In fact, all loving relationships need the continual intake of the water of communication or they simply dry up. No marriage can survive without it.” -Gary Smalley (From book, “4 Days to a Forever Marriage” by Gary and Norma Smalley)

Many couples live with unhappiness for too long. Seek help early. “Be very careful how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” -Ephesians 5:15-21.

“The grass may look greener on the other side but you still have to mow it. On the surface someone may look better than your spouse, but the reality is even beautiful grassy sod eventually has crabgrass if it isn’t properly cared for. In most cases, people who have jumped the fence will testify that the grass is NOT greener, just different. Learn how to resolve conflict without threatening to leave the marriage.” -JB (Julie Baumgardner, from Marriagemissions.com article, “Marriage Message #199 – Till Death Do Us Part.”)

“Do all you can to turn the heat down. Sometimes it’s important to agree to disagree, but it’s also important to remember that your spouse loves you & wants what is best for you & the relationship. I often catch myself wondering if my husband is purposefully trying to tick me off & later find out it’s really the farthest from the truth.” –L.G. “As far as it is within you, be at peace with everyone.” -Romans 12:18 (Lisa Graf from The Romanticvineyard.com article, “A Double Post of Encouragement”)

“Love lesson: If you fall in love with God –really fall in love with God, you’ll notice a difference in your love toward your spouse. We each study & personalize the Bible & memorize specific verses to continually renew our minds to God’s power & character. If we fail to do that, our culture & society will shape our minds in the opposite direction” -M&D Breaux. The principles for loving are given thru out the Bible. (Quote from: Mike and Debbie Breaux with Ginger Kolbaba, from Kyria.com article, “The Real Thing”)

“Secrets of Marriage: -By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished. -Little things are the things you love the most. -The days are long, but the years are short. -What you do EVERY DAY matters more than what you do ONCE IN A WHILE. -You don’t have to be good at everything. -What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you & vice versa. -It’s okay to ask for help.” -From Simplemarriage.net

Where do you argue? “When we were 1st married & were having a lot of stressful interactions, we put a love seat in our bedroom & did all heavy talking there. When we moved to the bed, we were done, no more arguing, discussing, probing questions or hard thinking. This helped us a great deal. I think another room is even better, but if you can’t manage that, try a love seat or a couple of chairs.” -Paul Byerly (From The-generous-husband.com article, “Does It Matter Where You Argue?”)

Stop the silent treatments. It just widens the gap between you. “Employing the Silent Treatment is like closing the refrigerator door on slimy, elderly cabbage. Just because you close the door doesn’t mean the vegetable isn’t rotten. The stench lingers until you remove the oozing cabbage. Get rid of the stinky source of trouble & live happily ever after. Or at least until next Tuesday. Choose to resolve differences.” (Melodee Helms, from Kyria.com article, “Silent Arguments”)

“People believe if they marry the person God intended, they’ll get the relationship they desire. They begin their marriage thinking their bond will remain strong from then on. The law of entropy (deterioration) says that won’t happen. Without the investment of new energy, any marriage will disintegrate. To prevent that, you need to adapt in some way —choose to change & do whatever you can to meet your mate’s needs.” (Ron R Lee, from the Kyria.com article, “Can You Have It All?”)

Remember your wedding vows? Did you mean them or were they just fancy words given to accommodate what you thought you should say on a dream day? “We said that we would be committed for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. … Anybody can be committed when it’s better, but the test of commitment is when it’s worse —worse than you ever thought it would be.” -Steve Farrar

“Practice the 10-second kiss at least once a day. You’d be surprised what a little lip-lock can do to jump-start a marriage. Make it a habit to kiss good-bye & hello each day. Then turn up the heat by prolonging your kiss at least 10 seconds –the longer, the better. Even if it feels a bit awkward at 1st, hang in there. Before long, you’ll forget you were counting & get carried away in the moment.” -C. Hatcher (Carol Hatcher, from Growthtrac.com article, “Recycle Your Marriage”)

“The way you relate to each other sets the atmosphere in your home. If you habitually laugh together, your home will be a fun place & your children will learn how to laugh & enjoy life. Conversely, if your kids only see you argue, they’re more likely to argue. What’s the general tone of your home? How do you relate to each other? If your marriage sets a positive tone, your children will be benefactors!” -E.M. & C.K. (Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall, from the book, “When Husband and Wife Become Mom and Dad”)

“Although imperfect, a marriage that shines through the world’s cynicism has a lot to do with the couple’s attitude. An exemplary marriage is seen in how a husband & wife treat each other with love & respect, whether in church, on a date or at home. It’s talking about marriage in a positive way. It’s speaking kindly about our spouse when he or she isn’t around –or speaking to our spouse with kindness.” -S.G. Mathis (Susan Graham Mathis, from Focus on the Family –Canada article, “Marriage on Display”)

Troubled marriage? “Remember why your spouse fell in love with you & set out to amplify those traits within yourself. If he/she fell in love with those traits once, he/she can do it again. We have the power, with God’s grace, to transform our marriages. However, it takes a change of mind. Scriptures tell us to ‘Be transformed by the renewing of your mind’ (Romans 12:2). That is what is needed in our marriages today.” (Dr David Hawkins, from Crosswalk.com article, “Bringing Out the Best In Your Mate)

“How do I make my marriage better? Change your thinking: This is the real battleground —your mind. Either your habits & actions have gotten you to where you are, or they’re a result of where you are. Either way, your habits & actions perpetuate the status quo. Changing what you do requires 1st changing what you think.” -Paul from The-generous-husband.com. Paul’s web site & Marriagemissions.com can help! (Quote from Paul Byerly from The-generous-husband.com article, “But how do I make my marriage better?”)

“Establishing your beliefs about marriage can provide a tremendous amount of security & comfort (particularly in a world where having a great marriage is somewhat counter-cultural). Beliefs such as: marriage is forever, marriage involves generously serving each other, are examples. Sometimes, changes need to be made before a marriage will be safe to live in.” With your spouse, establish healthy guidelines together. (Rowan and Mara Fraser, from Thecouplethings.com article, “Quick, Get Inside!”—Expanded quote: Defining your walls, or establishing your beliefs about marriage, can provide a tremendous amount of security and comfort, particularly in a world outside where having a great marriage is somewhat counter-cultural. Beliefs such as: marriage is forever, marriage involves generously serving each other, life issues are meant to bring you closer together instead of driving you apart, are examples of strong “walls.” Sometimes, structural changes need to be made before a House of Marriage will be fit, or safe, to live in. Have a conversation with your spouse about your House of Marriage. Write down some beliefs and revel in the security there. Where we live, in today’s society especially, it’s really cozy in here.”)

“Forget the bad, remember the good. All marriages experience good times & bad. There are instances when remembering the commitment you made to your spouse will pull you through a difficult season. There are times when forgetting past wrongs will enable you to experience the freedom of the here & now & provide hope for the future rather than keep you stuck. Remembering the good will help you to enjoy your marriage.” (Jay Hafling gleaned from the Donotdisturbblog.wordpress.com article, “Curb Appeal: 5 Ways to Make Your Marriage Attractive”)

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control” -Prov. 29:11. “What spouses fear most is criticism & rejection. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be truthful just because they’ve got fragile egos. But you have to look at the consequences & see if what you’re doing is working or not” -Dr Phil. “He who guards his lips guards his life; he who speaks rashly will come to ruin” -Prov. 13:3.

“The defects of a spouse must never be our 1st order of business. When divisions erupt, we must ask whether we can detect any selfishness in our own hearts and then ask God to renew within us the humble love that characterizes His image.” -Tim Savage. “Search me O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” -Psalm 139:23-24 (Tim’s quote comes from his book, “No Ordinary Marriage… Together for God’s Glory)

But godliness with contentment is great gain. We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” -1 Timothy 6:6-7 “Occasionally, we all need to be reminded: Material things will never satisfy the hunger in our hearts. A couple who fails to see this could spend a lifetime chasing the American [or any other] Dream, only to find it to be a desert mirage, forever just out of reach.” -Dennis Rainey (From book, “Moments With You” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)

“Going on vacation with a credit card in hand may sound fun, but returning to a pile of bills can take a serious toll on the memories you have created. It’s important to take control of your wallet, so your wallet doesn’t hit you back when you get home. Make plans ahead of time for things you can afford, so you’re not tempted to go overboard with your spending, & be sure the family is aware of the set limits.” -DW (Debi Walter, from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “The 5 Disciplines of a Successful Vacation”)

Love on your spouse. How? “I’m not going to give you examples because you know what shows your spouse love! You know what your spouse likes, wants & desires. You know them better than most people on the planet. The problem isn’t that you don’t know what to do. The problem is that YOU DON’T WANT TO DO THEM. Think of 3 things that would show that you love, care, & know them well. Now, the challenge: DO THEM.” -Stu Gray (Stupendousmarriage.com article, “3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Love Your Spouse”)

In marriage, “If an argument gets too heated, take a 20 minute break and agree to approach the topic again when you are both calm.” -Dr John Gottman. Don’t allow the problem to get between you so you forget that the object of marriage is to be in partnership with each other. Don’t let it divide you so that it chips away at the commitment you have to “love, honor, & cherish” one another for the rest of your lives.

“Couples need to have boundaries around their marriage to keep their marriage healthy & on track. When someone or something threatens to break thru the boundaries you need to put your foot down. So when your friend keeps trying to interfere with scheduled date nights or your kids keep trying to turn your bedroom into a playroom, it’s time to put your foot down.” -L.B. Sometimes you can bend on this, but not often. (Quote from Lori Byerly, from The-generous-wife.com blog, “Hold that Line”)

“If there are any unresolved issues, apologize for any hurt feelings that may have occurred as a result of you. Drop assumptions at the door & discuss the true issue. Remember, it’s important for all parties to feel like they’re being heard. Use the rules of active listening & repeat what you hear to make sure there isn’t a kink in the line of communication. Then share your feelings in a way that isn’t accusatory.” –C. Hatcher (Carol Hatcher, from Growthtrac.com article, “Recycle Your Marriage”)

1 Thessalonians 5:11-12: “Therefore, encourage one another & build up one another, just as you also are doing.” Use words that build your spouse up in love and truth!” Hebrews 3:13-14: “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” “Keep encouraging your spouse! Don’t get weary of it because we all need it!” -A. Motl (April Motl, from Crosswalk.com article, “Making Your Marriage a Safe Place”)

Sticky notes: “They’re so practical & they can be used in a number of creative ways to bless others. So, your mission this week is to leave some sticky notes around for your [spouse] to find. You could write a brief encouragement, a small prayer, a cool quote or a sexy invitation. You could leave a trail of them. You could make them into coupons for items or activities that he (she) would like. Have fun!” -L. Byerly (Lori Byerly – From The Generous-wife.com article, “The Power of the Sticky Note”)

“Women tend to be relationship oriented. Family is their primary place for relationships. A deep question to ask a woman is, ‘Are you loved?’ Men tend to be achievement-oriented. Their ‘field’ is the primary place for achievement. A deep question to ask a man is, ‘Are you respected?’ No wonder, that in marriage a wife wants her husband to be more loving & a husband wants his wife to be more respectful.” -E. Eggerichs (Emerson Eggerichs)

When an argument starts to get out of control between you and your spouse, look for ways to defuse the situation until you can come back and work on the problem again in a more sensible and honoring way. Even if you have to revisit the same problem a dozen or more times, commit to working on it —until you can control it together—rather than having it control you and allow it to divide you in marital partnership.

“Never get so invested in your political thoughts & opinions that you lose sight of the larger picture: your relationship. You may have 1 political opinion & your spouse may have another. That’s fine & understandable. You were raised in 2 separate households, had 2 different upbringings & thus your views of the world & political system may be different. But enjoy each other. Your marriage is greater than politics.” (Fawn Weaver, from the Happywifesclub.com article, “Marriage & Politics: Will They Ever Mix Well?”)

“Sometimes we fool ourselves into expecting perfection. Your home needs to be a place where you allow your mate to make mistakes. In a grace-based home my mate isn’t going to be perfect, but my mate is not my enemy. My mate is the love of my life. Where do you need to go back to your mate & say, ‘I came down on you too hard, will you forgive me? You can make mistakes, because I’ve made mistakes too.'” -G&B Rosberg (Dr Gary and Barb Rosberg, from Crosswalk.com article, “Four Elements of a Grace-based Marriage”)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” -Philippians 2:3-4. “Modeling a Christ-centered marriage is a daily choice. As we set an example, we’ll show the world why marriage is a great plan –right from the heart of God.” (S.G.M.) What example are you setting? (Susan Graham Mathis, from Focus on the Family –Canada article, “Marriage on Display”)

“I’m sure you can accept that your spouse’s perception is flawed, limited, & easily changed. Can you also accept that your perception is just as imperfect & equally given to being molded by circumstances? If you can do this, you’ll make your life & your marriage a lot better. Try to be aware of the clashes of perceptions. Some problems can be eliminated by simply realizing the two of you have different perceptions.” (Expanded quote: “I’m sure you can accept that your wife’s perception is flawed, limited, and easily changed; can you also accept that your perception is just as imperfect and equally given to being molded by circumstances? If you can do this, you will make your life, and your marriage, a lot better. Also, try to be aware of clashes of your perception and her perception. Some problems can be eliminated by simply realizing the two of you have different perceptions.” -Paul Byerly, from Thegeneroushusband.com article, “Perceptions, Expectations, and Standards”)

“In the eye of the storm there is always calm. A happy marriage doesn’t mean you won’t face challenges. It means when the tough times arise, you determine to take refuge in each other —in the center of it all —where you can bond, find peace, and overcome adversity…together.” –Fawn Weaver, from Happywivesclub.com (Article titled, Poem Written to My Husband”)

“The longer you’re together, the more you learn about this person you once kissed at a candlelit altar—that are not very pleasant, not too pretty. Marriage truly is the process of 2 selfish people learning to love one another in the midst of their imperfections. That’s what Jesus did when He saw you. Love motivated Him to move toward people who were unlovable.” Christ can help you to truly love your spouse. (D.R.) (Quote from Dennis and Barbara Rainey, from their book, “Moments With You”)

To make your marriage the best it can be, keep in mind that you vowed to be married for life to your spouse. Use your lifetime together as a classroom for learning. You won’t know all that’s needed on your wedding day. So don’t think that everything, because of your love, will naturally fall into place. Yes, it will fall, but if you want it to fall into a GOOD place, you’ve got some learning to do & to apply. -C W (Cindy Wright, of Marriage Missions International)

“The key to keeping conflict from escalating is to choose to practice love or respect. When a husband speaks with a loving tone during a conflict, which may range from a mild argument to a more serious disagreement, his wife will feel one with him. And when a wife softens her facial expressions & comes across more respectfully during those times of friction, the husband will feel one with her.” -Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

“In the midst of all the details of your life is your marriage. You know, the person you stood with at the altar, when you both were better rested & better dressed? Remember that person? It’s not a question of IF you love each other, because you do. But it’s all you can do to just keep your heads above water. Let’s return to basics. When was the last time you genuinely expressed to your spouse what they mean to you?” (Julie Sibert, from Intimacy in Marriage Blog article, “Unspoken Love Isn’t Enough”) (Original quote: in the midst of all the details of your life — or, if we are brutally honest, shoved to the side of all the details — is your marriage. You know, the person you stood with at the altar, when you both were better rested and definitely better dressed? Remember that person? And it’s not like it’s a question of if you love each other, because you do. But it’s all you both can do to just keep your heads above water, let alone rock things out in the bedroom every other night. I get it. So let’s return to basics for a minute. Let’s take a breath. When was the last time you genuinely expressed to your spouse what they mean to you?)

“When praying together, your spouse gains a deeper understanding for what’s going on in your heart. When you actively listen to each other in prayer, you’re able to empathize at the deepest level. You’re putting yourself in your spouse’s shoes. Prayer becomes a significant experience when you listen carefully to the burdens your spouse brings to the Lord so you can join him or her in praying for those same things.” (Excerpted from the book, Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)

“For couples it’s in the margins of life where you really enjoy each other… Look for opportunities to go off the beaten path of your routines together. Often, the best things that happen were never planned at all. Ironically, those are the times you’ll enjoy & cherish the most. No doubt you are aware of all the things on your plate that need arranging and scheduling. Insist margin be one of them.” -R&M Fraser (Rowan and Mara Fraser, from Couplethingsblog.wordpress.com article, “More Margin”)

“We need 4 hugs a day for healthy survival, 8 hugs a day for emotional strength & 12 hugs a day to really be empowered. If we know hugs are that important, then it’s easier to start ’embracing’ the idea & the practice. Whatever you do, though, don’t just use the ‘touch isn’t my love language’ line. Sure, you may not want to touch much, but it’s good for you” & for your spouse. LEARN to touch & everyone will benefit. (Sheila Wray Gregoire, from Tolovehonorandvacuum.com article, “What If You’re Not a Touchy Person?”)

“Have you ever felt irritable with your spouse over insignificant things? Or maybe you’ve had significant things over which to fret? Have you discussed these issues with God? Have you asked His perspective? Many times God uses situations we think are for others when He is actually after something in our own hearts. He’s willing to tell us —but He often waits for us to ask!” -D Walters “Ask and you shall receive…” (Debi Walters, from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “Love Is Not Irritable”)

Take a break. Enjoy being with your spouse in simple ways, as in simpler days. “Invite your spouse to an evening of technology free time. Turn off your TV, your computer, your phones, etc. and enjoy each other without distraction. -Eat simple fare by candle light -read to each other -look at the stars -hold hands & talk/dream -play a board game -give each other a massage -kiss (or more)” -Lori Byerly. Be creative! (Quote from Lori Byerly, from Thegenerouswife.com article, “Turn It Off!”)

“All of us feel overwhelmed or discouraged at times. When you see your spouse in that predicament instead of reminding him that he needs to work harder or poking a finger at her struggle to juggle the demands of kids, the house & work, choose to comfort with grace & love. God allows us to experience trials for many reasons, but one of them is because he wants us to reach out with compassion & understanding.” -A.M. (April Motl, from Crosswalk.com article, “Making Your Marriage a Safe Place”)

“Marriages sometimes grow like Chinese Bamboo Trees [for 4 years after planting the seed of this tree you see nothing but a tiny shoot, but in the 5th year, it can grow up to 80 feet tall]. You try & try doing kindnesses, etc. Sometimes it takes months, even years before you SEE the growth. But all the while you’re making deposits into a secret account that all of a sudden begins paying dividends.” -Mort Fertel (Sent to us from Mort Fertel, on November 18, 2007, from email message, “Your marriage and the Miracle of the Chinese Bamboo Tree”) Web site: http://marriagemax.com

“While it’s statistically true that a bad marriage is better for kids than a divorce (the exception being when there’s abuse), it’s better for the kids to be in a marriage where mom & dad love & care for each other. Kids who see love 1st hand are more likely to have good marriages & are less likely to do stupid things sexually & in other ways. Let’s set the bar higher” -P. Byerly. WORK on your marriage. (Paul Byerly, from The-generous-husband.com article, “Not Divorcing is Not Enough”)

“Determine you’re in your marriage for good. Why? Because only then can you make yourself do whatever it takes. You promised, ‘for better or for worse.’ As you locked eyes at the altar you said, ‘until death do us part.’ Give it everything you’ve got & you WILL see it thru. To decide that you’re not going anywhere EVER closes the path of least resistance & creates a new dynamic in your heart.” -CTB (FromCouplethingsblog.wordpress.com article, “Relationship Trouble-Shooting – Part 1”)

BEWARE: “When a man tells me he ‘communicates’ better with a lady in the office than with his wife [or a wife with a man in the office], danger signals are flashing. It’s eye opening to hear how often an affair begins with casual conversation, or in some ‘innocent’ arena. Any time a person takes a discussion to new levels of intimacy beyond what he or she shares with a spouse, weeds sprout & begin to bloom.” -A. Begg (Alistair Begg, from the Familylife.com article, “3 Weeds to Pull From Your Marriage Garden”)

“Put Your Spouse First: When the children are grown and move out of the home, who will be left but your spouse? Nurture that relationship first and foremost. It is your role, together, to be the best parents you can be and what better way to do that than by parenting together and teaching your children (by what you say and do) that the bond of marriage is stronger than any other earthly commitment” -Miriam (From Happywivesclub.com article, “Chutzpah and Common Sense”)

Have you made your bedroom into a “special place” –a loving retreat for you & your spouse (& do you keep it that way)? “Time to do a bedroom check. How’s the clutter? Do you need to rearrange anything? When did you last wash your sheets? Is everything you use conveniently placed? Is there anything you can do to dress your room up a bit? Make your bedroom a special room, just for the two of you” -Lori Byerly. (From The-generous-wife.com article, “A Special Place”)

In your marriage: “Pick 1 thing this week that has really bugged you about him/her & make a choice to ‘get over it.’ So, they don’t enjoy the same shows or sports -get over it. So, they’re too picky about tidiness -get over it. So, she doesn’t cook like your mom -get over it. So, he leaves his socks on the floor -get over it! Most of what we deal with isn’t that important & we would simply do well to get over it.” (From Couplethingsblog article, “Get Over It”)

“Pray together regularly. Even as a couple in ministry, it’s difficult to find concentrated time to pray together. But when we started spending just a few minutes praying together, we found that a short prayer including a hand held, 2 hearts shared, & a connection with God together made all the difference in our day. If it’s a struggle in your marriage, pray about how you can make time to pray together.” -C McMenamin (Cindi McMenamin, from Crosswalk.com article, “Five Goals for Growing Closer to Your Spouse in 2012)

“Observing others & how they do things can be the most fruitful way to learn something new. I call this silent mentoring. You might see how a husband & wife team effectively handles difficult children & yet they might be terrible at selecting a restaurant, which turns into an argument. So, unbundle your observations. Keep the useful tools & avoid the problem areas. You might be surprised at what tips you can glean.” (Robert Ferguson, gleaned from Fergusonvalues.com article, “5 Ways to Improve Your knowledge of Marriage”)

“There are a # of ‘standing for your marriage’ groups out there. Some are great & some tend to be blame shifting pity parties. Be discerning about those with whom you share intimate details. If you want to restore your marriage, people who talk your ex down are NOT helping, no matter how much you like to hear it. If a person who’s ‘helping’ you isn’t all about seeing your marriage restored, they’re not helping you.” (Original quote: There are a number of “standing for your marriage” type groups out there. Some of them are great, and some of them tend more towards blame shifting pity parties. Be discerning about those you open yourself up to, and those with whom you share intimate details. If you want to restore your marriage, people who talk your ex down are not helping, no matter how much you like to hear it. This is also true for consolers and pastoral ministry –if the person who is “helping” you is not all about seeing your marriage restored, they are not helping you. (Paul Byerly, from The-generous-husband.com article, “It’s Not Over Even When It’s Over”) 

Did you consider that, “fulfilling your vows gives strength to others?” “Many people are watching you —your children, your friends, your co-workers. When you are faithful through the difficult times, they will be encouraged to do the same” -Dave Boehi. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…” -Hebrews 12:1

“How do you think others would finish the sentence, ‘If I were your wife, I would….’? [Or, ‘if I were your husband, I would…’] In other words, what is it like being married to you? Is it something most would see as a good thing, or a bad thing? Are others jealous of your wife [husband], or would they have pity for her [him]? Think about it, and make changes as needed.” -Paul Byerly from The-generous-husband.com article, “If I Were Your Wife, I Would”)

“Your life together is a lot like a ‘team’ sports game -as in soccer, football or hockey. In your marriage, don’t think your significant other is on the opposite team as you -you’re on the same side! As a team, it’s up to the both of you to figure out how to move the ball down the field together. Yes, your marriage is like a sports game; it’s up to you to determine the target and play your part. Pursue it together.” (Rowan and Mara Fraser, quote gleaned from the Couplethingsblog.com web site article, “Getting Your Game On”)

“Having fun together is glue that holds 2 hearts together for life …happily. The starting place for having more fun with your spouse is to realize how central fun & enjoyment is to your marriage. You may need to be reminded of that. Go out for coffee, watch a funny movie, or do something together that is wonderfully enjoyable. Do it again, & do it often. And through the vehicle of fun, become more ‘one.’” -R&M Fraser (Rowan & Mara Fraser – from Couplethingsblog.wordpress.com article, “The Element of Fun”)

“Marriage was intended to be a relationship of intimacy & that means vulnerability. After God, your spouse is the one who sees nearly every flaw. How we respond to each other’s weaknesses & insecurities can make or break the trust so vital to the intimacy of marriage. As a husband or a wife, you have a place of influence that no one else has! We’re wise to learn how to be our spouse’s safe place.” -April Motl (From Crosswalk.com article, “Making Your Marriage a Safe Place”) (Expanded Quote: “Marriage was intended to be a relationship of intimacy and that means vulnerability. After God, your spouse is the one who sees nearly every flaw. How we respond to each other’s weaknesses and insecurities can make or break the trust so vital to the intimacy of marriage. Responding to your spouse’s struggles with compassion and understanding creates an atmosphere of comfort, safety and trust. Not only will your marriage be stronger, but as individuals you will be able to conquer more of those daunting tasks in life because you know you have a cheerleader right there beside you. As a husband or a wife, you have a place of influence that no one else has! We are wise to learn how to be our spouse’s safe place.”)

“Transform your Communication: Give your marriage at least 15 minutes of meaningful dialog each day. The focus of this dialog should be on your feelings about each other and your life together, not about what happened at work, what some crazy driver did on the highway, or what’s going on in politics, etc” -BMWK. You can afford 15 minutes of time to your marriage partner —the one you promised to “cherish,” can’t you? (BMWK staff, from Blackandmarriedwithkids.com article, “5 Truths To Transform Communication In Your Relationship”)

“Sometimes we’re embarrassed to talk about sex, or we’re afraid because it’s been a source of conflict in the past. We’re worried our spouse will assume we have bad motives. You can’t control what your spouse thinks or reacts. But you can tell the truth. If your spouse doesn’t react well, resist the urge to defend yourself. Let your spouse talk, especially if there’s been hurt in the past. But share your heart, too.” (Sheila Wray Gregoire, from Tolovehonorandvacuum.com article, “29 Days to Great Sex Day 26: Rebuilding Your Sex Life)

“Happy Couples Apologize with the ‘B’ Word. Quickly saying the words ‘I’m sorry’ is a bad apology because it often comes off as insincere, & could trigger another battle. Next time you seek mercy, add the ‘B’ word. Say, ‘I’m sorry because…’ & share how you hurt your mate & what you’ll do to prevent the wrongdoing from recurring. Research shows that when you add the ‘because clause’ your words are more persuasive.” (Laurie Puhn, from Foxnews.com article, “10 truths about happy marriages”)

“To fall back in love with your [spouse], remember what 1st drew you to him[her]. Next time you’re tempted to start listing what your [spouse] is doing wrong, start listing what you love about him[her]. It’s what God would do. By remembering what your [spouse] does right, it will not only turn your heart back toward him[her], but it will be an outward sign to others that you love your [spouse] as God has loved you.” (Cindi McMenamin, from the Crosswalk.com article, “Loving Your Man As God Loves You”)

“Before you air negative feelings & info about your spouse, be sure you understand what you’re trying to accomplish. There’s nothing wrong with seeking relief from negative emotions, as long as you don’t make the problem worse in the process. But if you’re trying to get back at your spouse, or you’re unloading on a friend as a substitute for tackling an issue directly with your partner –put a lid on that steam.” -JH (Janis Long Harris, from Kyria.com article, “Public Disclosure”)

“Happy Couples Create Border Control. Are you ever angry with your partner for revealing something to others that you consider private, like a health issue, a child discipline issue, job insecurity, or a marital disagreement? If so, bypass the ‘How could you say that?!’ argument. Instead, establish border control: Outline topics that should remain private to insure that neither of you becomes an accidental traitor.” (Laurie Puhn, from Foxnews.com article, “10 truths about happy marriages”)

“Can you articulate God’s purpose for your marriage & family? 1 purpose for Barbara & me has been to equip marriages & families with God’s blueprints. Also, Barbara & I found His purposes change as we move thru the different seasons of a family. 1 purpose was to train them to know God & equip them to obey Him. God has a purpose for you as individuals & as a couple. Talk & pray about these purposes together.” -D.R. (Expanded quote: “Can you articulate God’s purpose for your marriage and family? One of His purposes for Barbara and me has been to equip marriages and families with God’s blueprints. In addition, Barbara and I have found that some of His purposes change as we move through the different seasons of a family. When we had children at home, it was clear that one of our purposes was to train them to know God and equip them to obey Him in life. God does have a unique purpose for each of you as individuals and for the two of you as a couple. I encourage you to talk and pray about these purposes together.” -Excerpted from the book, “Moments With You” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.)

“Transform your Communication: Be curious about each other and give your relationship the same priority and attention you gave it when you were first dating. Ask lots of questions. ‘Babe, do you still like going to…?’ ‘Do you want to do something different this year for the holidays?’ ‘Do you want to try new things in the bedroom?’ ‘Do you like it when I… (You fill in the blank and have fun!)?’” -BMWK Staff (From Blackandmarriedwithkids.com article, “5 Truths To Transform Communication In Your Relationship”)

“I was once told by a woman on her deathbed regarding marriage, ‘don’t worry about the little things… don’t fight over nonsense… in the end you won’t remember it and it really doesn’t matter'” -M. Viliardos. Consider how true those words are! Don’t allow that which doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things (especially in God’s plans for you), to become more important than your relationship with your spouse.

Be a thanks-giver in your marriage! “It’s easy to be appreciative to occasional guests in your life who sweep in & do a random act of kindness. It’s harder with your spouse. But for your marriage to succeed long term, you have to express gratitude often & check-in with your spouse periodically to make sure they feel appreciated. This will NEVER come naturally. You have to make it a conscious discipline.” -Mort Fertel (Gleaned from “Do You Take Each Other For Granted?” —one of many email marriage tips you can register for on Mortfertel.com)

“Sometimes we build monuments to pain. When a spouse says something that hurt us, we tend to attach it to past hurts, therefore compiling more than really needs to be there. We need to learn to put down the magnifying glass & take a look at things the way they are & not magnify them. Pick & choose your battles. Not everything needs to be addressed. If it does, do it in a way that will not magnify the situation.” -DSH (Donna Sacher Hurd, from Facebook comment 3/2/2011)

“A common mistake is to stop focusing on the discovery of yourself & your spouse over time. Both a man & woman, if they want their love to last, must take responsibility for & intentionally focus on this discovery. If they do, the emotion & adventure that drives a new relationship will characterize theirs as well –only with the added treasure of the trust & safety of a more mature relationship.” -From Couplethingsblog (From: Couplethingsblog.wordpress.com article, “Who Am I? Who Are You?”)

“Cleaning the gutters can be compared to cleaning out offenses. Are you holding onto any struggle you should be getting rid of? Get rid of the trouble weighing you down. Don’t allow past offenses to affect your ability to weather storms. Gutters aren’t meant to hold things. Its sole purpose is to redirect the flow of water during a storm. Are the gutters of your relationship cleaned out? If not, plan to do so.” -DW (Debi Walter, from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “When the Storm Passes”)

“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” -1 Cor. 13:7. “Love really is & does all of these things, simply & beautifully, when it’s given generously & without reserve. If you want your marriage to overflow with love, step back & take a close look in the mirror. If you want a situation to change, look to yourself 1st. The only person you have the power to change is you.” (Kim, from the Toodarnhappy.com article, “Love by the Book —8 Simple Ideas to Improve Your Marriage”)

“Happy Couples Show They Care. Forgetting to ask about what’s going on in your child or your mate’s daily life is a surefire way to erode a relationship. From now on, if you know that someone in your family has an important meeting, test, doctor appointment, or event that day, don’t neglect it –instead, respect it. Call, e-mail, text, or ask in person, ‘How did it go?’ This sends a clear message: I care about you.” (Laurie Puhn, from Foxnews.com article, “10 truths about happy marriages”)

“Once you divorce, you let a judge into your parenting to decide how you can raise your child. Your parenting values can be jeopardized by what the courts decide.” You may think that getting a divorce will help you to experience more peace than you have today, but consider that there are “hidden costs” that could be much more expensive to pay in the end. “Consider the costs” before tearing apart your home. (Quote from Terri Mewson of The 700 Club)

The Bible says, “Love is kind.” Think about it: “Someone drops the ball at work, or a cashier rings up an item twice. Are you apt to start screaming at them, or, even if you’re irritated, to brush it off with goodwill & a smile? Why is it that you’re more likely to extend this kindness to a stranger than to your spouse? Consider offering the same warmth & compassion to your mate the next time they make a mistake.” (Kim, from the Toodarnhappy.com article, “Love by the Book —8 Simple Ideas to Improve Your Marriage”)

Composing together “a mission statement reminds us of the reasons we got married. But if drafting a formal statement doesn’t fit your style, there are other ways to keep your marriage’s mission on your mind. One husband carries a key chain attached to a small plaque that reads, ‘Love is a decision.’ It’s a reminder that he chose his marriage. And that simple statement helps him cultivate his commitment to his wife.” (Les and Leslie Parrott, from the Kyria.com article “Lost and Found”)

“Happy Couples Complain with Impact. When you have a complaint, say what you DO want, not what you don’t want. For example, rather than saying to your mate, ‘Get off that computer —you’re so rude!’ instead target your mate using a positive approach: “I miss your company. Can you join me in the living room to hang out?” -L.P. “A word aptly spoken, is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” -Proverbs 25:11 (Quote from Laurie Puhn, from Foxnews.com article, “10 truths about happy marriages”)

“Love is like a home, built one brick at a time, to sustain even through times of storm. For every act of kindness, respect, trust & selflessness, more bricks are added to ensure protection during challenging times. When you wisely build your home, the storms of life cannot destroy it. Question: What little things can you do daily to continue nurturing your relationship, ensuring your marriage will be built to last?” (Fawn Weaver, from the Happywivesclub.com article, “Museum of Broken Relationships Dreams Really Exists? Yes!”)

“Humble yourself enough to give or receive a genuine apology. At a certain point in every marriage, one or both of you is bound to mess up. Someone will do something to disappoint the other. The hallmark of a good marriage is how well you move past these incidents. Can you sincerely say ‘I’m sorry’ without being prompted? Can you accept when your spouse says ‘I’m sorry’ without questioning their sincerity?” -T.P.J. (Tara Pringle Jefferson, gleaned from Blackandmarriedwithkids.com article, “You Won’t Be Married Long If You…”)

“Improve your marriage in minutes with very little time and effort: Inject a little more love into your love life: Send an ‘I love you’ text. Because who doesn’t like to hear that they’re loved for no reason at all? You can still send the text if you’re together but if you think that’s weird and goofy (and you’re not like me & don’t care about being weird & goofy) just grab your spouse and tell him out loud.” -ADJ (Ajay Dorsey Jackson, from the Makingloveinthemicrowave.com article, “Five Things to Do For Your Marriage”)

Too many people who don’t understand that when we have sick marriages in the church & keep perpetuating them so they remain sick, we’re displaying for others to see that God is not able to heal the sick & is powerless to help them. We need to tap into all God has for us, praying for His power & guidance. As we join with Him to make our marriages healthy & loving, others will better see that He truly is a God of LOVE. (Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International)

“Life is messy, because it’s real. If someone else’s grass looks greener, it’s either fake, or you’ve never been up close & personal with it. Get up close & you’ll see it has as many flaws as yours does. Remember, the difference between a beautiful garden & a wilderness is the time spent caring for it. If your lawn is straggly, instead of leaving it, take care of it a bit more. And while you’re at it, fix the fence.” (Sheila Wray Gregoire, from Tolovehonorandvacuum.com article, “The Greener Grass Syndrome”)

“Stop comparing your marriage to others. It’s great to try & incorporate successful patterns you’ve seen into your own marriage. But constantly looking at what others are doing & mumbling ‘must be nice,’ isn’t doing anything but devaluing what you already have. Just like our own bodies, marriages come in their own shapes & sizes & like a pair of skinny jeans, a good fit for one may be disastrous for another.” -ADJ (Aja Dorsey Jackson from Makingloveinthemicrowave.com article, “Five Marriage Sins You Should Stop Committing”)

“A problem for many marriages: People grow bored in life because they’ve become boring. They’ve decided that life is too heavy & serious to blow bubbles & look at the amazing colors & shapes they produce. They don’t want to discover anymore. Please make an effort to try new things [together] —even simple things. The heaviness of life will take care of itself. You do your part to enjoy it.” -Happilymarriedafter.com (David L Patrick, gleaned from the article, “Lost Sense of Wonder”)

“Have you ever made sure that your spouse knew exactly how irritated you were by letting loose with a huge disappointed sigh & an exaggerated roll of your eyes? How do you feel when one of your children does that to you? If your child has done that to you, then you know how incredibly disrespectful it is. Why would your spouse feel any different when you do it to him (or her)?” -Kim. “Love is not rude.” -1 Cor. 13:5 (From the Toodarnhappy.com article, “Love by the Book —8 Simple Ideas to Improve Your Marriage”)

“Marriage is hard work. And many people are making it more difficult by overlooking the fundamental truth that marriage is a spiritual institution designed by God for 2 imperfect people to be joined together in their dependence upon Him & each other. If each of you wants to be ‘one who walks in wisdom‘ (Prov. 28:26), you cannot ignore His instructions [within the Bible] on how you build & maintain a spiritual union.” (From the book, “Moments With You” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.)

“Take a few days to go away on a retreat (every year) with your spouse to seek God’s guidance for your marriage. In prayer, confess and repent of your sins, talk about the big issues in your marriage, and ask God to tell you and your spouse what He wants you to accomplish as a couple during the coming year. Listen carefully for God’s responses and write down the messages He communicates to you and your spouse.” -W.H. (Whitney Hopler, from the Crosswalk.com article, “How to Enjoy a Lifelong Love Affair with Your Spouse”)

“Couples can choose to assume the best about each other. For years we believed & taught others that ‘love is patient, love is kind; it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres’ (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, 7). The challenge is to intentionally to live those principles out one day at a time.” (G&C Oliver) DO YOU? (Gary & Carrie Oliver gleaned from their Kyria.com article, “Ready, Set, Grow.”)

“If your spouse says they’re committed to change & they want to grow, it’s not going to change overnight. They may still have old thought patterns they need to get over. If there’s healing that needs to come, it may not be instantaneous. But don’t let the fact that things aren’t 100% better make you believe that your spouse isn’t trying. Give him or her the benefit of the doubt. Love your spouse & forge ahead!” -SWG (Sheila Wray Gregoire, gleaned from Tolovehonorandvacuum.com article, “29 Days to Great Sex Day 26: Rebuilding Your Sex Life)

“When did phone calls, comments on a website & updates on sports scores become so important? We live a lot of life as though we’ll miss something important & be scarred forever. The biggest scars, however, will be those left in children & spouses where a cell phone became more important than they were in the eyes of those they love. We’re hurting our families when we let the mundane take precedence over the eternal.” (Gary Sinclair, from the Safeathomeblog.blogspot.com article, “Putting Some Healthy Limits on Technology”)

Consider one (anonymous) couple’s “formula” for marital success: “We gave when we wanted to receive; We served when we wanted to feast; We shared when we wanted to keep; We listened when we wanted to talk; We submitted when we wanted to reign; We forgave when we wanted to remember; We stayed when we wanted to leave.” We’re told in Eph. 5:2 to: “Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us & gave himself up for us…

“Stop sacrificing your marriage for your kids. You love your babies, but as happy as they may be that you gave up your date night, they’ll be even happier to grow up in an intact family with happy parents, whether or not they know it right now. Not only does your marriage provide a foundation for your family, it will prayerfully be there for the both of you when your kids are grown & off building their own lives.” (Aja Dorsey Jackson from Makingloveinthemicrowave.com article, “Five Marriage Sins You Should Stop Committing”)

“Pursue God’s dream for your marriage. God’s great dream for your marriage is for it to reflect you & your spouse’s relationships with Jesus & show people around you how true love & commitment should work. When it does so, your marriage will have power to inspire people & draw them closer to God. So view your marriage from God’s perspective: as a gift that can bless not just you & your spouse, but others as well.” (Whitney Hopler, from the Crosswalk.com article, “How to Enjoy a Lifelong Love Affair with Your Spouse”)

A funny truth: “My wife & I recently celebrated the arrival of our 1st child. At my wife’s insistence, we had paid our entire medical bill & were now worried about meeting other payments. We were discussing our sad financial situation one evening when our son demanded a diaper change. As my wife leaned over the baby’s crib, I heard her mutter, “The only thing in the house that’s paid for, & it leaks.” -Cybersalt.org

“Exchange loving words & actions toward each other often. Keep your conflicts short. Let go of the small stuff –that which won’t matter much later. What happened on September 11, 2001 in New York is a reminder that life is fleeting. You can’t take it for granted that your spouse will always be there. We aren’t promised tomorrow. “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” -Psalm 90:12

Don’t allow anyone to shape your marriage in an ungodly way. “If you fall in love with God—REALLY fall in love with God, you’ll notice a difference in your love toward your spouse. We each study & personalize the Bible & memorize specific verses to continually renew our minds to God’s power & character. [Don’t we?] If we fail to do that, our culture & society will shape our minds in the opposite direction.” -M&D B (Mike and Debbie Breaux with Ginger Kolbaba, from Kyria.com article, “The Real Thing.”)

“We all have things to do & busy seasons, but making couple time is important. It doesn’t have to be a big deal or take a lot of planning. Put your kids to bed 10 minutes early & sit on the couch & rub each other’s feet. Get the kids involved in a game & slip away to share a few minutes… When you pass in the hall, hold each other for a quiet moment. Be intentional about connecting and spending time together.” -L.B. (Laurie Byerly, from The-generous-wife.com marriage tip, “Be Intentional About the Two of You”)

“Every couple experiences ‘hot spots’ in their relationship. While it’s tempting to ignore them, the wise couple leans into them, learning more about their mates, repairing underlying wounds. See them as signals to be tended to. Lean into them, using ‘gentle inquisitiveness’ to learn more about your mate. Make it safe to talk about these wounds. Be part of a healing process. Exhibit an attitude of humility & caring.” (Dr David Hawkins, gleaned from the Crosswalk.com article, “Where There’s a Spark, There’s Fire”)

“Things you can do to inject a little more love into your love life: -Thank your spouse for something you haven’t acknowledged, something your spouse has done that you haven’t thanked her (him) for or something she (he) does that usually goes unnoticed. -Do a chore that your spouse hates. Does your spouse do the laundry? Take out the trash? Wipe down the mirrors? Pick a chore your spouse normally does & YOU do it.” (Gleaned from the Makingloveinthemicrowave.com article, “Five Things to Do For Your Marriage”) http://www.makingloveinthemicrowave.com/2012/five-things-to-do-for-your-marriage-right-now/

The Bible says to “encourage one another and build one another up” -1 Thess. 5:11. It also says to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” -Hebrews 10:24. Do you have friends who encourage you? “If you don’t have pro-marriage friends, where would you go to find some? How can you make time for this kind of couple friendship?” -L. B. “Let the marriage be held in honor among all…” -Hebrews 13:4 (Questions in quotes posed by Lori Byerly from The-generous-wife.com)

“Time is a lot like money. We have a finite amount of time each day. How we choose to ‘spend’ it, will shape our lives & our relationships. I can spend my time reading & exposing myself to new ideas. I can spend my time playing with my children & build in them important values. If I choose to spend my time one way, I have in effect chosen to not spend it another way. It’s smart to ‘invest’ time in your marriage.” -LB (Lori Byerly, gleaned from The-generous-wife.com article, “Spend Wisely”)

An idea from Familylife.com to consider: “’My husband & I made a deal for date nights,’ wrote one wife. ‘He’s too plugged in to TV & his phone. Therefore when we’re out at restaurants we’re not allowed to use our phones unless it’s a call from the babysitter. Also we don’t go to restaurants that have TV’s. We need to find time daily to disconnect from all the info & reconnect with good ‘old fashioned’ conversation.” (Dave Boehi, from the article, “Setting Boundaries for Mobile Technology”)

“If we look for things our spouse does wrong, we’ll see more & more things she [he] does wrong. Our focus on the bad results in a skewed view, making her [him] look even worse than she [he] is. This works in reverse as well –if you focus on seeing the good, some of what she [he] does won’t seem as bad” -PB. “Whatever is true …honorable…commendable, if there is any excellence… think on these things…” -Phil 4:8 9 (Quote from Paul Byerly, gleaned from The-generous-husband.com article, “Use the Tetris Effect for a Better Marriage”)

“Couples married a long time have embraced the value of durability. If you begin with a solid structure, continually maintain, repair & fully engage in your marriage, you have a greater chance of prevailing. The more storms you weather, the higher the confidence grows you’ll endure future storms. Over time, others will begin to view your durability & wonder where it came from. At that point, you can offer guidance.” (Robert Ferguson, gleaned from the Fergusonvalues.com article, “How to Build Durability in to Your Marriage”)

“There are a million & one ways to show your spouse how much you care. It doesn’t have to take much time. Seconds if that’s all you have. But make it your mission today to do something different than the norm to express to the one you love how much he (she) means to you. Thousands of little things over the years will be the catalyst to a life full of love, peace, joy, laughter & marital bliss. Give it a try.” -F.W. (Fawn Weaver, gleaned from Happywivesclub.com article, “Little Things”)

“Date night, or date day for that matter, gives the two of you time to connect, talk, and enjoy things together. It reconnects you emotionally. …Be it a night-time or daytime thing, weekly or a couple of times a month, a big deal or simple, expensive or cheap, please make time for regular dates. You really don’t want to send the message that you are too busy for her [or him]!” -The-generous-husband.com (Paul Byerly, from the article, “Date Night”)

Good marriages are made 1 wise choice at a time –choices that reveal you CHOOSE EACH OTHER. Continually look at the “opportunities” presented to you & purposefully make sure your spouse is a priority. Remember: just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should. “Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” -Eph. 5:15-16.

“God doesn’t want us merely to ‘get’ through our problems. He wants us to ‘grow’ through them. Jesus didn’t die and rise again so we could be mere survivors. In the words of Romans 8:37, Jesus wants to help us “become more than conquerors” & experience ‘overwhelming victory.’ He wants to do ‘immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us‘ (Ephesians 3:20).” -G&C Oliver (Gary & Carrie Oliver from their Kyria.com article, “Ready, Set, Grow.”)

“Having an affair is easy. Relax your morals, get too close to someone who’s not your spouse, dote on him/her, do things that make for a good relationship. Problem? Having an affair can destroy your marriage, reputation, implode finances, decay other relationships & suffocate your relationship with God.” BEWARE! “What we need is a time machine so those entering an affair could see their lives at the end of lust.” (1st quote: Kevin B. Bullard from Mymarriageworks.com blog, “Having an Affair is Easy.” Expanded version of 1st quote: “Having an affair is easy. You just relax your morals, get too close to someone who’s not your spouse, dote on him/her, have fun, take it easy, laugh a lot, do the little things that make for a good relationship, and allow your emotions to be flooded with desire. There’s just one little problem: having an affair can destroy your marriage, impugn your reputation, disease your body, derail your career, implode your finances, decay your relationships with friends and family, and suffocate your relationship with God. Having an affair is easy. But, is it worth it? I think not.” —Expanded second quote from Diane Sollee: “What we really need is a time machine so that people entering into an affair could flash forward and see themselves, their kids, and their lives at the other end of this “tunnel of love” —at the end of the lust.”)

“Many of us marry with the illusion that the excitement of new love will never fade. At some point, we realize that reality is different. We enter the season of disappointed love. The secret to dealing with the disappointments is found in 1 word: commitment. At your wedding, you stood before God & promised to never forsake each other, ‘for better or for worse.’ Now, you have a choice. Will you honor that commitment?” (Gleaned from the book, “Moments With You,” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. The actual quote: “Many of us marry with the illusion that the excitement and magic of new love will never fade away. Then, at some point in the first couple years of marriage, we wake up and realize that reality is a bit different. That’s when we enter the season of disappointed love. …Commitment is an inner resolve to conform to what you know to be true in spite of your feelings. Your covenant of commitment to God and each other is the heart of what remains once reality has edited the illusion of what you thought marriage would be. At your wedding, you stood before God and promised to never forsake each other, ‘for better or for worse.’ Now, staring ‘worse’ in the face, you have a choice. Will you honor that commitment?”)

“Do you still have memorabilia from relationships of long ago? There’s only enough room in marriage for 2. The best thing to do with an old flame that suddenly reappears is to put it out. And if your spouse struggles with jealousy, cut off every ounce of oxygen from your mate’s insecurities, until he/she feels totally safe in your love. Leave nothing behind to feed fear or fan the flames of an extramarital affair.” (Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)

In a growth-focused marriage: “Each partner takes responsibility for what God wants to do in his or her life. Whenever there’s an ‘issue’ they actively seek to apply Psalm 139:23-24: ‘Search me, O God, & know my heart; test me & know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.‘ Their 1st prayer is, ‘Lord, change me.’ (G&C Oliver) Is this the prayer of your heart? (Gary & Carrie Oliver from their Kyria.com article, “Ready, Set, Grow.”)

When conflicting with spouse: “When one of you reverts to a dysfunctional conflict style, know that you can’t save that conversation. No couple can.” Agree that: “either spouse can call for a stop & it must be honored. Take a time out & get some space [it’s a good time to pray]. Tell your partner when you’re ready to resume & ask him to find you when he’s ready. Then sit down & start again” peaceably this time. -D.C. (David Clarke, from “Ask the Doctor E-mail Advice, April 16, 2012, Expanded quote: “When something goes haywire, for example, when one of you reverts to your dysfunctional conflict style, you can’t save that conversation. No couple can. It’s over. Either spouse can call for a stop, and it must be honored. Take a time out and get some space. It might be just 5 minutes. Go to the bathroom. Feed the dog. Go to the backyard and do a primal scream. Tell your partner when you are ready to resume, and ask him to find you when he is ready. Then sit down, and start up where you left off. The Action Plan: 1. In your conflict talks, which one of you won’t want to stop? Why don’t you want to stop? 2. Recall a fight when, because you didn’t stop, real damage was done. 3. Apologize for the times you have said hurtful things in a conflict, and agree to use the Stop and Start method. This blog based on my book ‘Kiss Me Like You Like Mean It’)

Jesus said, ‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you‘ (John 13:14,15). Marriage provides opportunities every day for both spouses to practice this admonition. The challenge is not to keep on loving the person we thought we were marrying, but to love the person we did marry.” -Gary Thomas (From the Ncfliving.org article, “Transforming the Miracle of Marriage”)

Thank your spouse for things that are important to you. Don’t take him or her for granted. Saying “please” & “thank you” for even little things is like giving him or her little care packages of the heart. Sometimes thank your spouse for NOT doing something, which is important that they didn’t do. An example of that would be, for NOT embarrassing you in front of others when you did something you wish you hadn’t, etc.

“Would you like to feel more love for your husband or wife? Then every day: write down 1 thing you like about him/her …just simple things you like about him/her. ‘I like the way he plays with the kids.’ ‘I like it that she fixes nutritious meals for the kids & me.’ Keep your ‘Like List’ where you can review it often. Do this for 31 days -1 month & you’ll see a difference in the way you feel toward your spouse.” (Harold and Bette Gillogly -Marriage tip given in the “GTO Hilyter” – April 2012)

“A worker at my husband’s job routinely complained about the contents of his lunch box. ‘I’m sick & tired of getting the same thing!” he shouted one day. “Tonight I’ll set my wife straight.” The next day he boasted, “I told her off. I said, ‘No more of the same stuff. Be creative!’ I think I got my point across.” He had. He opened his lunch box to find a coconut & a hammer.” Be careful of what you complain about! (Joke sent to us by Cybersalt.org –Original joke: “A bricklayer at my husband’s construction job routinely complained about the contents of his lunch box. ‘I’m sick and tired of getting the same old thing!’ he shouted one day. ‘Tonight I’ll set my wife straight.’ The next day the men could hardly wait until lunchtime to hear what happened. ‘You bet I told her off,’ the bricklayer boasted. ‘I said, ‘No more of the same old stuff. Be creative!’ We had one heck of a fight, but I got my point across.’ He had indeed. In front of an admiring audience, he opened his lunch box to find that his wife had packed a coconut —and a hammer.)

“In a relationship, simple adjustments change everything. Decide that there is no ‘back door.’ Determine you’re in this marriage for good. Why? Because then can you make yourself do whatever it takes. You promised, ‘…for better or for worse.’ Give it everything you’ve got & you WILL see it thru. To decide that you’re not going anywhere EVER closes the path of least resistance & creates a new dynamic in your heart.” (From Couplethingsblog.wordpress.com article, “Relationship Trouble-Shooting – Part 1”)

“Be objective. Okay, so you’re convinced your spouse is wrong. Guaranteed they’re wrong to some degree, because if either of you were getting this 100% right you wouldn’t be having this argument in the 1st place. It’s good to identify exactly what they’ve done that hurts you, & share how that specific thing makes you feel. It’s even better to find the part you’ve done wrong & take responsibility for that.” -A. Bercht (Anne Bercht, from the Beyondaffairs.com article, “Going from Argument to Harmony”)

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