Facebook Quotes – Page 14

Pixabay computer-419961_640Below are a few of the quotes we’ve posted on the Marriage Missions Facebook Page. This is the 14th page we’ve created with quotes from many different “marriage experts” giving marriage tips, which can still be used in a variety of ways:

•  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. 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?
  1. 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.)
  1. 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):

•  “Sometimes we have to look carefully at the body language of our spouse in order to figure out what he/she wants and what’s going on inside him/her. We have to ask the right questions and be able to discern his/her reaction to them. We have to read between the lines. Ask God to enable you to recognize the vital signs in your spouse and to help you communicate so clearly that he/she doesn’t have to search for signs in you.” (Stormie Omartian, from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “If Communication Breaks Down)

•  “Don’t play the comparison game” as far as comparing your spouse to someone else’s spouse, or someone else. It can cause BIG problems. “We all make mistakes, have bad habits and annoying behaviors. When we compare a ‘new friend’ to our spouse, it’s an unfair comparison because we aren’t seeing that person in a ‘living under the same roof, taking care of kids at 3 a.m., struggling to make ends meet’ reality.” (Jill Savage, from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “8 Safeguards Against Getting Too Close”)

•  “We are naked and exposed before each other in marriage. No one knows your wife’s or husband’s sin, shame and failures the way you do. Each of us brings our own set of flaws with us when we marry, and unfortunately, we add new ones to them as time goes along. But marriage should be the best place for two imperfect people to find acceptance and ongoing forgiveness… as well as the courage to change and grow.” (Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)

•  “Invite the Holy Spirit to fully guide you. Rather than just following your own agenda for the each day, pray for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind so you can approach situations with the wisdom of God’s guidance. Also ask the Holy Spirit to help you develop character traits that will make you a better person and spouse: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Whitney Hopler from the Crosswalk.com article, “How to Open Your Hearts in Marriage”)

•  “There are 2 words that if spouses engage one another from the postures these words represent, there’s a strong likelihood the marriage will move in a good direction. The two words are soft and slow. Slowing down and softening your tone of voice, your words, your body language, your pace, your heart, etc. can have dramatic effects. Try it the next time you interact with your spouse and see what happens over time.” (Quote gleaned from National Institute of Marriage from their Weekly Insight for Intimacy) (Expanded quote: There are two words that contribute a great amount toward safety in marriage. If spouses engage one another from the postures that these words represent, there is a strong likelihood the marriage will move in a direction that feels good. The two words are soft and slow. Slowing down and softening your tone of voice, your words, your body language and expressions, your pace, your heart, etc. can have dramatic effects. Try it on for size the next time you interact with your spouse and see what happens over time.)

•  “You took your partner for better or worse, but who wouldn’t prefer more of the ‘better’ and less of the ‘worse’? When your spouse isn’t quite measuring up, remember that he or she was created in God’s image—not your image. Thomas Merton reminds us, ‘to love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.'” (Anne Russ, gleaned from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “5 Things Never to Say to Your Spouse”)

•  “Both husbands and wives need admiration. We want compliments and appreciation for serving a great dinner, caring for a sick relative, getting a promotion at work, losing weight, looking amazing, hard work, intelligence, ability to provide for the family, etc. To strengthen your marriage, watch for what you can admire in your spouse.” -P. Smith. Pro-actively look for ways you can say, “I notice you and value who you are.” (Poppy Smith, from the Growthtrac.com article, “Emotional Needs”)

•  “Silence feels like a security blanket. But the silent treatment is deceptive and ultimately destructive. When you’re tempted to square off against each other, to retreat to your corners, refusing to give in, remember that Jesus could have given us the cold shoulder. He could have taken one look at our many sins and shortcomings and never sought to draw us out. May His reaching, redemptive love be our model and motivator.” (Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)

•  “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13) “A happy marriage doesn’t mean you have a perfect spouse or a perfect marriage. It simply means you’ve chosen to look beyond the imperfections in both.” (Fawn Weaver) “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)

•  “What was that one thing your spouse said to you that sticks with you to this day? Proverbs 18:21 tells us that ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue.’ Clearly, our words mean something. Not only what we say, but how we say it can either encourage or discourage our spouse, and we want to teach you to speak life into your spouse” -Michael Smalley. Make sure your words encourage, rather than discourage.

•  “God’s glory was clearly evident within the 1st marriage. In other words, the inaugural couple didn’t have to look far to find God’s glory: it was radiating within their marriage. They needed only to cherish that glory, nurture it and give it free reign in their lives. They needed to live for God’s glory. We must do the same thing. With the shared resolve of both partners, we must live for the glory of God.” (From No Ordinary Marriage by Tim Savage)

•  “Have you seen or heard from an old flame? Been tempted to search the Internet for an old flicker? There’s only enough room in marriage for 2. The best thing to do with an old flame that appears is to put it out. If your spouse struggles with jealousy, cut off the oxygen from your mate’s insecurities, until he or she feels safe in your love. Leave nothing behind to feed the fears or fan the flames of an affair.” (Expanded quote: “Have you seen or heard from an old flame recently? Been tempted to search the Internet for an old flicker? Do you still have a box of letters or memorabilia from relationships of long ago? There’s only enough room in marriage for two. The best thing to do with an old flame that suddenly reappears is to put it out. And if your spouse struggles with jealousy, the best way to cast out fear is to cut off every ounce of oxygen from your mate’s insecurities, until he or she feels totally safe in your love. Leave nothing behind to feed the fears or fan the flames of an extramarital affair.” Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.)

•  Married couples mistakenly: “assume a rough patch is the end of the world. Relationships go in cycles of ups and downs, just like in the economy. They’re not only inevitable, they’re actually healthy. They force you to see where you’ve let things slide, taken each other for granted, or lost sight of what’s important. Embrace rough patches and innovate in the face of crisis. Think up solutions to issues that divide you.” (Gleaned from Prevention Magazine’s, “7 marriage mistakes even smart couples make”)

•  Many married couples mistakenly: “Put off kind gestures. We think we’ll give him that well-deserved back rub, or watch the kids so she can have a child-free afternoon, but then we flake. The time never seems right. The to-do list remains too long. We think we’re great spouses but sometimes we’re just not. The best solution to our procrastination is to devise [specific] ways to force ourselves to commit to things.” (Gleaned from Prevention Magazine’s, “7 marriage mistakes even smart couples make”) (Expanded quote: Putting off kind gestures. We think we’ll give him that well-deserved back rub, or watch the kids so she can get out the door for a child-free afternoon, but then we flake. The time never seems right. The to-do list remains too long. We think we’re great spouses but sometimes we’re just not. The best solution to our procrastination is to devise something economists call “commitment devices”—ways to force ourselves to commit to things. Send your husband a text promising a back rub and you sort of have to do it. Arrange a personal training session for your wife and the kids are all yours for the afternoon.”

•  What are you juggling to accomplish? “You may not get pats on the back for being at home to dry the dishes or settle a disagreement or help a child study for a test. You may not receive the same affirmation you feel from accomplishing a work goal or achieving recognition among your peers. But winning at home is the key to winning anything of value. Marriages and families don’t bounce. They shatter. For generations.” (Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)

•  During heated arguments, “keep emotion manageable. Nothing prevents listening like heated emotion. Anger tends to narrow our focus, exaggerate our responses and pit us against our mate. Discouragement can lead us to hear only the worst part of what our mate is saying. Every couple longing to be listened to must keep their emotion manageable. Call ‘Time Outs’ if necessary so there’s emotional space to hear your mate.” (Dr David Hawkins, from the Crosswalk.com article, “Active Listening: Slice it Thinner”)

•  “Give your spouse the gift of your time and attention. Turn off your phone (and any other devices) and invite your spouse to go for a walk or play a game. Look at him (her). Smile. Ask a question. Hold hands. Hug. Connect. Generally speaking, we make time for what’s important to us. Let your spouse know that he [she] is important to you by spending time on him [or her]” -Lori Byerly, The-generous-wife.com

•  “The best way to grow in Christ is to purpose to do it and to ask Him to help us. May we encourage you to not let another day pass where you and your spouse aren’t purposing to make the most of each day the Lord has given you? We never know when the door of life will close, bringing with it a new normal. Let’s cherish the now we’ve been given and do all we can to glorify Him in our personal lives and in our marriage.” (Debi Walter, gleaned from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “Where Hearts Connect and Spirits Collide”)

•  “Traditions can be great, but some have long since outlasted their relevance or use, while others were bad ideas from the start. But you ‘have to do it, it’s tradition.’ Yes, sometimes you should do things you don’t like for the benefit of others, but there needs to be a limit. This is especially true if the traditions are hurting your marriage, your kids, or your ability to develop your own traditions.” -Paul Byerly

•  Beware: “Many people convince themselves that as long as there’s no sex, it’s not an affair. But it is. An affair really has to do with secrecy, deception of the partner and betrayal. It also has to do with the amount of emotional energy that you put into the other person and are no longer giving your partner.” (Dr. Gail Saltz) “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well” (Proverbs 5:15).

•  “Instead using free time to get better at golf, photography or cooking, what if we used it to become a godly wife or husband? What if we used the time to take a walk together? What if we used it to deliberately think about how to invest in our spouse —to plan a romantic evening, to choose a chore we could take off our spouse’s hands? It takes focus for a marriage relationship to grow and focus takes time.” (Dennis Rainey, excerpted from the book, Moments With You)

•  Are you so comfortable with your spouse that you sometimes forget to be at least as kind to him or her as you are to others? A problem that often happens in marriage is that we become almost too familiar with each other, giving ourselves permission NOT to extend common courtesies and instead slip into negative behavior that causes an erosion of everything good that you had together. If you’re there …rewind and be kind. (Cindy Wright, Marriage Missions)

•  Are you a “right-fighter” in the way you approach marital conflict? Right-fighting happens when someone is caught up in the emotionality of the fight to the extent of being willing to go to any length, by any means, to prove that he/she is “right” –even if it means that the relationship is damaged, as a result. “Rightness, whenever it seeks to dominate, becomes wrongness, no matter how right it may be.” -Mike Mason (First part of quote is by Cindy Wright)

•  “A marriage thrives because the partners undergird their love with 4 elements. They work at open communication, even when they’re tired, hurt or angry. They reaffirm their commitment through words and actions, even when romantic love is nothing more than a memory. They admit their mistakes, ask for and grant forgiveness. And they put themselves in their mate’s place to understand the challenges that he or she faces.” (Drs Les & Leslie Parrott, gleaned from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Make Love Last”)

•  Put Christ 1st in all things. When Barbara and I signed the ‘Title Deed’ of our lives over to Christ as a young married couple, we gave Him everything that was ours —all rights to our lives, dreams and possessions. Have we ever failed? Sure. But when we’ve been tempted to live for ourselves, we’ve been able to remember a time when we submitted everything of ours into His keeping and signed that title deed.” (Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey) (Expanded quote: Put Christ first in all things. When Barbara and I signed the “Title Deed” of our lives over to Christ as a young married couple, we officially gave Him everything that was ours —all rights to our lives, dreams and possessions. Have we ever failed to remember the One who really owns our hopes, dreams and possessions? Sure. But whenever we’ve been tempted to live for ourselves, we’ve always been able to look each other in the eye and remember a time when we submitted everything of ours into His keeping and signed that title deed.)

•  We might think our spouse will always be around so we can express our love at this time or another, but that just isn’t so. Accidents and tragedies happen. “Why does it seem to take a tragedy to help us realize just how special our loved ones are to us? Do you need to take the time to let your spouse know how much you love them? None of us is promised tomorrow so we need to live as though today could be our last.” (Quote from Donna Hosmer, from the Marriage4good.com article, “Phone Call that Changed Our Lives)

•  “Oh, magnify the Lord with me. Let us exalt his name together!” -Ps. 34:3.”When you magnify the Lord together you say, ‘This isn’t about us. It’s about putting the gospel on display to a watching world.’ Paul Tripp states: ‘We were made to live upward and outward, but most of us live inward. When we quit living inward and start living upward and outward, life changes.'” CHALLENGE: Live upward and outward in your marriage. (Quote: Dennis Rainey, from the Familylife.com article, 11 Rules on Marriage You Won’t Learn in School)

•  You may be the only example of a good spouse that children will witness. They may not have a great example in their own home of what a good marriage looks like —how a husband/wife should treat each other. You have a mission field in your marriage that can be a testimony, as you live as God would have you. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). (CW)

•  “We can waste time on things that don’t matter and neglect those that do. This is why we shouldn’t be surprised if our marriage isn’t what we’d hoped it’d be years down the road. If you haven’t made time together a priority, your marriage will be affected. Sadly, some couples don’t realize this until the kids grow up and move on with their lives” -D Walter. Beware and take care. Invest time & energy in your marriage NOW. (Debi Walter, from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “It’s About Time or What an Alarm Clock Taught Me About Marriage”)

•  “Don’t be afraid to confront issues in love. Remember that we are helping one another grow in Christ and become more like Him. We are not the Holy Spirit, but after seeking the Lord in prayer and if He is nudging you to talk to your spouse about an issue, then do it –lovingly! -Amy Allen “If someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.” (Galatians 6:1) (From redeemedmarriage.com blog, “Healing Sexual Sin In Marriage”)

•  “Love by itself is seldom sturdy enough to support a couple when their marriage is challenged by bad things. Love, while being a good catalyst for marriage, cannot sustain it without the assistance of 4 other essential components. For a marriage to flourish for a lifetime, love must work hand in hand with open communication, unwavering commitment, regular forgiveness and sincere empathy.” -Drs Les and Leslie Parrott (From the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Make Love Last”)

•  “Some people think, I can view porn in my home. It’s just me and my magazine, or computer. It doesn’t affect my marriage. Oneness in marriage is hijacked by sexual immorality. In 1 Cor. 6:15 we’re told, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?’ Advice is the same today as it was years ago: Flee immorality (1 Cor. 6:18).” (Bill Elliff, from Growthtrac.com article, “8 Lies That Destroy Marriage”)

•  “Invest in your marriage. Your marriage is the best weapon you have in your arsenal to get thru life. It is marriage that makes us feel like we can take on the world. It’s our spouse that gives us a partner in life so we’re not trying to handle all this alone. It is marriage that helps your children’s behavior and makes them more likely to make good decisions –saving you a ton of heartache, worry, and time, too.” (Sheila Wray Gregore – from the Tolovehonorandvacuum.com article, “Invest in Your Marriage”)

•  “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10). “When people respect us, they tend to value us more. When they walk all over us, they don’t value us. Become the person that you want to be, and that God is calling you to be. Then be that person within your marriage –loving him (her), but also setting limits. As you do that, you may find healthy dynamic changes.” (Sheila Wray Gregoire, from Thelovehonorandvacuum.com article, “Changing the Dynamic in Your Marriage”)

•  “We marry someone we claim we have a lot in common with. But we’re mostly attracted to someone different from ourselves. We balance each other out by marrying someone who has strengths where we’re weak. Eventually we’re annoyed at the differences, rather than appreciative of how they balance us out. You and your spouse are uniquely different. This is not only okay, it’s good” if you allow differences to work FOR you. (Cindi and Hugh McMenamin, from the Crosswalk.com article, “See Your Spouse as Unique – Not Annoying!”)

•  When confronting your spouse: “Ask for honesty in return. This is one of the most crucial and hardest parts of having honest conversations. It’s easy to degenerate into blame-fests: you criticize your spouse, they retaliate by criticizing you. When you want an honest conversation, be ready for honesty in return. It’s likely that you play a role in the problem. Admitting that upfront can prevent their angry response.” (Kira Newman, gleaned from the Simplemarriage.net article, “How to Be Honest Without Hurting Your Spouse’s Feelings”)

•  When arguing with your spouse: “Remember to attack the problem, not the person. Our natural impulse during conflict is to defend and protect our position.” When you go into blaming and shaming, resolving the problem gets sidetracked. “You’ll be far more productive if you focus on the problem and work together, as a team, to devise a way of avoiding it. In other words, separate the problem from the person.” (Drs Les and Leslie Parrott, in Thriving Family article, “Learn to Fight Fair”)

•  Make this a wonderful day for your spouse —one that brings a smile to his or her heart. First: “Think about your husband [or your wife] for a minute. Quickly list three things that you love about him [or about her]. Now go and tell him” [if it’s your wife, tell her] -Lori Byerly. “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” -Margaret Cousins

•  “‘Keep your eyes on the prize.’ Your marriage is ‘the prize.’ Don’t let anything (even career or hobbies) take over 1st place. After the honeymoon, keep doing what you did to court before you got married. It’s been said, ‘Spoil your spouse…not your children.’ Your children are watching. They’ll love you for it. ‘Leave a legacy. A healthy marriage teaches children important lessons about their own relationships.'” (Judge James Sheridan, from Marriage Done Right web site article, “Father’s Day and Marriage”)

•  “If honesty is the foundation of trust and intimacy, why does it sometimes lead to hurt feelings? Perhaps we need to practice honesty the way we practice other skills. It’s not simply a matter of saying, ‘Your laugh is annoying’ or ‘You drink too much.’ To avoid hurting each other’s feelings, we have to pick the right time and place, choose our words wisely, and be ready to hear the truth about ourselves.” -Kira Newman (From the Simplemarriage.net article, “How to Be Honest Without Hurting Your Spouse’s Feelings”)

•  “Through marriage, husbands and wives are to reflect His character and have children who will reflect His character … all the way to the end of time. Every marriage knows unhappiness. Every marriage knows conflict. Every marriage knows difficulty. But everyone can be joyful in their marriage by focusing on God’s purposes and His glory instead of individual happiness.” -Bill Elliff (From Growthtrac.com article, “8 Lies That Destroy Marriage”)

•  “Until you realize you were placed here for God’s purposes, then your life and your marriage will be difficult, complicated, and exhausting. But once you understand God’s plan, your life and your marriage take on new meaning. And once you and your spouse both get this —when you’re living purpose-driven lives —then your marriage becomes a purpose-driven marriage!” (Rick Warren) Are you participating with God in this mission? (From the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “The Purpose Driven Marriage”)

•  Fighting Fair Tips:” Start sentences with “I” instead of “You” —”I feel frustrated when we’re late” is easier to hear than “You always make us late.” …Avoid “character assassination”—don’t assign labels to each other (e.g., “You’re so lazy”). …If you need a timeout, take it, but agree on when you’ll come back.” …Avoid expressing contempt by rolling your eyes or being sarcastic—it’s toxic to your relationship.” (Drs Les and Leslie Parrott, gleaned from Thriving Family article, “Learn to Fight Fair”)

•  “Hurt feelings happen when your spouse feels like they’re being criticized or judged. To avoid that, explain that your motivation isn’t to hurt them but to help them and make your relationship better. But before you proclaim your good intentions, take a moment for some self-honesty. Are your intentions really good? Or are you just getting something off your chest, taking revenge, or trying to wound?” -Kira Newman (Gleaned from the Simplemarriage.net article, “How to Be Honest Without Hurting Your Spouse’s Feelings”)

•  We encourage you to: “go to Philippians 4:8 and read it. It doesn’t say, ‘If everything is excellent and worthy of praise’; it says, ‘If there is anything excellent and worthy of praise.’ If you commit to dwelling on the positive, I believe God will show you something excellent in your husband or wife’s character –something worthy of praise.” -Linda Dillow

•  “’You work all the time.’ Once we’ve said ‘all the time,’ the conflict becomes one of defining what that means. Don’t argue about what ‘all the time’ means. Your spouse will hear that you don’t respect how hard he or she is working. Describe what you feel about your relationship based on his/her work schedule. Saying ‘I miss US when you work this much’ can lead the discussion to creative ways you can stay connected.” (Dr David Stoop, gleaned from drstoop.com article, “Three Additional Fights You Need to Have With Your Spouse”)

•  “’You can’t let your family/friends treat me like that!’ This becomes a conflict related to the issue of loyalty. Your spouse isn’t responsible for what the family member or friend said or did, but failure to protect or defend you IS his/her responsibility. Once he or she gets it that it’s a question of loyalty, you can have a healthy conversation about what to do about it the next time it’s a problem.” (Dr David Stoop, from the drstoop.com article, “Three Additional Fights You Need to Have With Your Spouse”)

•  “We have the opportunity to live in a marriage garden and bear fruit for God’s kingdom, but we must work. God gave us a plot and instructed us to cultivate our relationships: 1st with him, 2nd with our spouses, then with our children, and finally with our neighbors. Our job is to love (an action). He created us to glorify him and his Kingdom, not to wait around for someone to glorify us.” (Patricia Hartman, gleaned from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Don’t Say, ‘We Grew Apart'”)

•  “Study, learn and become passionate about marriage. If you’re a newlywed or engaged, it’s new and exciting, but be wise. Look at a couple who’ve been married 30 years and understand that they’ve been through some challenges. A lot of people are getting divorced, so ask yourself, What do I need to do so I don’t fall in the same pit? If you want to have a great marriage, talk to some people who are doing it right.” (Kirk Cameron, from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Love is Worth Waiting For”)

•  Surprise your spouse. “What if you gave yourself the assignment of pulling off a surprise Valentine’s Day in the summer or the fall or a week from Wednesday or a month after her [his] birthday —not to give expensive gifts, but just to pick some ordinary days to do some out-of-the-ordinary things? Valentine’s Day can be fun. But wouldn’t it be a lot more fun if this became your Valentine’s Year?” (Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)

•  “Discuss all invitations from friends and family members with your spouse before responding to them. Teach your friends and relatives to wait for a response until you reach a joint agreement with your spouse about each invitation. Set boundaries with everyone outside your marriage to make it clear that your spouse’s interests are a higher priority than anyone else’s interests whenever a conflict of interests occurs.” (Whitney Hopler, from the Crosswalk.com article, “How to Negotiate with Your Spouse so You Both Win”)

•  “When difficult situations shake the foundation of your marriage, it’s important to remember what love really is. Love is life lived as a promise, a commitment and a sacrifice for the good of another person. When things get tough, it’s important to choose love. Remember your vows: for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; til death do us part.” (Megan of Do Not Disturb, guest posting on The-generous-wife.com, in the article, (Money, Marriage and Making it Work”)

•  Your body language sometimes speaks more to your spouse than anything else you could ever say. Make sure when your spouse is trying to communicate something important, that you turn your attention his or her way. Regard that time as something important, because it should be, and it IS. Look directly into your marriage partner’s eyes when he or she speaks, showing that you ARE paying attention (and make sure you are). (CDW)

•  A GREAT blessing to give to a couple on their wedding day: “My hope, my dream, my prayer for you both is that years from now you will look back at your wedding day and realize that it was the day you loved each other the least. May your life together be one of falling in love with each other more every day.” (Dr Greg Smalley, from the book, “The Best Advice I Ever Got on Marriage”)

•  “Your marriage involves ministry, and it also involves mission. Your ministry is to believers and your mission is to non-believers —allowing God to use your marriage as a means for telling others about his love. If you want God’s blessing on your marriage, then you must care about what God cares about most. What is that? He wants his lost children found and for everyone to know him and his purposes for their lives.” (Rick Warren, from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “The Purpose Driven Marriage”)

•  “Like people, marriages also go thru different stages. Everyone knows the infancy stage of marriage —the ‘honeymoon period.’ Does marriage have the equivalent to the ‘Terrible Twos’ or the stormy ‘Teenage Years?’ It does. These periods are often misunderstood, causing over-reactions. Those who manage to weather the stormy periods usually come out on the other side with greater love and commitment to their spouses.” (Michelle Weiner-Davis)

•  “A patient person shows great understanding, but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness” (Prov. 14:29). “If your spouse offends you, do you quickly retaliate or do you stay under control? Do you find that anger is your emotional default when treated unfairly? If so, you’re spreading poison rather than medicine… Patience stands in the doorway and waits to see the whole picture before passing judgment.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  When fighting with your spouse: “It’s tempting to try to ‘win’ by providing overwhelming evidence. You come up with every possible reason why she [he] is wrong and what you want is right and she [he] will have to succumb to your logic, right? It may sound good, but it doesn’t work. This seems like you’re trying to beat her [him] into the ground, which will cause her [him] to resist.” …Reconsider this logic. (Paul Byerly, gleaned from The-generous-husband.com article, “Helping Her Grow Up —The Talk” –pronouns were changed for Facebook quote)

•  “One of the biggest mistakes couples can make is sharing their personal problems with their respective families. If all your parents hear is that your husband won’t clean up behind himself or that your wife likes to party too much, they’ll build a case against your partner. You and your spouse may make up, but your folks may still remember the hurt your spouse caused you. Take it private and keep it private!” (Dr Phil McGraw, from the Drphil.com article, “Keeping the Peace in Your Extended Family”)

•  “Love is your primary responsibility in marriage. Did you not vow to a lifelong love at the altar? Are you not the one God has privileged to fill your mate’s love tank? And remember this: when your spouse deserves your love the least, that is when they need it the most. No one on Earth is more strategically positioned, commanded, and called on to love your mate than you are.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “Bring back date night. Someone once wisely said that date nights are less expensive than marriage counseling. When you have time to regularly connect with your spouse to be fun and romantic, you prevent the arctic chill from settling between you. Date nights give you something to look forward to. Make sure they don’t become family business meetings. Guard your date nights as pure recreation and pleasure.” -A Pellicane (From Crosswalk.com article, Top Ten Ways to Make Your Husband Happy)

•  “Many today make the purpose of marriage to be one’s personal happiness of finding another person who meets my needs. God created marriage to reflect His image, to reproduce a godly heritage, and to stand together in spiritual battle. Your marriage, your covenant-keeping love, will be your greatest witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Marriage is about the glory of God —not about the happiness of man.” -Dennis Rainey (from the Familylife.com article, “40 Lessons From 40 Years of Marriage”)

•  “You and your spouse were both created to become like Christ. Marriage is a laboratory for developing God’s love in you. He’ll use your spouse to build his values, attitudes, morals, and character within you. Once you understand this, a lot of what happens within your marriage will begin to make more sense. When you start to ask, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ The answer is —to make you more like Jesus!” -Rick Warren (From the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “The Purpose Driven Marriage”)

•  To discuss a difficult subject: “Pick a time and a place where your spouse will be open to hearing uncomfortable truth. Timing matters, because it takes patience, energy, and emotional hardiness to be on the receiving end. Avoid difficult conversations after a long day or a missed lunch, because mental reserves of self-control are running low. Instead, pick a time when you’re both refreshed and you don’t have to rush.” (Kira Newman, gleaned from the Simplemarriage.net article, “How to Be Honest Without Hurting Your Spouse’s Feelings”)

•  “Each time we make 1 advance decision to protect our marriage we’re on our way to building a marriage that’s marked by faithfulness and on its way to lasting a lifetime.” Here’s a tip to help in that mission: “Don’t be naïve. Most people who end up in affairs don’t set out to have one. Infidelity usually begins with an innocent relationship that in time, moves to an emotional depth that crosses a line of fidelity.” (Jill Savage, from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “8 Safeguards Against Getting Too Close”)

•  “To sum up fighting fair in a single word, it would be cooperate. You must be willing to flex and yield to your spouse. Scripture says, ‘Wisdom… is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere’ (James 3:17). If you cultivate a cooperative attitude with your spouse, you’ll save yourself and your marriage a lot of unnecessary grief.” (Drs Les and Leslie Parrott, in Thriving Family article, “Learn to Fight Fair”)

•  Be aware: “With so many opportunities to ‘connect’ throughout the day via Facebook, emails, text messages, and interactions with others, sometimes our need for connections is depleted by the time we’re face to face with our spouse at the end of the day.” -Debra Fileta. Make sure you’re intentional to save time and energy to connect with your marriage partner. “Call and text EACH OTHER throughout the day” is just one way. (Debra Fileta, from Crosswalk.com article, “5 Ways to Keep Marriage Strong”)

•  “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 two imperfect people to be joined together in their dependence upon Him and each other. If each of you wants to be “one who walks in wisdom” (Prov. 28:26), you cannot ignore His instructions (in the Bible) on how you build and maintain a spiritual union.” (Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)

•  “Just as Jesus came to destroy the dividing line between Jew and Gentile, He comes into our marriages today, offering us the tools required to dismantle the walls that grow up between us. He offers the tools of forgiveness, honor, grace and repentance. It may take a lot of demolition and selflessness to get the walls down, but keep going through your house until you’ve found them all and have torn them to the ground.” (Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)

•  “God will use the difficulties in your marriage to shape you into an effective minister to others.” Prayerfully consider as you persevere through various trials, and emerge with “godly insights.” “Could it be that the part of your marriage you regret or resent most —that which you’ve wanted to hide or forget—is the very thing God wants to use as your ministry to help and encourage others sharing the same struggle?” (Rick Warren, from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “The Purpose Driven Marriage”)

•  “There are times when you should pray that your wife has a day filled with things that give her joy —or for your husband to be blessed with success and a sense of God’s favor. There are also times to pray that the Lord will deepen your wife’s faith or expand her view of God and pray that your husband will taste the thrill of victory when he allows Jesus Christ to work in and thru him to conquer a challenge in his life.” (Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey —Expanded quote: There are clearly times when you should pray that your wife has a good day filled with all the things that give her joy —or for your husband to be blessed with success and a sense of God’s favor on his work. But there are also times when it’s appropriate to pray that the Lord will deepen your wife’s faith or expand her view of God. There are times to pray that the only way your husband will taste the thrill of victory is when he allows Jesus Christ to work in and through him to conquer a particular challenge in his life.)

•  “Want to get on her [his] good side? Whisper sweet nothings into the left ear.” A Sam Houston State University study found that “emotional words get through to people better when spoken through the left ear, not the right. The findings are consistent with the brain’s right hemisphere’s ability to perceive emotions.” So sit or stand on his or her left when you’re communicating something important —to be better heard. (Tip appearing in Marriage Partnership Magazine – Winter 2001)

•  “All couples need a healing mechanism, a way to turn a new page in marriage. Knowing how and when to say you’re sorry can make a big difference. Ask yourself when and how you apologize. Does one of you apologize more than the other? Do you use apologies to whitewash issues? A sincere apology will leave you with a relieved sense of the air being cleared and a renewed feeling of closeness.” (Les and Leslie Parrott, in Thriving Family article, “Learn to Fight Fair”)

•  When confronting your spouse: “Try to be as factual as possible. Say ‘I felt hurt when…,’ for example, instead of ‘You tried to hurt me when…’ You may think you understand the situation completely, but perhaps your interpretation is wrong. If you know your spouse is sensitive about certain issues, it might even help to rehearse what you want to say.” (Kira Newman) Don’t just dump your words out; choose them wisely. (Gleaned from the Simplemarriage.net article, “How to Be Honest Without Hurting Your Spouse’s Feelings”)

•  “The words you use, your volume, and how you use sarcasm and humor all change how she [he] hears what you say. Every [spouse] is different about this —one is fine with full on yelling, while another panics at even a slight raise of the voice. Many [spouses] have a problem with sarcasm and some find humor unacceptable in a serious conversation. Know your [spouse] and choose your words, tone and volume well.” (Paul Byerly) (Gleaned from The-generous-husband.com article, “Helping Her Grow Up —The Talk” —pronouns were changed for Facebook quote)

•  “Marriage is a step into the kingdom of God. It’s good that we do kingdom work for others, but if we don’t do it for our spouse, we need to question the good of other things we do in God’s kingdom. Are you in a relationship where you love without thought of return and rejoice in your mate? Ultimately, when we pursue joy, we move toward oneness and intimacy, and we more clearly see who God is —His idea in the 1st place.” (John Ortberg, gleaned from his Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Joy in the Journey”)

•  In your marriage PLEASE: “Focus on listening! As you listen, ask questions that help you better understand your spouse’s dilemma. If you just can’t resist giving advice, at least slow down enough to ask, ‘Do you want some advice?’ If the answer is ‘No,’ don’t give the advice; just focusing on listening.” (Dr David Stoop) “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance” (Prov. 1:5). (Dr David Stoop, from his online article, “The Perils of Giving Advice – To Your Wife”) 

•  “A hot-tempered man stirs up conflict, but a man slow to anger calms strife” (Prov. 15:18). “Patience is where love meets wisdom. As sure as a lack of it will turn your home into a war zone, the practice of patience will foster peace and quiet. Responding with wisdom is something every marriage needs if you want your relationship to stay healthy. Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  On the anniversary of 9-11 as thousands wish they could express their love to their spouse: “We urge you to tell your spouse all he or she means to you, too. …Take a moment right now to let each other know what you would say on a cell phone recording to each other if you feared the worst. And then celebrate the fact that you can verbalize to each other what you cherish in your marriage—on your own schedule.” (Drs Les and Leslie Parrott, from their book, “The One Year Talk Devotional for Couples?)

•  “Listening is a lost art. Couples think they know each other well enough that they don’t need to listen. But when we stop listening, we start talking. And when we start talking in a tense situation, what we say typically isn’t going to help and is almost guaranteed to be taken by the other person as negative. How are YOU at listening?” –D.S. “He who answers before listening—that is his folly & his shame (Prov. 18:13).” (Dr David Stoop, from his online article, “The Perils of Giving Advice – To Your Wife”) 

•  Try to look at your spouse with a thankful heart, rather than a picky, negative one. We’re told in Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” This is a GREAT principle to apply to how you view & talk to your marriage partner. (CW)

•  Question: “If I don’t love my spouse any longer, should I get a divorce? Answer: The loss of human love can teach us to access a deeper love—the love of God Himself. When human love dies, a couple can enter into one of the most exciting adventures they’ll ever have: learning how to love each other with God’s love. Romans 5:5 tells us that this very love ‘has been poured out within our hearts, thru the Holy Spirit.'” (Bill Elliff, gleaned from Growthtrac.com article, “8 Lies That Destroy Marriage”) 

•  “God’s Word says we love Him through the ways we treat, serve, and love others (1 John 3:17; 4:11-21). So every conversation and interaction in your marriage is a new opportunity to bless your spouse and to demonstrate your love for God as well. Ultimately, how you love and respect your mate reveals every day the sincerity of your love and respect for God.” -Stephen and Alex Kendrick (From the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  Work schedules can sabotage time you should invest in your marriage, so: “Do whatever it takes to ensure that work demands don’t [continually] interfere with your relationship. Aim to schedule a minimum of 10 hours per week to invest in your marriage by giving each other undivided attention to meet each other’s emotional needs for affection, sexual fulfillment, intimate conversation, and recreational companionship.” (Whitney Hopler, gleaned from the Crosswalk.com article, “How to Negotiate with Your Spouse so You Both Win”) 

•  “God may be calling one of you into ministry or a career, and you may have the gifting, but unless you work together as a couple, you’re going to struggle. Realize that when God calls you, He has an equally important purpose for your spouse. His call to you is not to be independent of your spouse. If you’re tempted to move in a certain direction, ask yourselves and Him ‘How does this work for us together?'” (Frank Pastore – from the book, The Best Advice I Ever Got on Marriage)

•  “If handled correctly, conflict can help build stronger marriages. Conflict is the price smart couples pay for a deepening sense of intimacy. Conflict helps peel away the superficial layers of a relationship and discover who we really are. So don’t bury your differences. Instead, view them as a potential source for cultivating a deeper sense of intimacy. To do this, you must learn to fight FAIR.” –Les & Leslie Parrott

•  “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Eph. 4:2). “Patience brings an internal calm during external storms. It’s the choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you. It shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil. ‘Bearing with one another in love’ should be a motto you carry into every day and every potential altercation with your mate.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  During marital conflicts: “Rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance to control your emotional reactions and learn how to respond peacefully to stressful situations.” Also, “Negotiate successfully when no one wants to raise the issue. Write down your thoughts about long-buried issues in letters to each other so you can avoid explosive verbal arguments and edit what you want to say so you can present it clearly and calmly.” (Whitney Hopler, gleaned from the Crosswalk.com article, “How to Negotiate with Your Spouse so You Both Win”) 

•  “Part of marriage’s purpose is to help us refine and strengthen each other. Your spouse is given a front row seat for viewing your rough edges that don’t resemble Christ. When your spouse exposes a flaw or weakness in your character, your first reaction should be to listen and learn. You should receive it as heavenly sandpaper, buffing you into a more complete Christ-like image.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “God feels passionately about the one you married. If you doubt His care and concern, consider this: He sent His only Son to die on behalf of your spouse. Think about how you treated your husband or wife this week. Is that how you want your son or daughter to be treated by his or her spouse? Never forget: you didn’t just marry a man or a woman; you married a son or daughter of God. Treat him, treat her, accordingly.” (Gary Thomas)

•  “Nothing speaks louder to our culture about Christianity than our marriage relationships. Marriage is not just on display; it is also faith on display. And that’s why we need to equip and encourage each other to stay in love.” (Andy Stanley)

•  “Are there weed seeds in your marriage, waiting for a little distraction, to allow them to over take your marriage? We don’t have to be on edge that our marriage is going to fall apart, if all is well. But check your schedule; make sure you’ve made time on your calendar to check for weeds. Being busy is a part of life, just make sure there is time to pre-weed your marriage of unwanted distractions.” -Edward C. Lee

•  “The enemy of our faith’s desire is to use your distinctiveness to push you apart—to operate independently—as though what your spouse brings to you is unnecessary. But marriage has made you ‘one flesh.’ Now neither of you should live without the other. Though distinct in personality & ability, you’ve been designed to experience oneness in your diversity. You’re no longer JUST you…Together you are to live as one.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “Suffering will either drive you apart or it will be used by God to merge you together. Scripture teaches that our response to God and His Word is the difference-maker in how we handle suffering. You and your spouse have to decide to suffer together rather than falling apart.” Keep in mind that “Men and women process suffering very differently.” Give each other grace and space to “process loss and suffering differently.” (Dennis Rainey, gleaned from the Familylife.com article, “40 Lessons From 40 Years of Marriage”) 

•  Before confronting your spouse: “Find a good time to talk. Be calm, and use words, tone, and volume that won’t agitate. Have a very few examples, reasons, or truths, and be sure to include your feelings if possible. Say your bit, reply to any questions (as opposed to arguments), and keep the whole discussion short. Do not expect her [him] to agree or to process on the spot.” (Paul Byerly) Give grace and space for processing. (Quote gleaned from The-generous-husband.com article, “Helping Her Grow Up —The Talk” —pronouns were changed for Facebook quote)

•  “I have seen You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.” (Psalm 63:2) “If there’s one reason why marriages wither under the demands of daily life, it may be the lack of having regular times and places where we go to pray, share and regain perspective. It may be because we’re always puttering, planning, doing & moving from one place to the next but never stopping, listening, and recharging. Together.” (Excerpted from the book, Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)

•  In your marriage: “Practice Generosity. Giving without expectation. That is oftentimes one of the most challenging parts of a relationship. But it is also one of the most freeing. Being generous doesn’t have to take a lot of work. Kiss your sweetie 10 seconds instead of 2. It’s the little things that matter most.” (Lori Byerly from the Happywivesclub.com article, “7 Marriage Practices Worth Perfecting”)

•  For healthy conflict resolution, it may be helpful to talk with “I” statements, not “you”: “’I feel upset when you’re away so much,’ not ‘You abandon me every weekend.’ Avoid superlatives like ‘never’ or ‘always’; it’s unlikely your spouse is ‘always lazy’ or ‘never loving.’ And criticize actions without pronouncing judgment on the person; ‘I’d love to see you get a job’ instead of ‘You’re good for nothing.’” (Kira Newman, gleaned from the Simplemarriage.net article, “How to Be Honest Without Hurting Your Spouse’s Feelings”) 

•  “One of the greatest threats in marriage is losing a teachable heart. Prov. 4:23 tells us, ‘Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.’ The Bible is filled with references to the heart. In fact, the Great Commandment calls our heart to love God totally and fully, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Pay attention to your heart. Guard it lest it become hardened or not teachable.” –(Dennis Rainey, gleaned from the Marriage Memo, “40 Lessons From 40 Years of Marriage”)

•  Guard your heart and safeguard your marriage. Put up a protective hedge: “Stay in large, public settings. Determine not to meet one–on–one with anyone of the opposite sex. If your coworker asks if he or she can join you for lunch, ask a 3rd person to join you as well. If necessary, don’t hesitate to share the boundary you and your spouse have agreed upon in your marriage. You just might lead by example.” (Jill Savage, from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “8 Safeguards Against Getting Too Close”) 

•  “The secret to spiritual intimacy in marriage is praying together. Yet surveys indicate that less than 8 % of couples actually do this regularly. …I challenge you to pray together daily. On the authority of Scripture, if you pray together daily for 2 years, you will not be the same couple you are today (see Matt. 18:19). Inviting the God of the universe into your marriage on a daily basis will change things!” (Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)

•  “Even if you’re going thru a tough time in your marriage, doing small things can help you see the marriage in a different light, and help him [her] feel more positive, too. When we act kindly, we tend to feel kindly as well. Remember that kindness isn’t something God gave to us because we deserved it. Kindness is something God gave to us because He loves us. And He asks us to do the same thing for our [spouse].” (Sheila Wray Gregoire, from the Lovehonorandvacuum.com article, “Ignite the Fire of Your Kindness”) 

•  “Good disciples of Christ make good spouses. Those living in fellowship with Christ are able to access His toolbox for marriage. His Word will nourish you spiritually and equip you for every good work. His counsel can guide your decisions with divine wisdom. Rather than your spouse having to depend on their own influence to change you, they know the Holy Spirit is working on you, maturing you from the inside out.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “Be kind. We show kindness to strangers even if they don’t return it, but when it comes to marriage, we ask, “Does he (she) deserve this?” or say, “he (she) never does it for me, why should I do it for him (or her)?” Yet this kind of tit for tat only makes things worse. Do the right thing, even if it isn’t reciprocated —simply because it IS the right thing, not because it will magically fix everything.” –(Sheila Wray Gregoire, gleaned from the Tolovehonorandvacuum.com article, “Living in a Loveless Marriage”)

•  Plan TOGETHER: “Sit down with your spouse and share how each of you feels about holidays and how they’re spent. Include major national holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions that are special to you. If it’s your family’s tradition to take a drive to see the changing autumn leaves, for instance, mention it. The same goes for marking the start of fishing season, the last day of school, or a sports event.” (Wilford Wooten, from Focus on the Family article, “Holidays and the In-Laws”)

•  “Be careful about getting angry with your in–laws and allowing that anger to control you. If you spend more time focusing on how they treat you rather than on how, with God’s help, you can respond to them, you will be much more likely to allow the hurt to become bitterness, resentment, and unhealthy anger.” Prayerfully consider that “you can choose to repay coldness with kindness, seeing this as an opportunity to grow.” (Summer 2002 “Couple Counsel” by Gary & Carrie Oliver)

•  “Focus on solutions, not problems. If your goal is to help your spouse or the relationship, dwelling on the problem won’t get you anywhere. It’ll only make them feel criticized and less open to addressing it. Take time to brainstorm solutions. But don’t settle on a solution in advance. After all, this is a conversation. Your spouse may have different ideas about the best course of action, and you should be open to them.” (Kira Newman, gleaned from the Simplemarriage.net article, “How to Be Honest Without Hurting Your Spouse’s Feelings”)

•  “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work …Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves” (Ecclesiastes 4:9,12). “Marriage is not as simple as 1+1. What’s generated by shared momentum creates an exponential increase in what’s accomplished. A husband and wife working together offer a solid defense for their families against the influence of a godless culture.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “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. …Take a moment to consider how you and your partner do that. Study together Isaiah 40:30-31. Take to heart what boosts your marriage vitality; it’s a truth that’s introduced by the word: ‘But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength…'” (Les and Leslie Parrott, from the devotional Lesandleslie.com blog, “What Matters Most in Your Marriage”)

•  “Keep a running list of what is great about your husband (or wife) and the good things he (she) has done, so that when you’re tempted to talk in a negative or embarrassing way, you can think and talk about his (her) strengths instead.” (M. Osborne) That’s not to say that you aren’t to deal with difficult issues at hand, but you aren’t to slander/insult your spouse or continually focus on the negative. (Marie Osborne, from the Crosswalk.com article, “Friends Help Friends Stay Happily Married”)

•  For the sake of your marriage, do your best to: “set work boundaries. At times we have to stay late, we have to bring work home–every once in a while. But where you can, make it a priority to set boundaries for how many hours of work to cram into a day. For sure, it’s a delicate balance. We need to work to support our family yet too much work can absolutely crush the romance, structure and balance of our family.” (Edward C Lee, from the Elevateyourmarriage.com article, “4 Ways to Keep Work Stress Out of Your Marriage”)

•  “Your mate stands before you like a mirror, reflecting and exposing who you are. He or she is positioned like no one else to reveal areas in your life where correction is warranted. Allow God to use this person to make you more like Jesus, even as He works through you to cause growth in their life as well. You and your spouse should both bloom into Christlikeness from being with each other.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  Keep in mind: “You are not responsible for fixing your marriage. But you are responsible for doing what you can to make it better.” –Sheila Wray Gregoire “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” –Romans 12:18 (Sheila Wray Gregoire, from the Tolovehonorandvacuum.com article, “Living in a Loveless Marriage”)

•  Help your friends stay (happily) married. “Don’t encourage friends to complain about their husbands (or wives), ever. Seriously ever. When a friend talks about her husband (or his wife), be careful how you respond. Don’t encourage more complaining. Encourage a loving response and reconciliation. Keep your eye out for what’s great about your friends’ husbands (or wives), so you can remind them when they seem to forget.” (Marie Osborne, from the Crosswalk.com article, “Friends Help Friends Stay Happily Married”)

•  It’s important to close your laptop sometimes. “Computers are wonderful. But, when the computer is on, I’d swear that it calls my name incessantly, “Hey! Yoo hoo! I know you’re there! Pay attention to me!” It’s too easy to come home and ‘get lost’ in the computer that’s always on, calling your attention (blogs, email, Quicken, etc…). Turn it off and see if you can turn on some dialogue with your spouse.” (Doug Fields, from the Growthtrac.com article, “5 Ways to Transform Your Marriage”)

•  “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone’” (Gen. 2:18). You have the opportunity and responsibility each day to eliminate the sense of loneliness inherent in your spouse. It’s not good enough to live together but remain emotionally distant. Loneliness should be absent. Love builds bridges between lonely hearts to make you close companions for life” –Kendrick. Are you doing YOUR part in this mission? (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “In marriage, you relearn the preschool lesson of “sharing,” but you learn it in a very non-preschool kind of way. You learn to let go of the mine–and–yours mentality, because in marriage, everything is truly ours. There’s something really hard, but something really beautiful about that. It’s a reminder that at the end of the day what’s mine is yours…but everything we have, is actually God’s.” (From the Crosswalk.com article, 10 Secrets You Should Know About Marriage”)

•  Here are “some filters our words should pass thru before they come out of our mouths: 1. Do I have good motives? Is my reason for saying it beneficial to my spouse or only for selfish purposes? 2. Does it build my spouse up? Words either tear down or build up. 3. Is it confidential? 4. If my spouse were present, would he/she be pleased with my words? 5. Is it true? Truth trumps all. If it’s not true, don’t say it.” (Mark Merrill, from the Happywivesclub.com article, “5 Ways to Filter What You Say to Your Spouse”) 

•  In marriage: “At some point, you’ll be disappointed. For some reason this truth doesn’t really hit home– until it hits home. When you allow someone to bury their heart in yours, one day, you will feel an ache. Whether in the form of an unkind word, a thoughtless action, or a selfish moment, marriage will hurt. But by God’s grace, each wound paves the way for grace, forgiveness and restoration” to be given & received. (Debra Fileta, gleaned from the Crosswalk.com article, 10 Secrets You Should Know About Marriage”)

•  “God designed marriage to keep us sexually pure. If cultures honored God’s holy design, sexually transmitted diseases would cease. Marriage is God’s ideal solution to sexual immorality. As you meet your spouse’s needs, you’re helping them walk in purity. But purity is much more than just avoiding affairs. It extends to keeping your eyes, viewing habits, and emotional attachments honoring to God.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  BEWARE OF DIGITAL INVASION. It can sabotage the time you NEED to spend with your spouse to grow your marriage. Sometimes it’s important to turn off your phone and other electronic devices. “When you come home from work it’s too simple to get lost in texting, checking and reading from the phone (and computer). Don’t make the mistake of believing you’re so critical to the world that you must be accessible at all times.” (Doug Fields, from the Growthtrac.com article, “5 Ways to Transform Your Marriage”)

•  “As wonderful as it is to cherish your spouse because you are aware of his or her worth, this attitude without any action is meaningless: ‘Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.’ (1 John 3:18) Once you recognize your mate’s value, you need to back that attitude with action. Action: Show with your actions that you value your spouse.” (Dr Greg Smalley) (From the book, “The Best Advice I Ever Got on Marriage”)

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