Facebook Quotes – Page 15

Pixabay computer-419961_640Below are a few of the quotes we’ve posted on the Marriage Missions Facebook Page. This is the 15th 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):

•  “Marriage was designed to bring delight. The Bible says a man should rejoice in his wife and ‘be exhilarated always with her love(Prov. 5:19). It says he should seek ‘how he may please his wife,‘ and she should seek ‘how she may please her husband(1 Cor. 7:33-34). God intends marriage to be pleasurable for both of you in countless ways. Even though marriage requires hard work, we must not lose its sense of joy.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “Your role as husband or wife is greatly enhanced by being a faithful and growing Christian. People who are not pursuing an intimate relationship with God are significantly limited, left to rely on their own feelings, thoughts, and efforts. When we refuse to obey Christ’s commands, our spouses are left to deal with the fallout.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “Marriage requires you to learn how to communicate. No matter what your communication bent, marriage forces you to bring the inside out —to take a hard look at your beliefs, ideas, and feelings and share them with each other because communication is the lifeline between two people. Marriage causes you to take responsibility for not just what you say, but how you say it —tone, body language, sarcasm and all.” (Debra Fileta, gleaned from the Crosswalk.com article, 10 Secrets You Should Know About Marriage”)

•  “Pay attention to what causes you to be stressed. A boss, financial pressure, health, kids, or all, plus some… Be aware of the areas of stress rising in your life and tell your spouse! Be honest with each other– ‘at work right now, I’m under tight deadlines and you know how my boss can be. I’m stressed out, so bear with me…’ That can turn a spouse into a friend instead of an enemy. Be proactive–talk about it.” (Edward C Lee, from the Elevateyourmarriage.com article, “4 Ways to Keep Work Stress Out of Your Marriage”)

•  “Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other, and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together.” (Barbara Cage)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).

•  “My first and most important rule for better everyday communication is simply to take time to be clear. And to be clear, speak carefully to be understood. And, just as important, listen carefully to understand.” (Dr. Emerson Eggerichs of “Love and Respect for a Lifetime”)

•  IMPORTANT REMINDER: For the sake of your marital relationship: “Establish a routine of enjoying time together. How often do you spend enjoyable time with your spouse? In some families, the husband and wife are running so fast, they rarely slow down enough to enjoy each other. What needs to change for you and your spouse to enjoy some time together?” (CHS) Whatever it takes, MAKE it happen –INVEST IN YOUR MARRIAGE. (Quote from Calmhealthysexy.com article, “6 Ways to Invest in Your Marriage and Earn Dividends”)

•  “God has many priceless purposes for marriage. He created it to eliminate loneliness thru companionship, multiply our effectiveness through teamwork and mature us into Christlikeness. He designed marriage to guard our purity through sexual fulfillment and grow families through procreation. And our love provides a living portrait of the gospel –Christ’s unconditional love for His people, His church, His bride.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “When you talk about your spouse, choose your words carefully. Maybe you aren’t negative… but ask yourself, would your spouse like what you say about him/her? Would he/she be embarrassed? Do you ‘share’ things he/she would rather keep private? When you talk to a trusted friend about a specific problem or frustration, do so with your heart focused on finding a solution, not to get someone else on your side.” (Marie Osborne, gleaned from the Crosswalk.com article, “Friends Help Friends Stay Happily Married”)

•  “Make choices TOGETHER that reflect your priorities and values. Let’s say you grew up in a family that gave each other inexpensive birthday gifts, while your spouse’s family spent a lot more money. Consider how to celebrate birthdays, to make your own choices that reflect the importance you place on birthdays. As you make these decisions, follow the guidance of Romans 12:10, “give preference to one another in honor.‘” (Dennis Rainey, gleaned from the Marriage Memo, “Establishing the ‘New Normal’ in Your Marriage”)

•  Keep in mind that “Loss is a part of life and increases as we age. How you and your spouse process loss, by faith, will determine whether you grow old and bless others, giving them life, or whether you grow old and curse others, becoming a bitter crotchety old person.” Do your part to “Process loss well” and you will do well and will be a blessing to others that God brings into your life. (Dennis Rainey, gleaned from the Familylife.com article, “40 Lessons From 40 Years of Marriage”)

•  “The road from wedding day bliss to long-term happiness has many bumps, but when you treat your partner with compassion and refrain from spitting venom when angry, you’ll make it through the rough times with dignity, respect and a deeper love for each other.” (Scott Haltzman)Be imitators of God …and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.(Eph. 5:1-2)

•  “Don’t forget what’s good in your spouse and your marriage. If you’re dealing with pent up anger or vindictiveness, let me encourage you to let it go. Not only will it destroy your marriage, it will also poison your heart. Bitterness is like a knife meant for another that slices the one who’s carrying it. Look for the good in your spouse—you cannot expect perfection, no matter who you’re married to.” (Sabrina Beasley, from the Familylife.com article, “The Little Things I Miss About Being Married”)

•  “Adam, though complete with God alone, found his God-given needs met even more fully with Eve, his complement, in life. This is true in your marriage. The Lord knew before you were born that you would one day marry your mate. And in His design of your gender differences and uniqueness, God intentionally created needs in both of you that the other would be exclusively designed to help meet” (Kendrick). Do YOUR part. (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “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

•  “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). “A man and wife praying together form a spiritual bond as God joins them in single-minded purpose (See: Matthew 18:19-20). By uniting in His name and agreeing in prayer, their intercession goes to another level. That’s when one united with one has won.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  To build a good relationship with your in laws: “Apply prayer, self-assessment, forgiveness, always be humble, and protect your own words. They become a part of your life and last forever.” (Melissa Dyer) Also: “Respect their positions as parents (and grandparents, if it applies) …Always be honest …Show constant love and gratitude for raising a wonderful child!” (Sheryl Taylor) (From Happy Wives Club article, “25 Great Tips for Building a Relationship With Your In Laws”)

•  For marital conflicts: “Set ground rules to make negotiation safe; avoiding demands or disrespect while negotiating; and taking a break if you reach an impasse. Identify the conflict you’re discussing from both perspectives until you BOTH understand each other’s points of view, creatively brainstorm potential solutions to the problem, choosing the best solution.” (Whitney Hopler, gleaned from the Crosswalk.com article, “How to Negotiate with Your Spouse so You Both Win”)

•  “Before marriage you can never comprehend the strong feelings going anywhere but higher. But feelings come, and feelings also go. Loving is easy when you feel like it, but when you don’t, that’s the test of real love. It’s choosing to love, to give, and to serve because of the commitment you have made. It’s choosing the other instead of choosing yourself. That’s the very definition of love in its truest form.” (Debra Fileta, gleaned from the Crosswalk.com article, 10 Secrets You Should Know About Marriage”)

•  “It is the glory of a man to overlook an offense; it’s foolish and prideful to feel that every little offense is worthy of confrontation.” (Tim Challies) “Love must be blind—at least to petty offenses—if it is to grow. We all supply plenty of opportunities for our spouse to find fault. That goes with the territory of being human. The trick is learning how to shut our eyes to each other’s minor faults.” (L&L Parrott)

•  “Marriage is more than your love for each other. It has a higher dignity and power, for it is God’s holy ordinance… In your love you see only the heaven of your happiness, but in marriage you’re placed at a post of responsibility toward the world and mankind. Your love is your own private possession, but marriage is something more than personal —it is a status, an office that joins you together in the sight of God.” (Deitrich Bonhoeffer —a wedding sermon he wrote while he was in prison, but never had a chance to deliver it in person)

•  Don’t allow your marriage to be overrun by digital invasion. Be present in your marriage. If as spouses, we don’t make our marriage relationship a priority where we show we’re present with our spouse physically, mentally, and emotionally, some day we may wake up to find that our spouse will no longer be interested in being with US physically, mentally, emotionally, or any way.

•  “It’s important to assure your spouse that any complaint or unhappiness in marriage will not become part of your outside conversations. They need to know that when you’re speaking with friends or a parent, the words you use to describe them will be honoring. There may be counseling settings where honesty and health demands that you speak candidly, but avoid temptations to run your spouse down when speaking to others.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from “The Love Dare Day-by-Day… A Year of Devotions for Couples”)

•  “The greatest favor we can do our children is to give visible example of love and esteem to our spouse. As they grow up, they may then look forward to maturity so they too can find such love.” -Eucharista Ward

•  In a good marriage: “Like it or not, you will learn the meaning of forgiveness. With the certainty of being wounded, comes the reality that you will need to learn forgiveness. But the biggest lesson to learn, is that true forgiveness comes not because the person standing before you is deserving, rather, it comes out of a heart that understands how much we’ve been forgiven though we, too, were undeserving.” (Debra Fileta, gleaned from the Crosswalk.com article, 10 Secrets You Should Know About Marriage”) 

•  “Many people come to marriage well equipped to be a critic but have an underdeveloped sense of how to be a cheerleader. They tend to be vocal about the displeasing things that their spouses say or do, but are likely to watch in silence when their souses are performing well. We urge you to reverse this pattern, so your spouse hears far more positive and approving things from you than negative and critical ones.” (From the book, “Intimacy on the Run” by Jeannette and Robert Lauer)

 •  “One of the sweetest sounds in marriage is the silence that could have been a nagging comment. This isn’t saying that there’s no room for improvement in your wife or husband’s behavior. It may be they’re acting in inconsiderate ways. But it does mean you’re giving up the role of being his or her rule enforcer. Not every plate that goes unreturned to the kitchen sink [or other unpleasant actions] is worthy of lecture.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick,  from “The Love Dare Day-by-Day… A Year of Devotions for Couples”)

•  “In many ways, love can be reduced to very simple terms. Perhaps of its simplest is Jesus’ teaching known as the Golden Rule. The remedy for rudeness around your house is as basic as this: a deliberate decision to treat your mate the way you’d most like them to treat you.” (S and A Kendrick)Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them.” (Matthew 7:12) (Quote from Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from “The Love Dare Day-by-Day… A Year of Devotions for Couples”)

•  “Look for what you appreciate about your spouse. In doing so, you recalibrate your mindset. In a class we teach we have students take 10 seconds to notice everything that’s green. Suddenly, they see green everywhere. Why? That’s all they were looking for. The same is true in marriage. When we invoke a positive mindset, we see many more things they do well, which brings appreciation and positivity.” (Les and Leslie Parrott)

•  “We think of the deep spiritual benefits of oneness, but do we consider these things: One house. One bed. One bathroom. One mirror above the bathroom sink. One bank account. One budget. 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 supposed to be ours.” (John UpChurch,  from the Crosswalk.com article, “5 Steps to Becoming Marriage Material”)

•  “Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” –Prov. 19:11 (NLT) “Can you imagine what would happen in your home if both of you began overlooking petty problems? If you each decided to bypass each opportunity to criticize? What would happen if this grace occurred in every home? It would be nothing short of a revolution—perhaps the greatest social revolution ever!” –Les and Leslie Parrott

•  Look for that which you can readily give thanks. Think of or “write out all the things you’re thankful for: things you like and love about your spouse, blessings you have in your life, opportunities you’ve had this past year, things you like about your home, and things you love about your kids.” (Stu Gray)In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you(1 Thessalonians 5:18).

•  “Find things about your spouse to be thankful for —that which you can give appreciation. Even if your relationship has been going bad lately, one of you has to begin the path back to good and this is one way you can do that. At least once a day authentically thank your spouse for something and give recognition, particularly personal praise. Pay attention for opportunities to speak when you feel them.” –Frank Gunzburg

•  “If you want to deal with controlling behavior, start by identifying it as such. ‘Stop trying to control me’ is not the best approach. Try something like, “When you ____ I feel you’re trying to control me.” The word feel there is important —it’s less accusing. Try to go beyond the statement and discuss the issue. Don’t push for a promise, just calmly make your case, and then let her (him) think about it.” (Paul Byerly, from The-generous-husband.com blog, “Taming Her Desire to Control”)

•  “Perhaps you’re already a believer, but you’ve walked away from fellowship with God. You’re not in the Word or in prayer. You’ve not been an example of Christ to others like He desires. The truth is, you can’t live without Him, and you cannot LOVE without Him. But there’s no telling what He could do in your marriage if you surrender your heart and put your trust in Him.” (Kendrick) He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (Steven and Alex Kendrick, from book, “The Love Dare Day by Day Devotional”)

•  “An excellent way to cement your union for life is to become each other’s cheer–leader. Just recall the times in your life when someone praised or encouraged or thanked you. Think about how you felt. No one ever gets weary of, or even loses the need to hear, such affirmation. Just as we want to be around people who make us laugh, we want to be with those who value and appreciate us.” –J and R Lauer (From the book, “Intimacy on the Run” by Jeannette and Robert Lauer)

•  “Our God is ‘slow to anger.’ That is why patience is called for in your marriage –not just because your spouse benefits from it, but also because it is God’s nature to be ‘compassionate and gracious.’ When you are patient with your spouse, you are being like your heavenly Father. (Kendrick)The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving–kindness and truth.” –Exodus 34:6 (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “We have only so much time and energy. If we add something to our lives, we have to reduce or eliminate some other thing(s). Add things without thinking through what we’ll remove leads to problems —especially when we cut back on something our spouse wants or needs. This is a big reason couples spend less time talking, less time cuddling, and so on. Be intentional. Don’t add without deciding what will be reduced.” (Paul Byerly, gleaned from The-generous-husband.com article, “Making New Things Fit In”)

•  “Marriage is one of our main instructors on how love is supposed to be given and received. It teaches us how to defer to another, giving ourselves completely without reservation. It teaches us how to love someone without basing our affections on how hard they’re working to please us. Day after day, we should learn more about our relationship with God by seeing it portrayed in our dealings with each other.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “Follow rules of courtesy with your spouse. Acts of courtesy and thoughtfulness that you give others should also be given to your spouse. These include saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ offering to get something your spouse needs or would like, pouring your spouse a cup of coffee rather than waiting for him or her to get it. Small acts send an important message: ‘I care about you.’ Little things really do mean a lot.” (Gleaned from the book, “Intimacy on the Run” by Jeannette and Robert Lauer)

•  You’ve heard of “random acts of kindness” —During this Christmas season and beyond, in the spirit of giving: “Instead of ‘random acts of kindness’ do intentional ones. We should constantly be listening to our spouses, studying them, to figure out what they want and need.” So look for little ways in which you can bless your spouse beyond gift giving. These can be considered gifts from the heart. (Quote is from the Auntieemsguide.wordpress.com article, “12 Days (of Encouraging your Spouse) of Christmas”)

•  “Good disciples of Christ also tend to make good spouses. It’s romantic for a woman to see her strong husband humbling himself before God. It’s inspiring for a man to see his wife living with deep conviction and passion. Walking with God is better than a thousand marriage books or counseling sessions.” (Kendrick) “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.(John 13:35) (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “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 book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “Your husband (or wife) wants to know that he (she) is important to you and has a significant place in your plans and schedule. It’s easy to push spouses down toward the bottom of our to–do list because of the permanence of the relationship. But, like a fire that isn’t tended, the fire in a marriage can slowly die away and be gone before you realize it. Priority time and effort are small prices to pay for huge dividends.” (From the Auntieemsguide.wordpress.com article, “12 Days (of Encouraging your Spouse) of Christmas”)

•  Guard your heart and your marriage from something “you never thought could happen” —falling for someone other than your spouse. Many good people have entered this trap. “Pay attention to your thought–life. When all you think about is your spouse’s faults, any other man or woman will look better. Make a list of the strengths that initially attracted you to your spouse. Increase encouragement and decrease criticism.” (Jill Savage, from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “8 Safeguards Against Getting Too Close”)

•  “Couples need a mentor couple who’s one lap ahead of them in the seasons of life. Who’s your couple? Who’s your person? If you’re a newlywed, you need someone to coach you on the habits you establish at the beginning of your marriage. If you’re starting out with your kids, you need someone to say: ‘this is normal. This is the way it happens.’ Who’s your mentor? Be careful about who’s speaking into your life.” (Dennis Rainey, gleaned from the Marriage Memo, “40 Lessons From 40 Years of Marriage”)

•  “The art of flirting is lost in a majority of married couples. It’s as if they lose the need to chase and pursue. This should be the farthest truth for a thriving couple. Marriage should be the opportunity to flirt and make your spouse feel as special as they are to you. Kind Notes, sexy looks, cute text messages and sweet comments can lighten spirits and make you feel loved in a tangible way. Get creative and get flirting.” (Debra Fileta, from the Truelovedaates.com article, “10 Things You Need to Talk About Before You Get Married)

•  “If God’s purpose for each of our lives is to make us look more like Jesus, what better tool could he use than the marriage relationship? Who better for God to use to chisel you than the person you live with seven days a week? When the difficult times come, you just have to realize you’re being worked on! God is using each of you to shape the other person more and more into the image of Jesus.” –Rick Warren (From the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “The Purpose Driven Marriage”)

•  To contribute to “Peace on earth and at your house too” look for ways to: “SHARE THE LOAD. Holiday preparations tend to fall on one person’s shoulders —which isn’t good for either spouse. The one with the heavy workload feels resentful; the other partner feels useless and disconnected. Seek a balance of duties and agree on priorities before the rush begins. To create a balance, let some duties go and mix up other chores.” (James and Heather Sells, Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Peace on Earth—and at Your House, Too”)

•  “Go to Bed Together: In these days of crazy schedules and busy lives, the importance of going to bed together has been lost. While this isn’t a possibility for everyone, for some —it’s just not a priority. It’s a special thing to end your day with the one you love because it’s a gift that can only be shared with your spouse. Make it a priority to use this time to be close and to share special moments.” –Debra Fileta (Gleaned from the Truelovedaates.com article, “10 Things You Need to Talk About Before You Get Married)

•  “Love covers shame. It has a knack for putting others in a position where they can succeed and are kept from situations that cause them unease or embarrassment. If you know your wife or husband is uncomfortable in a certain situation, do your actions amplify their awkwardness, or do you work to ease their minds? A drop of thoughtfulness on your part can bring an unnecessary storm of dishonor to them.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from “The Love Dare Day-by-Day… A Year of Devotions for Couples”)

•  “When you’re making Christmas plans, remember that your marriage is more important than all the fuss. Make sure you do things to make your marriage smoother, not to put bumps on the road. If that means doing Christmas smaller, do it. But keep the focus where it should be: that we have a loving God who left Paradise to live among us, so He could make a way for us to live forever with Him.” –Sheila W. Gregoire (From the Tolovehonorandvaccum.com article, “Talk About Your Christmas Expectations NOW”)

•  “As holiday tensions increase, so do conflicts. As you get more tired, you expect your spouse to pick up the slack. When these expectations don’t get met, you both feel resentful. Expectations should be stated, collaborated and related. ‘Stating’ means discussing responsibilities for each person. ‘Collaborating’ is working together to resolve differences. ‘Relating’ is honoring your relationship in all your actions.” (James and Heather Sells, Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Peace on Earth—and at Your House, Too”)

•  “A well–written love letter is a great gift for [your spouse]. While the words you write are the most important thing, presentation can make it even better. You can go to a craft store, buy a nice bottle, special paper, a bit of ribbon and do it yourself. As to the words, give it a lot of time and effort. Write and rewrite, don’t just bang something out Christmas Eve. You’re to put your heart on paper here!” –Paul Byerly (Gleaned from The-generous–husband.com blog, “Love in a Bottle”)

•  “Great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 117:2) “This psalm speaks of God’s mercy enduring forever. Like Christ we need to be forever merciful in our marriage. If Christ being perfect can be merciful, we who are imperfect certainly should be understanding when our other half falls short.” (Mark J)

•  “Through the years, you will be given many opportunities to parade your spouse’s problems in front of your friends and relatives. But love calls you to protect their reputation. A morsel of gossip or a moment of laughter isn’t worth the unnecessary pain of humiliation and damage it can bring to your trust. Unless your spouse is injuring themselves or others, you need to guard their secrets and honor.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from “The Love Dare Day–by-Day… A Year of Devotions for Couples”)

•  We’re told in the Bible, “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction” (Prov. 16:23). “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control” (Prov. 29:11). When you confront, remember: “Don’t let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that they may benefit those who listen” (Eph. 4:29).

•  May your Christmas be blessed and may the Prince of Peace, Jesus, help you in your marriage in the ways you most need for Him to minister to you and to your spouse. Something to keep in mind today (and in the future) is what we’re told in Proverbs 17:14, “To start a conflict is to release a flood; stop the dispute before it breaks out.” May peace reign in your home!

•  “Good sense makes one slow to anger; it is his glory to overlook an offense.(Prov. 19:11) “Own up to your own faults. Is there a log in your eye that you’ve missed in the fixation on the speck in your spouse’s eye (Matt. 7:3-5)? Consider what it would be like to be married to YOU. The more you recognize the difficulties you bring to the table, the more acceptance you’ll have of your partner’s foibles.” Les and Leslie Parrott

•  Recently we read of “a couple who, after 13 years of marriage, noticed their fire diminishing into embers. They had a great idea. They decided to start acting like teenagers —starry-eyed crazy for one another. They began to plan secret get–aways. They began to touch each other again, to look deep into one another’s eyes again. Do you’ know what? The passion returned!” TRY IT; it might work for you too! (Patrick and Dwaina Six from GTO Ministries)

•  “Poor decisions in the past do not prevent future good decisions. Remember it’s never too late to start doing what is right. You may have made a mess of this marriage, another marriage, or even several marriages. Don’t allow that to keep you from making your current situation a tribute to God’s grace. It’s never too late to start anew! We can rise above the failures of the past by choosing God’s way over our own.” (Charles Swindoll, from book, “Marriage…From Surviving to Thriving”)

•  Important questions for husbands (and then wives) to prayerfully consider: “Who does God want my wife to be, and how can I help her become that? What would God want me to do for my wife to best help her become all God created her to be?” For wives: “Who does God want my husband to be, and how can I help him to become that? What would God want me to do for my husband to best help him become all God created him to be?” (Based on verbiage given by Julianna Slattery in a Summer 2002 Marriage Partnership Magazine article)

•  “There’s a delightful scene in the play and movie, ‘Fiddler on the Roof,” where Tevye asks his wife if she loves him. She replies by reminding him of how many years she has taken care of him and their family. But he persists with the question, for he needs to hear the words, ‘I love you.’ We’re all much the same. We need to hear words of love and affirmation from our spouses. So become your spouse’s cheerleader.” (From the book, “Intimacy on the Run” by Jeannette and Robert Lauer)

•  “If you’re in a difficult season in your marriage and you start to think, ‘How can I take another 10 or 20 or 30 years of this?’ you’re headed for trouble. You’re asking God to give you the grace for something that hasn’t happened. Instead, break it down to a single unit —a single day: Just focus on this: ‘Can I love my husband [or wife] for this day?’ Don’t think about 10 years down the road, or even 10 months!” (Gary Thomas, from book, “Devotions for a Sacred Marriage”)

•  HAPPY NEW YEAR! As you look into this next year, keep in mind: “Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” –Proverbs 19:11 “It is impossible to keep peace between man and woman in family life if they do not condone and overlook many of each other’s faults but watch everything to the smallest point. For who does not at times offend?” (Martin Luther)

•  “Let’s commit in the New Year to changing our normal way of doing things. Let’s purpose to grow in maturity and godliness in 2016. Let’s humbly ask God to help us in ways we haven’t been able to help ourselves. Nothing is impossible with Him. He loves to make His name great by changing us in ways we could never change on our own. If we do, God will be glorified, and our marriage will benefit greatly from it.” (Debi Walter, from Theromanticvineyard.com)

•  “While it’s still fresh in your minds, talk about how things went this Christmas. Talk about what you enjoyed, what you would like to do again and what you hope never happens again, plus what was more work than it was worth. Make notes as you talk, and save them where you can find them again. Put a reminder on your calendar to check the list mid–November of next year. Then have an even better Christmas next year!” (Paul Byerly, quote from The-generous-husband.com)

•  “In the 1st years of my marriage, I watched couples thinking, “I want to be like that 20 years from now.” What I’ve observed since is that successful couples assign top priority to their marriage. Part of that is creating memorable times away, merged with other positives, slowly weaving a tapestry of committed love. As spouses foster positive habits, the fabric of their relationship is enhanced and enriched.” -Art Hunt

•  “I’ve seen a constant formula at work: the less I receive from God, the more I demand from my spouse; the more I receive from God, the more I give to my spouse. The best thing you can do for your marriage is to fill your soul with God. Define disappointment with your spouse as spiritual hunger, a call to worship. Marriage is a wonderful institution, but it’s limited. It can’t replace God. Don’t ask it to.” (Gary Thomas, Devotions for a Sacred Marriage: A Year of Weekly Devotions for Couples)

•  “Secular research indicates 85 percent of couples that report being either unhappy or very unhappy in their marriages five years later report being happy or very happy. Now if 85 percent of couples in a secular research project can see that kind of change without the intervention of the power of God’s Holy Spirit, imagine what we as Christian couples can do if we pray, stay and persevere through the tough times.” (Dr Gary and Barbara Rosberg from book, “Divorce Proof Your Marriage”)

•  Married parents, realize: “you’re not the only ones living in your home—you’ve got kids who watch and listen to how you treat each other. What do you think the impact is when you yell and scream? If you care about your child, you’ll start caring enough to make a life decision to control yourself (in how you relate to your spouse). Think: ‘I’m going to calm down and put our child’s interest over our destructive behavior.'” (Dr Phil)

•  “5 Awesome Communication Tips from Veteran Couples: 1. Under-communicate criticism. Over-communicate praise. 2. Make your body language and your words match. 3. Always fight fair and remember you can’t take back hurtful words. 4. Use ‘I’ statements, not ‘you’ statements. 5. Don’t share your spouse’s faults with your family and friends. You will soon forgive, but they may not.” (As posted on Engagedmarriage.com)

•  “While it’s critical to find the truth about issues that are affecting your marriage, relationship is always more important than issues. You are partners, not prosecutors. That partnership doesn’t end when you discuss sensitive topics” (Rob Jackson). True love aims at unity. “Never let the problem to be solved become more important than the person to be loved” (Barbara Johnson).

•  “Many times in marriage, physical touch is reserved for our sexual relationship —but this can be harmful. It’s important to show affection throughout the day by making an effort to hold hands, place a hand on your spouses back in passing, rub their neck, give a kiss and make an effort to reach out in love. These little actions add to the ‘love bank’ and communicate love and affection without saying a word.” (Debra Fileta, from the Truelovedaates.com article, “10 Things You Need to Talk About Before You Get Married)

•  Remember: “Don’t let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that they may benefit those who listen(Eph. 4:29). Make sure what you say will “benefit” your marital relationship. Ask yourself, “What difference will this thing we’re fighting about make in 10 years? In 1 year or a month?” Consider if it’s even important. If not, drop it.

•  “When circumstances make us miserable: 1. Remember that God is in control. God promised to do a ‘good work‘ in us and to complete it (Phil. 1:6). Keeping our eyes on heaven puts things on earth in the correct perspective. 2. Turn our obsession to satisfy ourselves into love for others. Marriage is the 1st place where we get to live out God’s commands to serve, accept, encourage, forgive, and submit to one another.” (Gary Kinnaman and Annette LaPlaca, in the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “What’s Wrong with Happiness?”)

•  “Starting right now, do something for your husband or wife that they wouldn’t expect. If you aren’t accustomed to it, vacuum the floor or do the dishes without having to be asked. Turn off the television, look at your spouse and begin talking. Then, do it again tomorrow! Start to do things that show your love. Adjust your behavior daily to express how much you love your spouse and enjoy the changes after that.” (Dr Randy Carlson)

•  “Many people come to marriage well equipped to be a critic but have an underdeveloped sense of how to be a cheerleader. They tend to be vocal about displeasing things, but are silent about the good. We urge you to reverse this pattern, so your spouse hears far more positive and approving things from you than negative, critical ones. An excellent way to cement your union for life is to become each other’s cheer–leader.” (Gleaned from the book, “Intimacy on the Run” by Jeannette and Robert Lauer)

•  “Who says ‘Pornography doesn’t hurt anyone?’ Proverbs 6:27 says: ‘Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?’ The answer is ‘No.’ Lusting after people with our eyes and thoughts is equivalent to sinning with them (Matt. 5:28). Porn trains us to live in a fantasy world of evil thoughts. The memories from our porn activities can last a lifetime and damage our ability to enjoy sex in marriage.” (From the web site at Porn-free.org)

“Oh the fun of dating days…but fast–forward a few years and marriage can bring a list of responsibilities and ‘have–to’s’ that sometimes snuff our time and desire for fun. The best marriages are made up of 2 best friends. One of the best ways to nurture friendship is by having fun together. Find hobbies and activities you can take part in together, play games and laugh together…it really is some of the best medicine.” (Debra Fileta, from the Truelovedaates.com article, “10 Things You Need to Talk About Before You Get Married)

•  “One of the fastest ways to diffuse tension and disagreement in a marriage is to master the art of apology. Don’t just say ‘I’m sorry” like, ‘I realize I hurt you when I used that tone of voice and I’m sorry for that.’ Take ownership for the things you’ve done wrong. Clarify your intentions when you’ve been misunderstood. There’s no better space for intimacy than the space that’s created after a heart–felt apology.” (Debra Fileta, from the Truelovedaates.com article, “10 Things You Need to Talk About Before You Get Married)

•  “Strive to out–please each other. This means putting your spouse’s happiness first —especially in the mundane moments of life. When he washes the dishes, respond by keeping the kids out of his hair while he’s watching the football game. But try not to keep score. Marriage breaks down when you constantly compare your sacrifices to your mate’s. Concentrate on your own giving to become one.” -Jim Magruder

•  “As you abide in Christ’s love, the love you have for your spouse will increase. Drinking His love in daily fulfills you in ways your spouse can’t. This enables you to cherish your bride or groom like never before. The closer you get to Him, the more you’ll be like Him and love your mate like He does.” (Kendrick)The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” –1 John 2:6. (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  “If you’ve gotten in the habit of not kissing each other as you leave the house, then start. If you no longer pray together before bed, then start. If you’re no longer in the habit of complimenting each other throughout the day, then start. Even if it doesn’t feel comfortable, do it anyway. Habits are formed by repetition. It’s this healthy repetition that will take your marriage from good to great.” -Gary Smalley

•  “To limit confusion and minimize conflicts, it works best if each of you is the primary spokesperson to your own parents when it comes to working out differences. Also remember to keep your relationship with each set of parents separate and positive. Avoid making comparisons. One set of parents doesn’t need to know everything the other is doing, such as how much time you spend with them or what they buy for you.” (Ingrid Lawrenz)

•  WE want to be treated in a kindly manner, yet many times when WE confront our spouse we can be harsh and blunt about rationalizing. “Well, they deserve this because they hurt me!” The Bible tells us that “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil(Proverbs 15:28). Our words may not be evil but are they kind and compassionate (as we would want our spouse to be to us)?

•  “When you’re positive, it’s a breath of fresh air to your mate and it makes it easier to live with yourself. When you focus on your [spouse’s] strengths, you change the dynamic of your home for the good. As Dr. Gary Chapman says, ‘Focus on 1 positive thing and another will appear. In the darkest night of a troubled marriage, there’s always a flickering light. Focus on that light and it will eventually flood the room.’” (Arlene Pellicane, from the Crosswalk.com article, “Five Keys of Happiness”)

 •  When it’s important to confront our spouse about difficult matters, remember that we’re told in the Bible, “a gentle answer turns away wrath.” That can be true in the way in which we answer or we confront our spouse —especially when the subject is sensitive. If we soften our approach, “speaking the truth in love” our spouse will have MORE of a tendency to be receptive to listening and interacting in partnering ways.

•  “Holding hands with your spouse is romantic AND therapeutic. Neuro-scientists found that married women under stress who reach out and hold their husbands’ hands feel immediate relief. ‘The effect of this gesture of support is that the brain doesn’t have to work as hard in response to a threat,’ says the study’s lead author. “It’s deeply soothing.” So the next time you’re feeling stressed, grab your mate’s hand.” (The New York Times, January 31, 2006)

•  “Only 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 already busy working on you and maturing you from the inside out.” (Stephen and Alex Kendrick, from the book, “The Love Dare Day by Day”)

•  Sticky notes: “They’re so practical and they can be used in a number of creative ways. So, your mission 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!” –Lori Byerly (From The-Generous-wife.com article, “The Power of the Sticky Note”)

•  “People often operate under the false assumption that love is the icing on the cake. The truth is, love isn’t the icing on the cake, it IS the cake. People are so busy looking for perfect love that they miss out on what they have that’s good. When is the last time you said, ‘I love you’ to your spouse? Human beings need to know how important they are to you. You have to make it a priority.” –(Michelle Weiner-Davis)

•  “Conflict doesn’t have to be scary. It’s an invitation to dialogue and an opportunity for you and your spouse to better understand one another. Next time you feel a fight coming on, take a few deep breaths, then start the conversation by just trying to understand where your spouse is coming from.” Something to consider from Tip of the Week –Marriage Partnership Newsletter.

•  “If your marriage has grown stale, look in the mirror and ask God how He can use it to transform the person looking back at you. If you have let bitterness seize your heart, stop praying for your spouse to change [unless there’s abuse] and ask God to change you. Most marriages can survive temporarily ‘falling out of love.’ But you’re headed for disaster if you ever let yourself fall out of repentance.” –Gary Thomas (From the Ncfliving.org article, “The Transforming Miracle of Marriage”)

•  “By definition, marriage requires that 2 distinct entities become 1. No matter how much in love we are, making 2 individuals into a single unit isn’t an easy task. The marriage ceremony doesn’t magically erase differences between husband and wife, nor does it cancel our selfish natures. Married harmony requires the acceptance that conflict WILL occur, plus a commitment to ongoing reconciliation—for a lifetime.” (Ellyn Sanna, from the book “Romance in Real Life)

•  “Infatuation is heady, but you know what’s better? 40 years of friends and family who are there when you’re 65 and say great things about you —because you’re still around. You haven’t gone anywhere. You’ve invested and now you’re reaping the rewards. There’s no awkwardness with kids or grandkids, and no pictures you have to exclude from a lifetime of memories. There’s a life well lived and that’s something exciting!” (Sheila Wray Gregoire, from the Tolovehonorandvacuum.com article, “Blessings of a Long Marriage”)

•  “The relationship of a man and a woman in marriage is a picture of Christ and His church. When we demonstrate to our spouses the grace that Christ demonstrated to us, we experience true oneness in marriage. As 1 John 4:19 tells us, ‘We love, because He first loved us.‘ Marriage works when a husband and wife remember that they are 2 sinners living together in a state of grace. It stops working when either of them forgets.” (Dave Boehi — Familylife.com article, “Me! Me! Me!”)

•  “Married Christians have to guard against ‘Teflon mentality’ —an expectation that pain, stress, and hardship, can’t really touch us but will magically slide off. It’s true that Christians aren’t OF the world, but we’re definitely IN it. We do feel pain and stress. But we don’t have to be overwhelmed by them.”

•  “Commitment means relinquishing the childish dream of having a spouse who gratifies all your needs and desires and who makes up for all your childhood disappointments. It means accepting the fact that your spouse will disappoint you and at times won’t live up to your expectations. It means sticking with your spouse when difficulties come, which they will.” Marital commitment, along with God’s help, can keep you together. (H. Norman Wright, from book, One Marriage Under God)

•  “Turn Off, Turn in, Tune in, Turn On. This is one of the most universally ignored bits of common sense. Turn off the computer, washer, TV, telephone, reading lamp, Kindle or whatever is usurping your last bit of energy. Turn in to bed with your hubby (or wife), so you can tune in to one another. Leave some gas in your tank for him (or her) so that you can turn on your ‘love engine’ and you’ll enjoy the drive!” (Tracey Goss, from the Happywivesclub.com article, “4 Ways to Find the Sweet Spot in Your Marriage”)

•  “Taking time away from the busyness of life is important in sustaining your connection as a couple. Add children to the mix and it’s even more important to prioritize one another. Date nights can be an important part to this. They don’t have to be fancy. Whether you opt for a dinner and a movie, a stroll downtown, or a home–cooked dinner in, get creative about this time and make sure to prioritize it on your schedule.” (Debra Fileta, from the Truelovedaates.com article, “10 Things You Need to Talk About Before You Get Married)

•  “Before embarking on a creative activity with your mate keep in mind the differences between men and women especially in their thinking and perceptions. Even though men and women are alike in many physical capacities, there seems to be a difference in the ‘wiring’ of the 2 sexes. Therefore, we must be sensitive to the different perspective of each person. What may seem fun to one spouse may be totally boring to the other.” (Rick Bundschuh and Dave Gilbert, from the book, “Dating Your Mate”)

•  “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly love, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” –Colossians 3:12-15

•  “A marriage will cost you beyond the cost of the wedding. That’s nothing in comparison to the emotional costs that come with becoming one. The truth is, you lose a part of yourself, exchanging a bit of who you are, for a bit of who they are. You learn to give and take and let go of the things that don’t matter.” (D Fileta) You may lose a part of yourself, but in marrying, you gain a part of them as you ask God to show you how to do this. (Debra Fileta, gleaned from the Crosswalk.com article, 10 Secrets You Should Know About Marriage”)

•  “Before making your Valentine’s Day plans, ask your spouse to let you know what specific ways you can make the holiday special for him or her. …Be willing to sacrifice what you think would be best for what your spouse would enjoy the most —even if you don’t relate to your spouse’s choices. Keep the focus on honoring and blessing your spouse rather than indulging your own desires.” –(Whitney Von Lake Hopler from the Crosswalk.com article, “Take the Pressure Off this Valentine’s Day”)

•  “Why not use Valentine’s Day as a scheduled marriage booster? On Valentine’s Day, why don’t you get alone with your spouse and promise each other once again to have and to hold until death do you part? These words could be exchanged over a candlelight dinner, standing face to face in the park, or cuddling on your sofa at home. Perhaps you can start a new tradition of repeating your vows every Valentine’s Day.” (Arlene Pellicane, from the Crosswalk.com article, “Perfect Words to Express Your Love on Valentine’s Day”)

•  “Pornography is a parasite, because it steals your emotions, your focus, your time, your energy away from your spouse. It’s really demonic, if you want to get down to it. Pornography is trying to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimate way. When you go down that path, you’re not fulfilling each other as God intends for husband and wife and vice–versa, and it starts to degrade your marriage.” –Alex Kendrick

•  “Marriage is more than hearts and chocolate, and romance isn’t just for Valentine’s Day —it’s for every day” —from this day (from the day you married) forward. “Be imitators of God, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” –Ephesians 5:1-2

•  In your marriage: “Don’t take yourself so seriously. Poke gentle fun at each other —but carefully. Steer clear of sensitive issues —weight, family belief system. Laugh when you don’t like laughing. And study your spouse’s funny bone —find out what makes him or her laugh, and use that daily.” (Les and Leslie Parrott) Be intentional and infuse laughter into your marital relationship. (From Marriage Partnership article, “Get Closer”)

•  “Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Marriage vows and commitments made to God and each other are not to be said once and then erased over time and neglect. Tell your spouse once more, again and again, that you are committed to him or her until death do you part. You can even repeat the conversation again and purposefully allow your children to eavesdrop, so they too hear the strength of your commitment.” (Arlene Pellicane, from the Crosswalk.com article, “Perfect Words to Express Your Love on Valentine’s Day”)

•  “Successful families are made up of encouragers—of ‘diamond hunters,’ says researcher Nick Stinnett. ‘They dig through the rough looking for the good in each other.’ So praise your partner in the little, routine things and in things that matter to him or her the most. Focus on who your spouse is, not only on what he or she does.” (Les and Leslie Parrott) “Encourage one another and build one another up…” 1 Thess. 5:11

•  “Sex is more than physical touch. It’s about what’s going on inside us. Developing a fulfilling sex life means I concern myself more with bringing generosity to bed than bringing washboard abdomens. It means I see my wife as a holy temple of God, not just a tantalizing human body. It means that sex becomes a form of physical prayer —a picture of a heavenly intimacy that rivals the shekinah glory of old.” –Gary Thomas

•  “Communicate. In a successful marriage, you have to fight the urge to sweep things under the rug. Don’t allow things to fester. Instead, keep an open line of communication. When we have ‘sounding boards’ who aren’t our spouses, we might feel a little better, but we’re doing nothing to actually resolve situations or improve our relationship.” –B.R. “From a wise mind comes careful and persuasive speech” (Prov. 16:23). (Brent Rinehart, from the Crosswalk.com article, “7 Words That Will Change Our Marriages”)

•  “Counselors know that no matter what the marriage problem, the system that sustains it is found in both people. Like a mobile hanging from the ceiling, a change to 1 piece impacts the equilibrium of the entire structure. In the same way, marriages maintain balance as 2 people shift their attitudes and behaviors to counter one another. Spouses need to realize that it’s not who’s wrong, but what’s wrong that counts.” (Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, from book, “I Love You More”)

•  “Marriage is painful. Sometimes it’s self–inflicted pain that leaves a mark on our marriage. Sometimes the pain comes by accident or the actions of others. Sometimes the pain helps our marriage grow in ways it wouldn’t if we weren’t willing to push through. And sometimes it’s a pain that will only find its comfort in eternity, but as you endure it, God can show Himself faithful on the other side of it.” (Debbi Walter, gleaned from The Romantic Vineyard.com article, “I Confess Marriage Can Be a Real Pain”)

•  QUICK ROMANTIC TIP: “Book Lover’s Day —we heard recently of some friends who spent the better part of an afternoon with two chairs set in a cool stream while they each enjoyed reading a book together while the cool water rushed over their bare feet. Sounds like a refreshing way to celebrate this day!” (Idea from Theromanticvineyard.com) Look for ways to enjoy the day TOGETHER!

•  “You can commit yourself to your marriage yet remain totally passive about developing the relationship. But committed love is active! Our Father models this kind of love. We see it in John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world that he GAVE“… Love moved our Father to action —to giving us His Son, Jesus. Dull marriages come alive when couples pursue their marriage vows as an active commitment to growth!” –Art Hunt

•  “Your marriage has so much potential, but you won’t realize those positive possibilities unless you decide to serve, listen to, appreciate, and affirm each other. Think of your wedding vows. Many people commit to: ‘love, to honor, to cherish.’ Are these words passive? Absolutely not! Instead, they bring to mind pictures of loving acts and loving words. Marriage enrichment leaves no room for passivity.” –Art Hunt

•  “If you want to know if you’re risking infidelity, tell your spouse the whole truth about the other relationship. If you find yourself wanting to ‘edit’ the story, you know that you’re playing with fire, even if you say you’re protecting your spouse. Secrecy is a key feature of infidelity. Either spouse has the right to ask and receive a complete and true answer to any question about anything at any time.” –Mark Odell

•  “Marriage is difficult! Somewhere between “We are gathered here today” and “til death do us part” there is a lot of real life going on —Often the one we’re supposed to love most is lost in the confusion of life. You need to put activities into your life together to help you to enjoy and encourage each other as husband and wife as well as to foster talking, learning and growing together.” (From “HELP! WE’RE MARRIED… An Activity Calendar for Couples” by Kandi Arnold, Andrea Devin, and Dale Sprowl)

•  “One way to develop the climate of intimacy in our relationships is by frequent glances at our spouses. Sadly, most couples begin to lose eye contact after they’ve been married a few months. If you’ve grown less frequent in the deep, long, intimate looks or the quick, let’s–share–this look, talk about it and begin to glance at each other often when in group discussion (or even watching television).” (Jack Mayhall, from the book, “Opposites Attack”)

•  “Money is amoral —neither good nor evil in itself. When money is a problem in a marriage or a family, the financial problems are usually just the tip of the iceberg. Hidden beneath the surface usually lies the iceberg of selfishness. Marriage demands commitment and apart from sexual fidelity, nothing is more important than maintaining a commitment to each other when it comes to what we do with our money.” –Joe Gatuslao

•  “Once a husband and wife, together, take responsibility for the good as well as the bad in their relationship a seedling of hope is planted. Its tiny roots are free from negative thinking about what somebody should have done or didn’t do. It’s a seedling that, in time, will sprout optimism. As long as we imagine a better marriage and keep believing we’ll one day enjoy it, the battle against bad things can still be won.” (Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, from book, “I Love You More”)

•  “When you married and established a new home, you departed from your old ways. You didn’t leave your 1st home in terms of love or communication, but you did leave in terms of authority and priority. The most important human relationship now is the one you have with your husband or wife. More than that, your marriage is a covenant that is a symbol of God’s love for the church —believers in Jesus Christ.” (Randy Carlson)

•  “Money was designed to be our servant, never our master. Getting a proper perspective on money is the 1st step to solving financial conflicts. The 2nd step relates to whether you handle money as partners or competitors. Certainly one partner will need to pay the monthly bills. But this doesn’t mean the bookkeeper controls the money. TOGETHER you must develop a plan for processing your finances.” (Gary D. Chapman, from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Balancing Your Money Mindset)

•  “Next time your [spouse] does something that rubs you the wrong way, grab your prayer journal and talk out your emotions with the Lord. That way you can talk about the issue with your [spouse] rather than just blast him (or her) with a heap of emotions. None of us react at our best when we feel attacked by someone else’s emotional response.” —April Motl (From the Crosswalk.com blog, “The Power of Words in Your Marriage”)

•  “Most couples, traveling at the speed of life, don’t always have a chance to update each other enough. One way to counter this experience is with a simple question we’ve been asking each other for years. At some point in the evening, we’ll say: ‘What are the headlines of your life I didn’t read today?’ It’s our way of saying bring me up to speed with anything I don’t know about you and your day.” –Les and Leslie Parrott

“Love isn’t what holds a marriage together. It’s marriage that holds our love together, because our feelings of love can come and go as the years pass. If the feeling is what we depend on, we’ll think it hypocritical to stay together if the feelings are gone, no matter how many years are behind us. But when we embrace our marriage covenant, we’ll stay committed in good times and in bad, no matter the cost.” (Debi Walters, from theromanticvineyard.com article, “When Love Requires More Than You Can Give the Captain and Tennille Story”)

•  “A kiss can mean different things at different times —good morning, goodbye, I missed you, I’m sorry, I love you, I’m in the mood and so on. But perhaps the sweetest of all kisses is the goodnight kiss that says I’m going to miss you even while I sleep. Remember when you were dating each other and how difficult it was to say good night? You’d say goodnight countless times with just as many kisses.” So KISS! (Les and Leslie Parrott – From emailed devotional sent 2/19/2014)

•  “The most important part of communicating doesn’t involve speaking; it’s listening. Your spouse wants to be heard. How can you know what he or she is feeling if you don’t take the time to listen. All too often, many of us are too quick to interject before the person is even finished speaking. ‘…Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger‘ (James 1:19).” –Brent Rinehart (From the Crosswalk.com article, “7 Words That Will Change Our Marriages”)

•  “Marriage was never meant to be bent to our individual purposes. That’s a shabby counterfeit of the real thing—the God-given opportunity to live out love and commitment to another human being for a lifetime. When we weigh the options, we can trade the pursuit of short–lived personal happiness for the contentment that grows when we shape our relationship God’s way.” (Gary Kinnaman with Annette LaPlaca, in the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “What’s Wrong with Happiness?”)

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