Facebook Quotes – Page 19

Pixabay computer-419961_640Below are a few of the quotes we’ve posted on the Marriage Missions Facebook Page. This is the 19th 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 (the guidelines are posted in the Romantic Ideas topic). Just make sure, if you use these quotes in a dating situation, you don’t get into heated arguments over them.

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

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

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

•  Most of us do well at saying thanks for obvious things. But what about the not so obvious? “Learn to say thanks for invisible work (things that get noticed when they don’t get done) such as, ‘Thanks for a drawer full of clean clothes’ or ‘for putting that back where I keep it.’ Also say thanks ‘for bringing in the paper’ or ‘for cleaning up the kitchen.'” (Thomas R Lee) Go the EXTRA mile in expressing appreciation.

•  In your marriage, when it comes to what gets done around the house, “many couples divide and conquer when it comes to the daily ‘to do’ of home and family. Just remember, the how-to of making this work is fluid, not fixed. Work out your systems—and then communicate often, clearly, and kindly. Not every solution fits for every season or situation.” -Renée S. Sanford (Todayschristianwoman.com article, “A Team of Two”)

•  “At the end of the day, marriage is not about ME…it’s about WE. It’s about learning to choose another person over ourselves –because by choosing them, we’re choosing to become greater in humility, strength, forgiveness, and love. Marriage isn’t just about becoming happier –it’s about becoming better. But ironically, in becoming better, we often find that we’ve also become happier.” -Debra Fileta

•  “Laugh in the midst of the grind, and remember not to take yourself too seriously. Proverbs 17:22 says, ‘A cheerful heart is good medicine.‘ Your marriage needs several good doses of this medicine. Don’t keep it hidden away and stored in the medicine cabinet.” – Ted Cunningham

•  “Schedule time to spend together. If you’re going to connect with your spouse, you have to intentionally spend time together. That may mean saying no to meetings, dinners and events to spend time one-on-one. Set aside a day, or as much of a day as you can, to hang out and do what you both enjoy doing together. Sometimes that’s watching a movie. Sometimes that’s sitting on the couch lazing around all day.” (Margaret Feinberg, from the Growthtrac.com article, “Dealing With Disconnect”)

•  “Marriage is not a sit-com, a movie, or a pop song. It involves real life and real people. If you’re considering marriage to a person who exhibits childish traits, don’t look the other way! Being ‘in love’ and having a great time together is not a sufficient resume for marriage. Marriage is a lifetime commitment under God and cannot be entered into lightly.” (Weathersbee) It’s better NOT to marry than to marry wrongly. (Byron and Carla Weathersbee)

•  “What marriage has done for me is hold up a mirror to my sin. It forces me to face myself honestly and consider my selfishness and anti-Christian attitudes, encouraging me to be cleansed and grow in godliness.” (Gary Thomas) “How has your marriage has been a ‘spiritual mirror’ in your life? What has your marriage revealed to you about areas in which you need to grow in character and Christlikeness?” -Kelli B. Trujillo (Gleaned from the Todayschristianwoman article, “The Ugly Truth About Marriage)

•  “Take control of your tech devices. Ideas? 1. Have a conversation in which you each admit your faults in this area. 2. Have several 30 minute Couple Talk Times each week. These are tech-free zones. Talk with all tech devices turned off. 3. Give your spouse permission to catch you in tech addiction mode. 4. After a certain time in the evening, agree you’re both done with tech devices until the next day.” –David Clarke

•  “Don’t let your love be eroded by criticism. Instead, build each other up with praise. Ron has become my biggest fan and often tells me that I’m smart, funny or pretty. Those compliments make me want to please him by being even smarter, funnier and prettier. Compliments are like magnets, if you want your mate to be ‘attracted’ to you, be generous with sincere praise.” -Nancy Anderson (Growthtrac.com article, “Junk Food Marriages”)

•  “I challenge you to take a good hard look at how much time you put into having the kitchen clean, the toy room picked up, the floor all vacuumed and anything else that’s nagging you before bed. These things are important, but not more important than your spouse and your time together. The mess WILL still be there tomorrow. But will the precious time to nurture your marriage?” –Kate (From the Onefleshmarriage.com article “Forget the Housework”) 

•  “Count up (seriously) how many hours you spend watching TV or working on your hobbies, and how much time you spend eyeball-to-eyeball with your spouse. Do a little bit less of the first ones, and a little bit more of the last one.” – Mike Bechtle (Quote from Growthtrac.com article, “Your Best Year of Marriage”)

•  “Never be too busy for the people you love [ESPECIALLY your spouse]. Never allow pursuits or possessions to become bigger priorities than your relationships [with your marriage relationship, being above all other human ones]. Love is what gives meaning to life.” (Dave Willis) Remember: “Whoever does not love does not love God, because God is love.(1 John 4:8)

•  “True love doesn’t happen by accident. It’s deliberate, it’s intentional, it’s purposeful and in the end…it’s worth it.” (Darlene Schacht)This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.(1 John 4:10-11)We love because he first loved us.(1 John 4:19)

•  “A healthy, balanced marriage is like a beautiful ballroom dance where the husband and wife are completely intertwined and in tune to one another with God is leading them in their journey together. He gave us such a gift when He gave us our spouse. He never meant for us to live in a lonely marriage, so let’s embrace and cherish the beautiful gift of our marriage and let love defeat the loneliness.” –Ashley Willis (From the Patheos.com article, “The Big Lie That Leads to a Lonely Marriage”)

•  “You can’t fix your spouse’s opinion but you can study your own perspective in the light of his or her ideas. Be willing to take correction from your spouse, just like you wish he or she would from you. Your spouse most times understands you better than anyone, so his or her perspective can be valuable to you.” Treat it as such. (Couplethingsblog)

•  “Life’s full of choices. And each choice impacts both spouses. Being a team means making those choices with your partner and with your mutual goals and desires in mind. Likewise, when you say ‘yes’ to one thing, you say ‘no’ to others. Being a team means choosing the sacrifices together, too. What are you willing to sacrifice to reach mutual goals? Are these sacrifices pleasing to God?” –Renée S. Sanford (From the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “A Team of Two”)

•  In your marriage, it’s important to make the time together to “share dreams. Have frequent conversations like: Where are we going? What do we want to accomplish together? What kind of lifestyle do we want to have and what legacy do we want to leave through our marriage? They can sound crazy to every one else, but the dreams you create with your spouse can become a glue for your relationship.” -Edward Lee

•  “Your children are important and their needs and activities require time and attention. But those needs shouldn’t become the ‘sun’ around which your family revolves. Placing your marriage at the center of your family’s life helps keep things in perspective when children are young and eases the transition when it’s just the 2 of you. It also reminds your children that the universe doesn’t revolve around them!” –Gay Christmus

•  “When we go into marriage with the idea that it’s meant for our happiness, we’ll be disappointed. NO human has the capability to bring that kind of joy into our lives. They weren’t made to have that role. Marriage is not about being happy for the rest of our lives, it’s about becoming the best that we can be from this day forward as we learn to love another flawed human being and loving them anyway.” Debra Fileta

•  “Excitement and fire are not qualities inherent to relationships. They are what happen when 2 people make marriage the #1 priority.” (Michele Weiner-Davis) Are you doing that? If not, do what you can to help to put the spark of excitement back into your marriage relationship. And don’t stop!

•  “Remember what love does: Love gently wipes vomit from a loved one’s face. Love trusts God always and looks for goodness over and over in a person you don’t recognize, remembering the person you love. Love educates itself about what your loved one is going through.” (Melody Harrison Hanson)By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” –John 13:35

•  “Your marriage is not promised another day. Today could be all you have remaining together. Think about this every single time you and your spouse part in the morning and be grateful every time you see one another again in the evening. Now is all you have. Gratitude is the gateway to happiness and being grateful for the spouse you have, in this moment -has the power to change your marriage forever.” -Fawn Weaver

•  “Don’t follow nice-sounding advice, which tickles your ears but does not teach Godly values. God isn’t trying to make you happy and comfortable in your ways… He wants to transform you. If the people you follow on Facebook, blogs or other forums have your comfort, earth-bend mindset as the highest value, you need to unfollow! What you surround yourself with eventually leaks into your marriage system.” –Ngina Otiende (From “Theintentionaltoday.com article, “The 2 Main Struggles For Early-weds”)

•  An older couple was recently asked, “How did you manage to stay together for so long?” The reply? “It’s simple really. We’re from a time where if something is broken, we fix it, not throw it away.” (Happywivesclub.com) Great advice that we need to apply to our own marriages. Work to build relationship bridges and fix that, which is separating you.

•  “Every couple has activities that naturally bring them closer together. You or your spouse may enjoy a sport like hiking, rock climbing, or golfing together. You may like trying out a new restaurant, exploring back roads, watching a movie, visiting a library, or playing a game together. Think back to when you were dating. What activities did you enjoy doing together? CARVE OUT TIMES to enjoy each other.” (Margaret Feinberg, from the Growthtrac.com article, “Dealing With Disconnect”)

•  “Show kindness. It’s hard to be kind when our spouse has been critical or unkind. It’s human nature to be less kind in return. But kindness is catching. Your kind words and actions can bring out kindness in your spouse. Try doing unselfish things for your spouse such as listening with patience, helping with a task when they’re busy, avoiding an angry reply, or apologizing for something you said.” –Thomas R. Lee, Ph.D.

•  “Laughter is the best medicine. No matter how old you get, never stop laughing at each other’s jokes. You’ll live longer, be happier, and have more fun.” (Happywivesclub.com)

•  “Your marriage vows are not to be thrown away like yesterday’s newspaper. Hold string to your promises.” (Renae Willis)It is a trap for a man [or woman] to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his [her] vows.(Proverbs 20:25) “Simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no, no,’ anything beyond this comes from the evil one.(Matthew 5:37)

•  “Sorry, we can’t join you for that, we already have something on our calendar,” is something we say often; and it’s 100% true. There IS something on our calendar: Us time. If you had a million-dollar idea and had a meeting scheduled with an investor, would you cancel it? That’s how you should treat time with your spouse. Once it’s on the calendar, nothing short of an emergency should cause you to cancel it.” –Fawn Weaver

•  “While sexy lingerie may spice up the bedroom, that’s only a superficial fix. The real wardrobe most of us need is to change the ‘wardrobe’ of our heart. Take some time to reflect on whether God’s love and character is represented in ALL areas of your life.” -Dr. Juli Slattery “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” –Colossians 3:12

•  “When you marry you become a team. You need to work together and communicate like you’re team members. What that means is that you communicate fairly often (in ways that the other can understand) and you have some agreement and common direction, so you’re ‘on the same page,’ and you support your common goals as you walk through your day. I didn’t say this is always easy. But it’s worth the effort.” –Lori Byerly

•  “Love isn’t just what you feel, it’s what you do consistently over time.” (Matthew Jacobson)Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, does not boast, and is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.-1 Cor. 13:4-7

•  “If the grass looks greener somewhere else, it’s time to water your own yard. Invest in the marriage that God has given you. Enjoy life with the spouse God blessed you with. Even when it seems like the distance between here and there is too far to go, remember, ‘with God all things are possible(Matthew 19:26). From this day forward, seek him together.” –Craig and Amy Groeschel (From the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Baby, Loving You is Fun)

•  “Speak through a filter. 2 favorite acronyms are AEOD. (Accept Each Other’s Differences) and NJLG: No Judgment. Love. Grace. When speaking with your spouse, apply this filter to your mouth. If the words travel thru a filter of NJLG –if you ask yourself, “Are these words seasoned with grace? Are they without judgment, sprinkled with love?” It will be hard to say something to your spouse lacking respect.” –Fawn Weaver

•  “The first duty of love is to listen.” (Paul Tillich)Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge(Proverbs 23:12).He who answers before listening —that is his folly and his shame.” (Proverbs 18:13) But “he who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.(Proverbs 15:31)

•  In your everyday life together: “Seek God’s help in ejecting complaining. Think about ways that you can inject thanks into your day! What does your spouse do that you’re thankful for? Did they take care of the kids today? Did they work hard at a job to help make money for the family? Find ways to tell your spouse you’re thankful for them every day! Don’t wait till the next something special, tell they today!” -Brad (From the Onefleshmarriage.com article, “Solitary Journey to Together”)

•  “How would you rate yourself when it comes to listening to your spouse? Be honest and non-defensive, and talk to each other about this. What seems to distract you most (e.g. your cell phone) when you’re trying to have a conversation? More importantly, what will you do to minimize the distraction? ‘The road to the heart is the ear,’ wrote Voltaire. Carefully listening to your partner is a quick path to intimacy.” (Drs Les and Leslie Parrott)

•  “Couples who ‘feel the glow’ in their marriages are those, who DAILY nurture a friendship.” (Thomas R. Lee) “The determining factor in whether wives feel satisfied with the sex, romance, and passion in their marriage is, by 70%, the quality of the couple’s friendship. For men, the determining factor is, by 70%, the quality of the couple’s friendship. So men and women come from the same planet after all.” (John Gottman) (From the book, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”)

•  “Christian marriage does not exist for the benefit of the two people in the marriage; it is for the benefit of the world, that God would be glorified in it. The main purpose of marriage is not the enjoyment of the two people who are married, the main purpose of marriage is to glorify Christ as we participate in the mission of God.” – Tim Suttle

•  “Love ISN’T something you feel at the beginning of your relationship that goes away after the honeymoon phase. Love is a decision that you make when you wake up everyday and look at that person that you made a commitment to.” (Kimanzi Constable)Love is patient, love is kind… it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered…(Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

•  “Married sex involves a supernatural spiritual oneness. There’s an overwhelming sense of intimacy when 2 people are connected to the same God. The beauty of sex within the framework of a loving, committed, God-honoring marriage is that there’s a love present that surpasses all understanding: because it’s not of this world. It’s a love that points to the life-giving, ferocious love of Jesus Christ.” -Debra Fileta

•  “Don’t allow a mistake to negate respect… We all make mistakes. Not one of us is perfect. Not even you. There is never a good reason to disrespect your spouse. Yes, address the issue. Deal with the mistake. But try to always do so, respectfully.” (Fawn Weaver)Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.(Romans 12:10)

•  “It’s often the little choices you make daily to show your love and ‘like’ for your spouse that matter the most. As Simone Signoret wrote, ‘Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.’ The problem is that we after marrying, many of us forget to keep sewing. Our love for each other can die of neglect.” (Chuck Onike)

•  “Planning double dates with other Christian couples can strengthen your marriage. Choose a couple whose family is similar to yours –kids, interests, same general income –and you’ll probably find that you have a lot in common. Seeing other couples react to each other and solve their conflicts can help you work out your own problems.” -Nancy Anderson (Growthtrac.com article, “Junk Food Marriages”)

•  “Sometimes we spend so much time praying about our marriage ‘pain points’ and forget to spend as much time, if not more, on the ‘praise points.’ Remember to always thank God for good and beautiful in your marriage, even as you pursue greater.” –Ngina Otiende

•  “Use humor lovingly. If you look at the world and your relationship with an eye to the humor that can be found in even difficult situations, you’ll find it cuts the tension and promotes warm, loving feelings between you. Sharing laughter is a sign that you trust each other enough to let down your guard. Laughter is, indeed, one of the best love medicines for a great marriage.” -Lilo and Gerard Leeds

•  “Ask for what you want. You can’t expect anybody to know your needs through simple intuition. If you want or need something from your mate –whether it’s affection, empathy, or anything else –ask for it. Be specific. Tell your spouse exactly what you feel and what you need. By expressing your thoughts clearly, you’ll allow your mate to understand your perspective.”– Dr. Phil

•  “Is there a log in your eye you’ve missed in the fixation on the speck in your spouse’s eye (Matt. 7:3-5)? Consider what it’s like to be married to you. What makes you challenging to live with? The more you recognize the difficulties you bring, the more acceptance you’ll have of your spouse’s foibles.” (Les and Leslie Parrott)Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.Prov. 19:11 (Drs Les and Leslie Parrott)

•  Be careful of how much you criticize your spouse. “Most of us, if we take a moment to think, are looking for the knowledge that we’re accepted and loved unconditionally, that we’ll still be loved even though we’re flawed. Most of us are well aware of our own flaws, but we don’t want to be reminded of them constantly. We need to know that we have value in our spouse’s eyes.” Whiteman and Bartlett (The Marriage Mender)

•  “Work in quiet time when traveling together. Some spouses need time to recharge away from people. Be sensitive to your spouse’s (and your) ways of dealing with new experiences. As exciting as travel can be, we need to recharge. If you or your spouse recharges when with people, arrange to do that too. Know your spouse well enough to meet their need to recharge –you’ll enjoy new experiences so much more.” –Lori Ferguson

•  “The Bible says, ’Whatever you do in word or deed, do all to the glory of God.’ How would you treat Jesus if He came to your house? What I do is I serve Jesus and my husband just happens to be standing in the way and becomes the physical recipient. I’m not looking for the praise from him. I’m looking to hear Jesus say, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant’.(Bunny Wilson)

•  “If you want a marriage relationship to last, you have to focus on what you both have in common, not on what divides you, what you admire in each other, not what you might want to criticize. Notice what you like about your partner, and let your partner know. Encourage each other to become the kind of people you both respect and admire. Bring out the best in each other.” –Lilo and Gerard Leeds

•  “Find at least 1 friend who has the same desire in their life as you do so you can work toward healthy goals together. When you begin drifting from the plan you set in place to create a happy, loving marriage —your friend will help bring you back to shore. Keep a friend close by who’s positive and sees life as you do and encourages you to live your life in line with your stated prioritizes.” –Fawn Weaver

•  “Befriending your spouse and sharing your relationship status on Facebook are no-brainers, but go 1 step further, suggests Julie Spira. ‘Both you and your spouse should be digitally proud of your marriage. So post your anniversary dinner photo together or a picture from a recent vacation.’ Charles Orlando adds that not mentioning your spouse is the online equivalent of not wearing your wedding band. –Dawn Papandrea (From Womansday.com article, “Don’t Let Facebook Hurt Your Marriage!”

•  “Do something unexpected for no reason or holiday. Drive out before she’s awake and bring home her favorite mocha so she has a treat when she wakes up —or wash his car when he’s not looking.” (Mike Bechtle) Get creative (like you did before you married each other). Don’t get stuck in a rut and if you are, get unstuck and find ways to put a smile on your spouse’s face. (From the Growthtrac.com article, “Your Best Year of Marriage”)

•  You don’t want to get to the place where “you and your spouse no longer have any interests in common. So even though it’s difficult to find time for adult activities during the child-raising years, make the time to develop at least 1 activity that isn’t focused on your kids. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive; Sheila and her husband enjoy bird watching; my husband and I like to bike ride.” –G. Christmus

•  “Make requests, not complaints [and be careful of whatever demands you may make]. Remember at the end of a request you may get what you asked for. At the end of a complaint what you will get is an argument.” (Maggie Reyes)

•  “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.(Romans 12:10) “It only takes one person to turn around a misunderstanding by honoring the other’s perspective. That’s what the Apostle Paul is getting at in this verse. When we honor our partner we have an internal attitude of respect and courtesy. It’s more than lip service (see Isaiah 29:13).” –Drs Les and Leslie Parrott

•  To live a simpler, more contented life in your marriage, “examine your commitments. A big problem is that our lives are way too full. We can’t possibly do everything we have committed to doing, and we certainly can’t enjoy it if we’re trying to do everything. Accept that you can’t do everything, know that you want to do what’s important, and try to eliminate the commitments that aren’t as important.” –Corey

•  “It’s common to hear people speak of ‘falling out of love’ with their spouses and ‘falling in love’ with someone else in adultery. In using the language of ‘falling’, they’re avoiding any responsibility, as if they’re simply required to follow their hearts.” (Driscoll) We’re told in the Bible to “guard our hearts.” They can deceive us. “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Mark and Grace Driscoll, book: “Real Marriage”)

•  “Everyone has different personal space needs. Some are introverts who gain energy from being alone. Others are extroverts who are happiest being around others. Because opposites attract, many couples are mixed—introverts married to extroverts. Extroverts need to understand that their introvert spouses’ space needs are not an attempt to shun them.” (Christy Scannell) Accommodate each other’s needs, when it’s possible.

•  “Take the word ‘anger’ out of your vocabulary. Instead, replace it with one or more of the following: fear, hurt or frustration. Fear, hurt and frustration are the 3 emotions that are at the root of anger (and don’t use words like ‘steamed’, ‘ticked off’ or ‘P.O.ed’ in place of ‘anger’. Keep it on the big 3).” (Dr. Phil) This helps your spouse understand what’s behind your anger so the issue can be better addressed.

•  “Have you allowed fun to fade into the background of the so-called realities of life? Start embracing friendship and fun in your marriage. Focus on the important things you have in common and share those activities to the fullest. Sit down with your spouse and make a list of 5 things you both love to do or used to do and schedule them over the next couple of months. Couldn’t we all use more fun in our lives?” Steve Arterburn

•  “During the child-intensive years, it’s tempting to let sex and intimacy fall by the wayside. It’s easy to think, ‘I’m tired, I’m busy, the kids are sucking up all of my energy; I just don’t feel in the mood.’ Those things are probably true, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for you or your marriage. Sex holds the two of you together. So don’t let it slide. Instead, nurture and pursue it.” –G. Christmus

•  Be respectful in how you deal with everyone —but especially your spouse! And the reason is NOT necessarily because he or she deserves it, but because God’s word tells us to do so. Just read Ephesians 5; 1 Peter 3 (along with many, many other scriptures) and you’ll better know why you should do this. “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.(Romans 12:10)

•  “Pay attention to your rituals of connection at the beginning and end of the day. Couples often start their marriage with elaborate goodbye/hello kisses and hugs, only to drift into a greeting from across the room. Make sure your greeting and goodbye rituals are significant. Don’t miss the opportunity to communicate your care about this marriage to your mate and to your children (who are watching your every move).” –Ron Deal (From Growthtrac.com article, “Adding Significance to Your Marriage”)

•  “We sometimes put our spouse in a box. ‘He’s been like that for years, we say, so he’ll never change.’ But he or she CAN make small increments of improvements.” We’re just not open to seeing them. “Set aside your skepticism; discover the good changes that may be taking place.” Prayerfully consider: “What treasure in your marriage might you be missing out on by refusing to believe that change is possible?” Drs Les and Leslie Parrott

•  “Sulking. Pouting. Shutting your spouse out. It’s a lame attempt to punish and is more toxic than you might imagine. …It’s manipulative, it’s disrespectful and it’s not productive.” (Les and Leslie Parrott) “Soon you’re no longer addressing the issue at hand, you’re arguing about arguing.” (Sean Horan) “Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive.(Ephesians 4:31)

•  Pick your friends well. “There are powerful examples of committed friendship in David and Jonathan; Ruth and Naomi; in Jesus and his close friendships with people like Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Friendships like these strengthen and shape us, and our need for them doesn’t evaporate when we marry. Sure, things change—and they ought to! But we lose out, as a couple, if we think marriage supplants ALL our friendship needs.” (Kelli B. Trujillo, gleaned from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Kick Your Husband Out of the House”)

•  “MAKE TIME FOR FUN. Add a little humor to life each day. Bring home jokes or funny stories about something that happened during your day. Cut comics out of the newspaper to share with your spouse and post on the fridge. Rent a funny movie & watch it together. Try using props to add humor —like coming to the table in a wig or fake glasses and a mustache or serving a rubber chicken for dinner.” –Dr Thomas R. Lee

•  “It’s okay to get away from each other occasionally, whether for an hour or a day. It’s easy to become so wrapped up in each other that you never part. Give the together time a rest every once in a while. Remember the old saying ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder?’ When you find the right balance with your spouse, you’ll see how a little time away, plus time truly together will grow your marriage.” Christy Scannell

•  “Marriage is a powerful witness. In Ephesians 5:23, Paul explains that marriage reflects the relationship between Christ and the church. That relationship is not a toe-in-the-water kind of commitment. It’s a radical sacrifice, a totally self-giving act of love. In a world increasingly averse to commitment, marriage gives witness to the love and sacrifice of a committed God.” -Sharon Hodde Miller (Gleaned from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Married… to My Church?”)

•  “Remember the 4-minute rule: You can predict the rest of the night based on the first 4 minutes, so make those minutes count! Bring flowers. Greet each other with a compliment. Ask questions about your partner’s day. Smile, it’ll make a difference.” – Dr. Phil

•  Do you have small kids, and you just can’t “find” the time to spend alone time with your spouse each day or night? “Use timers to set aside ‘Mommy-and-Daddy’ time. Tell the kids you need a few minutes to talk uninterrupted and set a timer. The kids can’t come back into the room until the timer goes off. Build sacred Mommy-Daddy time into your schedule at a set time each day, so your children get used to it.” (Elizabeth L Thompson (Gleaned from the Tolovehonorandvacuum.com article, “What My Two Year Old Taught Me About Marriage”)

•  “Be flexible about each other’s habits and temperament. Everyone has some quirks. One person is bound to be neater than the other or more punctual. One of you may need different amounts of sleep. Habits that cannot be changed can often be worked around. Using separate tubes of toothpaste is far easier than fighting about the caps. Many disagreements are easily solved with the right attitude.” -Lilo and Gerard Leeds

•  “Have you ever experienced a conflict that left you both dumbfounded at how you got there? Did you take the time to go back to talk about what happened? We encourage you to do so. Realize though, it takes a mature commitment to growth and change in your marriage for this type of conversation to be fruitful, but this is how marriages grow. Ignoring the issues won’t make them go away, they’ll only fester and spread.” (Debi Walter, from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “Can We Talk?”)

•  “Are you rebelling against your spouse’s needs? It shouldn’t matter why your spouse needs what he or she needs. Consider: If one of your kids got up in the middle of the night and said, ‘I’m thirsty,’ would you say, ‘I’m not; go back to bed’? Appreciate your partner’s individuality. Don’t expect your spouse to react as you would—he/she isn’t you! You can choose behavior, but you can’t legislate emotion.” –Dr. Phil

•  “Marriage is a good and beautiful gift that God has bestowed on the world, but the chief end of marriage is not personal happiness. Not entirely, anyway. For all the ways that marriage blesses us, God gave us marriage to better serve and glorify him. …It’s an act of obedience to God, who calls couples to an all-in commitment that reflects the character of his Son. That’s why marital commitment matters.” –Sharon Miller (Gleaned from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Married… to My Church?”)

•  “Marriage is not 50-50; divorce is 50-50. Marriage has to be 100-100. It isn’t dividing everything in half, but giving everything you’ve got!” (Dave Willis)Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.” – Colossians 3:23

•  “Instead of saying no when your spouse desires sex and you don’t, say ‘not now.’ Then give him [or her] a time within the next 24 hours when you will be ready to say yes. This gives you time to prepare physically, mentally, and emotionally so that sex can be fulfilling to you too.” –Dr Juli Slattery

•  “It’s amazing how much unknown baggage we bring into our marriages. It’s hard to get rid of; no matter how many times we think we have it secured, it keeps falling out. Think about your own childhood. Reflect on what baggage you brought along that affects your marriage. Ask yourself if you’re spending more time criticizing your partner for his (or her) baggage than you are dealing with your own.” –Dr. Ron Welch (Gleaned from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Confessions of a Controlling Husband”)

•  “Consider your not-so-perfect marriage. And think about how God may want to use you to minister to other couples –not necessarily on a platform, but in a mentoring relationship. Your moments of marital bewilderment give you the credibility to help others cultivate moments of marital brilliance. Reflect: Do you have imperfect marital moments that might be a great means to minister to another couple?” –Drs Les and Leslie Parrott

•  “Having fun together is essential! Try and shake up familiar patterns. Howard Markman suggests a simple way to add to your fun: You and your spouse can each make a list of fun activities you’d like to do. Trade lists. Choose 1 thing from your spouse’s list. Have them choose 1 from yours. Schedule the activities. Each spouse takes responsibility to plan the activity chosen from the partner’s list.” –Thomas R. Lee, Ph.D.

•  “If a wife has a problem with her husband’s parents, it’s the responsibility of the husband to bring that issue before his parents. Truth is, the biological child will generally carry more credibility with his or her own parents and should discern how to best communicate with them. It’s vital that the biological husband or wife lovingly but firmly defends his or her spouse and family.” -Dr Randy Carlson

•  “Marriage is a promise—one that you keep even when you don’t feel it—one that you believe in with your body & soul, one that you trust God to bless and strengthen and overflow you with love when 50 years seems like a very, very long time to be exclusive with someone. Marriage is a promise and marriage is the fire that family gathers around. The key is to not let it go out.” –Emily T. Wierenga (Gleaned from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “How to Stay Married in a World Full of Divorce”)

•  When your spouse comes home, do you roll out an emotional “Welcome” mat, where it’s possible for him or her to enter to feel loved and valued? Greet your spouse like you did before you got married; don’t take each other for granted. “Invest in your relationship as early as you can, as much as you can, and as often as you can!” – Krafsky

•  “Refusing to discuss an issue or resorting to the silent treatment is like allowing carbon monoxide to fill a room. Eventually the poison of hurt, pain and a closed-off attitude will suffocate your relationship. When you stop sharing openly, you begin merely to exist. To refuse to communicate is to accept a form of bondage that, if allowed to take hold, will become in many ways a prison.” –James and Betty Robison (Living in Love)

•  “Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled. There may be times that you agree to re-approach a certain difference the next day because you just aren’t able to resolve it at the present time. But don’t go to bed stewing in anger about it either. Agree to leave the situation alone for the night and pick it up the next day to work through it with a fresher approach.” – Steve Arterburn

•  “If you’re a cheery morning person and your spouse is more of a grumbly bear, keep the chatter to a minimum. If your spouse wants to go to an auto show and your heart is set on a garden display, compromise and spend some time at each place. Compromise leads to harmony and a better understanding of each other.” –Woods, Hudson, Dall, and Lackland (from the book, “Marriage: Clues for the Clueless)

•  “When you’re married, fun is not a luxury; it’s a requirement. Without romance, without adventure, without physical intimacy—without fun—marriage is reduced to a simple business arrangement. You’re like partners in a company, 2 roommates who split expenses like rent and food, yet living entirely different lives.” Don’t allow yourselves to get (or stay) in this rut… LOOK for ways to have fun TOGETHER! (Craig and Amy Groeschel, from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Baby, Loving You is Fun)

•  “The killer of love is creeping separateness… It’s taking love for granted, especially after marriage. It’s ceasing to do things together, finding separate interests. It’s ‘we’ turning into ‘I’. The failure of love might seem to be caused by hate or boredom or unfaithfulness, but those were results. First came the creeping separateness: the failure behind the failure” (Sheldon Vanauken).

•  “Marriage is a good and beautiful gift that God has bestowed on the world, but the chief end of marriage is not personal happiness. Not entirely, anyway. For all the ways that marriage blesses us, God gave us marriage to better serve and glorify him, and it’s the same with the church.” –Sharon Hodde Miller

•  “Do the unexpected. Little things. It’s those small things that add up to the largest equation in marriage. Find 1 additional thing a day you can do to bring a smile to your spouse’s face. Maybe for your spouse, it’s testing out new lingerie or picking up some freshly cut flowers from your local farmers market (or florist). Remember, this isn’t something big…it’s something really small, yet thoughtful.” -Fawn Weaver

•  “Unresolved anger in your home is more toxic that the radon gas that seeps up from the earth and threatens many houses across the country.” (Gary and Norma Smalley) “He who loves a quarrel loves sin; he who builds a high gate invites destruction” (Prov. 17:19).If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other(Gal. 5:15).

•  “Marriage is like a garden. As you get to know a garden, you recognize different plants and appreciate the uniqueness of each one. You also recognize the weeds, and you pull them out [not the main plants that are being entangled, i.e. the other spouse] before they cause damage.” -Whiteman and Bartlett (The Marriage Mender)

•  “We may think people make us angry, but most of the time they simply reveal our own selfishness. What usually makes us angry is our lack of control over people and circumstances.” (Gary Smalley)What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. …You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God(James 4:1-2).

•  “Increasing the happiness in your marriage, doesn’t come from doing big things once a month. It happens when you make choices to do little things that matter daily, making marriage a priority. Marriage is one of the easiest things to allow to coast on cruise control before realizing it’s headed in the wrong direction. Back up, turn it around, and get intentional about the destination you’d like to arrive.” -Fawn Weaver

•  “Marriage doesn’t happen in a bubble and much of scripture can be applied to marriage even if it doesn’t have a ‘use this in your marriage’ directive. So the next time a scripture stands out to you, ask God how it can be applied to your marriage.” (Lori Byerly)All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…-2 Timothy 3:16

•  “As life gets busier and more hectic, we tend to stop appreciating the things our husbands (and wives) do. We start thinking that those things are just normal, adult responsibilities and tasks that he’s (or she’s) ‘supposed to do.’ And in many ways they are. But a sincere ‘thank you’ still goes a long way. So thank him (or her) today for one thing he (or she) does for you or your family.” (G. Christmus)

•  “If you see your in-laws as the enemy, you’ll never get anywhere with them. No matter how troublesome they seem, if possible, take the lead in working toward solving the problems. Remember that your mother or father-in-law is different from your parents. You can’t compare the two, because in most cases your in-laws will come up short. Get to know them for who they are, not for what you want them to be.” –Dr Randy Carlson

•  “It’s possible to confront someone without really communicating. You can spill out your emotions and anger and not get anywhere. If you can engage with each other in a civil manner, you’re more likely to hear and be heard. When the temperature in an argument begins to rise, take a moment to cool down. When you’re ready to listen with an open mind and heart, say, ‘Okay, tell me. I’m ready to listen.’” –James and Betty Robison

•  “Husbands and wives are as different as chalk and cheese. And to complicate things further, their needs change according to the season of life they’re in. So when you ask, ‘How are you today?” (you DO that, don’t you?) Slow down and LISTEN. Closeness in marriage isn’t an accident. It’s a decision you make, and keep making every day.” (From “The Word for You Today” – 9/2/15)

•  “Marriage is more than sharing a life together; it’s building a life together. What you do now is for both, and what is said now is for both. What your purpose is now is for the kingdom and giving glory to the image of God.” –Norm Wright (from the book, “One Marriage Under God”)

•  “We love the sex advice given to us early on in our marriage: ‘Do it often, in a way you both enjoy.’ The foundation of great sex is emotional safety. Be a safe place. Put significant time into building a marriage that feels like the safest place on earth—a relationship where you feel safe physically, intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally.” —Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley

•  “When you’re apart, whether just for a portion of the day or for an extended time, how you keep in touch and how you get back together can be more important that how much time you’re separated. Successful couples touch base with each other at least once or twice a day, even if for just a few minutes. They also make sure that their reunion receives some attention.” Are YOUR “reunions” good ones? (Patricia S. and Gregory A. Kuhlman, from the Stayhitched.com article, Balancing Togetherness and Individuality”)

•  “Marriage expert, Dr. John Gottman, says that without honor, all the marriage skills one can learn won’t work. Another expert, Dr. Scott Stanley, says that honor is the fuel that keeps the lifelong marriage loving and functioning. If honor is non-existent in one partner, there’s a high probability the marriage can be over. But if only a spark of respect remains, the spark can be turned into a flame again.” -Gary Smalley

•  “If duty and busyness is the only thing holding a marriage together, what happens when someone who brings a little ‘fun’ into our life comes along? Marriages need love, work, and FUN to survive. How much time do you spend together in play? Plan your week to include time for fun together, too.” (Wold) …Lord, help us to develop and live out a “honeymoon attitude” where we make enjoying each other a daily priority. (Margaret and Erling Wold)

•  “Treat today as if it were your last. I had tea with a wonderful friend. She talked about her husband and I talked about mine. The difference is, at the age of 45, her otherwise healthy husband boarded a plane for New York and never made it off the plane alive. Max Lucado has a quote I love, ‘Forgive and give as if it were your last opportunity. Love like there is no tomorrow and if tomorrow comes, love again.”’ –Fawn Weaver

•  “Learning to communicate in marriage is not for the faint of heart. It takes patience, hard work, and grace, grace, grace. But when you appreciate and explore your family members as though they were a charming foreign culture with a rich history and traditions, life is more pleasant. As we look through the lens of Christ and not through justice, God will bring out the beauty he promised in his time.” –Sabrina MacDonald (From the Growthtrac.com article, “Learning to Speak Marriage Again”)

•  “Most of us grew up believing feelings choose us. That’s also the message we get from our culture. But letting feelings run the show leads to all kinds of bad stuff. Happy married couples choose to LEAD their feelings, not the other way around. They replace unhappy thoughts with positive ones. The more couples choose to stop focusing on annoyances, the happier they’ll be with their spouses and marriages.” (Shaunti Feldhahn)

•  “Become each other’s warrior and defender. Stick up for each other in front of the kids, in front of extended family, and in front of your friends. That doesn’t mean that you don’t see the other’s faults and face them, but do that privately after much prayer and thought. On a daily basis, make a commitment to build that person up whenever possible.” (JoHannah Reardon) Remember, “Love is kind…

•  “When discussing a tough topic, refrain from saying ‘you’ as much as possible. Once we hear ‘YOU did this to me…’ up go the defenses. Try expressing yourself with phrases like ‘I think that…’ ‘this is how I feel about…,’ ‘this is how I see it…,’ ‘please tell me if I’m wrong.’ Then move towards ‘how can we work this out together?” -Mike Genung

•  “All of us have a little porcupine person in use that can rear its ugly head out sometime. In every one of us there’s a beauty and some kind of beast. (Lee Ezell) The Bible tells us that, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise bring healing.(Proverbs 12:18) Do you speak to your spouse recklessly so your words pierce –or do you ‘speak the truth in love’ so your words bring healing?”

•  “As human beings, we aren’t built to maintain the high levels of feverish passion experienced during the early days of engagement and the honeymoon. That doesn’t mean we’re doomed to never enjoy the romance of a honeymoon again. Researchers found that the most satisfying moments in a couple’s marriage are enjoyed during their 2nd half. What are you doing now to ensure your romance doesn’t fade?” –Drs Les and Leslie Parrott

•  “The presence of God through His son, Jesus Christ, is what every marriage needs. If you let Him, God will give you the relationship you’ve always longed to experience. Yours can become a marriage after God’s own heart. He will take a good marriage and make it great. He will take a struggling marriage and get it back on track. He will take a dead marriage and bring it back to life. ~ David Clarke (From the book: A Marriage After God’s Own Heart)

•  “To have a great relationship, you have to start with yourself —ideally BEFORE you get married, but it’s never too late for improvement. Your life, and all your relationships, will change as you develop the traits that define a person of good character. As our son Greg pointed out, ‘It’s not enough to marry the right partner, you need to work to be the right partner.’” –Lilo and Gerard Leeds (married over 65 years)

•  “Are you hesitating to knock down old walls of anger and put in a doorway of tenderness to your home —a door that opens to energizing words, gentle touching, and courageous forgiving?” (Gary and Norma Smalley)Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you(Eph. 4:30-32).

•  “Time your tough talks. Collecting thoughts in a conversation jar frees you from the anxiety of timing challenging chats. As you think of a concern, write a few topic keywords on a strip of paper and put it in a jar. Set aside time every week to pull out one issue from the jar for a focused discussion with your spouse.” (Tip from Focus on the Family Canada)

•  “The fundamental cause of almost all communication problems is that people do not listen to UNDERSTAND –they listen to REPLY. But get this: The moment your spouse feels understood, they become more motivated to understand your point of view.” (Drs Les and Leslie Parrott) Keep in mind: “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out(Proverbs 18:15).

•  Too busy to plan a date night together? How about a “mini date?” “Grab your sweetie and run away for a cup of coffee and small talk. (If you can’t get away because of kidlets, have a mini-date at home before they get up, after they go to bed, or naptime. Those little boogers have to sleep sometime!)” -Lori Byerly. “The best chats are had over a cup of coffee.” –Author Unknown

•  “Be sweet to your sweetie. When do you use your best manners? When you’re with coworkers, church members and friends –or with your spouse? Talk to your husband or wife more sweetly and respectfully than you talk to anyone else.” (Tip from Focus on the Family Canada)

•  “The marriage relationship isn’t intended to produce happiness. It’s a mechanism to produce better people. Marriage is a people-growing machine. The 2 becoming 1 concept in the Bible is more about the sexual union and creation of a family than each spouse giving up individual identity and only being a married couple. The natural conflict that occurs in marriage is part of the growing up process.” – Corey

•  Hearing vs. listening tip in communicating: “The 1st thing you need to know about love, you learned in kindergarten … and that’s to simply pay attention. Don’t let ‘tuning out’ become a habit –acknowledge every comment from your spouse. If you tend to share your every thought, reduce the chatter so meaningful comments aren’t missed.” (Tip from Focus on the Family Canada)

•  “In any relationship, there will be frightening spells in which feelings of love dry up. When that happens, remember that the essence of marriage is that it’s a covenant, a commitment, a promise of future love. What do you do? You do the acts of love, despite your lack of feeling. You may not feel tender and eager to please, but in your actions you must BE tender, understanding, forgiving and helpful.” –Tim Keller

•  “Exchange login and password info with your spouse. That means your spouse can see your wall, but can also log in and read your private messages if he (she) chooses. This gesture says, ‘I want you to know you can trust me,’ and can also serve as a deterrent should you feel tempted to start private conversations with exes or other members of the opposite sex that you know deep down would be crossing a line.” –Paula Reece (From Yourtango.com article, “Facebook & Your Marriage: 10 Must-Read Tips”)

•  “Be careful about how much you share with a person of the opposite sex. Beware of praying with a member of the opposite sex, because of the intimacy involved in prayer. Never share with someone of the opposite sex a problem you’re having with your spouse. It’s inappropriate for a man to share with a woman negative comments about his wife or for a woman to share with a man negative comments about her husband.” (Dennis Rainey)

•  “Treat your spouse like they’re the most important person in the world. Because they are. No one else has pledged their life to you. No other person has committed to be with you through the ups and the downs, the good times and the bad, thru wealth and poverty. No person experiences your rawest emotions and greatest flaws more than your spouse. That alone has earned them a place above all other beings on earth.” –Fawn Weaver

•  “Less phone, more flirting. Is your spouse competing with your stream of Facebook, Twitter, email or text notifications for your attention? Cut off the competition –your husband or wife wins! When you’re together, turn off your Smartphone and turn on your spouse. You’ll find that focusing on each other rather than on your phones is far more appealing than any app!” –Tip from Focus on the Family, Canada

•  “Sincerely desire your spouse’s best. [Isn’t that what you promised to do in your wedding vows?] Most times that I’m angry with my husband, it’s because I didn’t get my way. When I step back and think about how I can help him be everything he can be in Christ, I feel a lot more compassion for him—indeed I feel an ardent emotional attachment that I would call romance.” –JoHannah Reardon

•  “Financial advisers Scott & Bethany Palmer recommend couples take 45 minutes, once a month for a ‘Money Huddle.’ This is not the time to discuss budgets, debts and investments. It’s a calm conversation to tap into the emotional and relational side of your finances. Use this chat to reconnect, to learn more about your spouse’s views on money & to dream about your future together.” –Tip from Focus on the Family, Canada

•  In your marriage, “view anger as a useful warning sign —not that there’s trouble in the relationship, but that there’s a rough patch that needs attention. It’s a sign that somebody’s needs are not being met —that we’re feeling hurt, or that something isn’t right. A great marriage provides a safe place for both partners to express and resolve their differences and anger.” (Lilo and Gerard Leeds)

•  When you interrupt your spouse and say something you shouldn’t in front of others, immediately “apologize. If it’s not possible to say the words, reach for your spouse’s hand and give it a squeeze. As soon as you’re alone: apologize again. Let your spouse tell you how the dig felt, and ask for forgiveness.” Then, work to “cultivate a habit of encouraging your spouse in public.” –Mandy Houk (From the article, “Spouse Interrupted”)

•  “Demanding children can be skilled at pitting one parent against another in subtle ways. Don’t play the blame game with your spouse. No one can win, and it only deflects energy away from the real issues. Make unity as a couple your priority, then dealing with the rest [whether it involves dealing with children, or not] will be easier.” –Tip from Focus on the Family, Canada

•  “Communicate lovingly with your spouse. Communicating clearly and honestly involves skills that you need to learn and practice. It also requires that you pay attention just as much to what you say with your body as with your words. Body language, facial expressions, and, most important, our attitudes contribute as much to communicating our thoughts and feelings as the sentences we speak.” -Lilo and Gerard Leeds

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