Facebook Quotes – Page 6

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

Pixabay.com
Pixabay.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“If you’re looking at a tiled floor & 1 tile is missing, your eye will be drawn to the missing tile. You’ll focus on the missing tile rather than the rest of the tiles. Dennis Prager calls this the ‘Missing Tile Syndrome’ which explains why many of us focus on what’s missing in our lives instead of what we have, causing unhappiness.” Purpose to focus mostly on the blessings of your marriage rather than the problems. (Tom and Debi, The Romantic Vineyard, article, “10 Hindrances to Cultivating a Romantic Vineyard,” posted on Theromanticvineyard.com, March 31, 2011)

You & your spouse can agree about something, but if it’s a point of contention with God, it will always be an issue in your lives together. It will inhibit all that God wants to do in each of you & your marriage. You may agree on something together, but if it doesn’t agree with God, it opens the door for problems that undermines your marriage. There are consequences for violating any law of God. -Stormie Omartian (Stormie Omartian, from book, “The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage,”)

BEWARE: “Ephesians 4:26 says, ‘Do not let the sun go down while you are angry.‘ That means there’s a divine time limit on your anger. Remember, what you think about as you’re going to sleep can become a part of your subconscious. Little things become annoyances, & annoyances become sore spots. Over time, sore spots become open wounds of bitterness. The infection spreads until your marriage is in real trouble.” -R. P. (Dr Ray Pritchard, from Keepbelieving.com sermon, “Forever and Ever Amen!)

Our tone says as much about what we’re saying as the words we use. A negative tone can be a way to say one thing but really mean another. Phrases such as, I’m sorry, You’re right, & even I love you can take on different meanings depending on the tone which they’re delivered. Staying aware of your tone helps keep conflicts from becoming bigger. -A. Sharp. “The lips of the righteous know what is fitting.” -Prov. 10:32 (Actual quote: “It’s important to remember that our tone says as much about what we’re saying as the actual words we use… In marriage this issue often manifests itself in a sarcastic or belittling tone. A negative tone can be a way to say one thing but really mean another. Phrases such as, I’m sorry, You’re right, and even I love you can take on different meanings depending on the tone with which they’re delivered. At times your tone, though not malicious, can convey that you’re upset when the truth is that you’re just a little more animated or emphatic. Staying aware of your tone and what it says helps to avoid conflicts, and to keep conflicts that do arise from becoming bigger.” -Aaron Sharp from Kyria.com article “Is it 50/50 or Half and Half?”)

“Pray together. Spiritual intimacy is important. Many couples have regular sexual activity, but are not intimate—they miss out on the soul, the person your spouse is underneath the flesh. Christ is the bond that makes marriages strong. By praying together, you have a deeper respect for each other spiritually. When the spiritual part of a relationship is strong, it lays the foundation for a healthy physical intimacy.” (Sabrina Beasley, Familylife.com article: 10 Ideas: Surprising Ways to Increase Romance”)

“Love one another with purpose in mind. Jesus said in John 13:35, ‘By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.‘ Your love is a light. Ask, ‘How can we better love each other?’ Set a goal to love in a way that the people in your world can best see the love you share & the source of that love —God! Commit to love all out, over the top, no holds barred—unreservedly!” -Farrel (Original quote: Love one another with a bigger purpose in mind. Jesus said in John 13:35, ” By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Your love is a light. That’s the dream! As you head into the next year, go out on a date and ask, “How can we better love each other? Set a goal to love in a way that the people in your world: your kids, your friends, your family, those you both work with can best see the love you two share and the source of that love–God!  Live the dream by committing to love all out, over the top, no holds barred—unreservedly! -Pam and Bill Farrel, in Crosswalk.com article, “Can Your Marriage Fulfill Your Dreams?”)

“If we allow our minds to dwell on that which deals with sex as an impersonal physical experience, we’ll never experience the freedom that sexual intimacy was designed to provide. If we use our brainpower to form a critical picture of our spouses, our marriages, or our mating practices, we’re violating the sanctity of our GOD-created oneness & we’re robbing our mates & ourselves of the grace of holy sex.” -T. Gardner

Start an “online” romance with your hubby (wife)! -You write 1st. -Give your husband (wife) a name that’ll make him (her) smile. -Don’t write too much. -Initially focus on his (her) interests. -Flirt & tease generously. -Use bribery. Reward him (her) for giving this a try. Be creative. You’ll think of something! -Use conflict resolution sparingly. -Be mysterious. -Pique his (her) curiosity. —L. D. Cowman (Lisa Cowman from the Kyria.com article, “The Love Connection”)

“Never say the word ‘divorce.’ Many couples use the word divorce as a way to threaten & control his or her spouse, such as, ‘If you don’t stop… I’ll divorce you.’ But what this person may not understand is that a threat only plants seeds of fear & mistrust in your marriage. If you choose to handle conflict in this way, your spouse can become afraid that you’re going to leave & find it difficult to trust you.” (Sabrina Beasley, from Familylife.com article: 10 Ideas: Surprising Ways to Increase Romance”)

Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom” -Song of Songs 2:15. Foxes, small things that often go unnoticed, are like the small problems in our marriages. Let too many foxes get by, & there is no fruit this year, & next year’s harvest is reduced. Likewise in our marriages –let too many little things get by & the marriage suffers both now & in the future.” (Paul Byerly, from The-generous-husband.com article, “It’s the Little Things, Not the Big Things That Make or Break a Marriage”)

“Check your expectations. If your spouse is continually disappointing you, it may not be his or her actions; it may be your expectations. Everyone comes into marriage with a set of unspoken rules about life. It isn’t fair to create unspoken expectations for your spouse & then get annoyed when they aren’t followed. If you stop assuming & start communicating, you’ll be less irritated & more in love with your mate.” -SB (Sabrina Beasley, Familylife.com article: 10 Ideas: Surprising Ways to Increase Romance”)

“Pray for your marriage’s mission. Ask God for the ability to see beyond just the two of you to the greater world & how your marriage can be a blessing in it. Ask God to use your marriage to touch other people’s lives in positive ways, contributing to God’s kingdom on earth. Pray for a vision of how God wants to use you and your spouse to serve others. Commit your marriage fully to God.” (Whitney Hopler, from Crosswalk.com article, “Pray Big Prayers for Your Marriage”)

“You need to talk to each other. You may be thinking, ‘But I talk to my spouse.'” It’s not “about discussing family business. When I say ‘talk’ I mean dream together, share your thoughts, expose your feelings… Turn off the TV, put down that magazine & look into each other’s eyes while you converse. Listen & understand. If your spouse is distracted, then ask him or her to carve out 10-15 minutes to catch up.” -S. B. (Sabrina Beasley, Familylife.com article: 10 Ideas: Surprising Ways to Increase Romance”)

COMPROMISE: Often we think of the word compromise as a negative word. However, compromise in marriage is not only positive but necessary. It means to find a meeting place. It requires each of you to be willing to give up something in order to have harmony in the marriage. In marriage it is never ‘having my way.’ It is rather discovering ‘our’ way. It involves finding a place that both of you agree is workable. -G. C. (Gary Chapman book “Things I Wish I’d known Before We Got Married)

“Escalation can result in relationship wounds. Staying aware of your emotional intensity is imperative to avoiding escalation. Most people fail to seek distance early enough. Stay alert to the circumstances in your surroundings & sensations in your body. These can alert you to the beginnings of emotional intensity, which can result in escalation, hurts & regrets. Remember, “Safety 1st” & take a ‘time out’ if needed.” (From National Institute of Marriage Facebook quote, 4/13/2011)

“God uses marriage as a key part in our sanctification. One man said, ‘Love is blind, but marriage is the eye opener.’ All the hidden weaknesses that others never see, all come out sooner or later, & with that revelation comes friction, pain, & eventually spiritual growth. Spirituality is all about ‘growing up’ & where better to ‘grow up’ than in the marriage relationship?” –R&MP. SEEK GOD’S HELP IN THIS MISSION. (Dr Ray Pritchard, Keepbelieving.com sermon, “Love is Blind But Marriage is a Can Opener”)

Those who have discovered the biblical concept of covenant marriage have a responsibility to share with those who are seeking. Much can be done as couples invite single parents & never-married singles into their homes for meals & informal conversation. Even if the discussion doesn’t focus on marriage, they’re observing the way you treat your spouse & hopefully are seeing covenant marriage modeled. -Dr Gary Chapman (from Lifeway.com article: Can You Really Have a Lifelong Marriage?)

Marriage God’s way is an exclusive relationship: “The two shall be one” (see: Genesis 2:24). It “involves leaving & cleaving. We’re to leave our parents emotionally, physically & financially in order to form a new family with our mate. Leaving normally is a one-time event but “cleaving” (which means “to glue oneself” to another person) is the work of a lifetime. It demands an exclusive commitment.” -R. Pritchard (Dr Ray Pritchard, from Keepbelieving.com sermon “How God Arranged the First Marriage”)

For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord & He ponders all his paths” -Prov. 5:21. Our love & our vows alone are not enough to keep us faithful to one another. Faithfulness flows from the faithfulness of God. As we ponder that He is watching us, a healthy fear of God takes root in our heart. It’s from this branch that faithfulness grows –not love for our spouse solely, but this love joined with love for God.” (Tom and Debi, from the Romantic Vineyard, May 26, 2011)

“You know what happens when you open a soda can that’s been shaken, right? Because it makes such a huge mess, most folks wait until the pressure inside the can subsides before popping the top. Try that with your mouth the next time you’re ticked off & ready to explode verbally. Wait until your emotions subside, THEN open your mouth. It’s the way to keep from making a huge mess in your marriage.” -Kevin B. Bullard

“A husband considers romance to be one way & the wife considers it to be another. The wife provides romantic gestures, which wasn’t romantic to him. The husband spends time romancing his wife only to discover she didn’t appreciate it. What’s wrong? The spouse is not romancing their spouse in a way that is romantic to him/her. A truth that produces fruit: Study your spouse. Find out what romance means to him or her.” (Tom and Debi, The Romantic Vineyard, “10 Hindrances to Cultivating a Romantic Vineyard, posted Jan. 27, 2011. Actual quote: A husband considers romance to be one way and the wife considers it to be another. The wife provides many romantic gestures, which go unnoticed by her husband, because it wasn’t romantic to him. The husband can spend precious time doing what he thinks will bless and romance his wife only to discover she didn’t appreciate it at all.  What is wrong?  Are the gestures extended not romantic or thoughtful?  No. Are the recipients ungrateful and self-absorbed? No. The spouse is simply not romancing their spouse in a way that is romantic to them! This is a great truth that once practiced is sure to produce lasting fruit.  Study your spouse.  Find out what romance means to them?  It may surprise you!  But if you do your homework you will become the master of what really turns your spouse on!)

Who are the heroes of today? Look around. There are heroes in our midst, carefully disguised as ordinary people. All around us are husbands & wives, from every walk of life–who have made a commitment & have decided to stick with it. They may win no medals for staying married in an age of divorce, but that doesn’t matter. Lest we forget, a special reward is promised to those who are faithful to the end. -R. & M. P. (Dr Ray Pritchard & wife Marlene, from the Keepbelieving.com sermon, “Curing the Itch Mites”) 

Marriage today is under attack. …For all the problems we face, it’s still true that God’s way is the best way. When you buy a new car, you take the owner’s manual out of the glove compartment & you read it. We need to do the same thing today. The Bible is the “owner’s manual” for marriage. Perhaps if we were more attentive to the instructions of the Designer we would find that marriage works much better. –Pritchard (Dr Ray Pritchard, from Keepbelieving.com sermon, “Love is Blind But Marriage is a Can Opener”)

“It’s easy to look at others & think their marriages are better, but the truth is we all face challenges in our marriages. Don’t get caught up in thinking the grass is greener somewhere else.” -TGW. “The grass is always greener on the other side, until you jump the fence & see the weeds up close.” -A.G. “Do not covet your neighbor’s wife” (or husband)… nor “anything that belongs to your neighbor.” -Deut. 5:21 (Quote from Lori Byerly & then from Albert Grashuis, posted June 6, 2011  The-generous-wife.com)

Be committed to permanence: “God’s objective for marriage is a loving relationship of oneness. Jesus said, in Matthew 19:6: ‘They are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together let man not separate.‘ Notice that this is a divine transaction: God has glued the two together so that they become one. This is why divorce is so devastating. It leaves not two persons, but two fractions of one.” -R. P. (Dr Ray Pritchard, from Keepbelieving.com sermon, “Living in Light of the Future”)

“Moments of Rest: Look for opportunities of being restful with your husband (or wife). After a long day have a leisurely meal. Take a walk. Sit on the porch & hold hands. Give each other shoulder rubs. Work in the garden together. Do whatever is relaxing & fun …together. ‘Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop’ -Ovid.” -Lori (The-generous-wife.com). May you experience rest in the Lord, together!

“What if 2 words could improve your marriage? 2 words can & will. —THINK BIG (look at the big picture of life & marriage, it’s not all about you) –GET OVER (forgive again & again) —CHOOSE BATTLES (not everything is worth the fight) —JUST STOP (get help if needed) —SHUT UP (there’s wisdom in knowing when to be quiet)” -Corey. Also, “JUST LOVE (make every day a competition on who can love the other better)” -Abby (Corey from Simplemarriage.net article “2 Words for a Better Marriage” + comment afterward from Abby)

“What if 2 words could improve your marriage? 2 words can: —MOVE ON (let go of the past & live in the moment) —BE SMART (use your brain in every situation) —COMMON SENSE (hello, befriending an ex-girlfriend on Facebook is just plain stupid) —Show up (there’s value to being together) —Be present (engage your spouse when you’re together, don’t be lost at work or elsewhere) —GROW UP.” Marriage is for grown-ups. (Corey, from Simplemarriage.net article, “2 Words for a Better Marriage” + comment afterward from Cindy Wright)

“What if 2 words could improve your marriage?” 2 words can: -“I’M LISTENING (listen to what your spouse says & let them know you’re hearing clearly; don’t just wait for them to finish talking so you can argue your side)” -“FORGIVE ME” (different & more humbling than ‘I’m sorry’)” -“LOVE FULLY (It’s easy to love conditionally. Love even when they’re driving you crazy. Love them for all their flaws; like we have.)” (Corey, from Simplemarriage.net article “2 Words for a Better Marriage” + comments afterward from Jason, Jennifer, Suzanne)

“What 2 words could improve your marriage?” -“LOVE HIM/HER (no matter what) -“PLAY TOGETHER! (Don’t be so serious all the time. Play games, sports, goof off, laugh)” -“PRAY TOGETHER” (Consistently) -“SO SORRY! (Starts the healing process)” -“LOVE FIRST (Don’t wait to receive love from your spouse to give love; be the proactive one. If both partners do this, there will be plenty of love to go around.” (Question from: Corey  in Simplemarriage.net article “2 Words for a Better Marriage” + comments afterward from Matthew, Lindsay Manning, Gloria, Debbie, Diddler)

“TAKE 15 MINUTES TO CHAT. There’s unbelievable power in spending just 1% of your day (15 minutes) sharing intimate Couple Time with your spouse. Set aside 15 minutes each day for the next week to spend with your husband or wife free of distractions, & you’ll see the remarkable difference it will make in your marriage. …Talk about how you can make improved intimacy a higher priority in your daily lives.” -D. R. (Dustin Riechmann, from Intimacyinmarriage.com article, “Altar of Time: Are You Sacrificing Your Sexual Intimacy?”)

Come up with new ways to show interest in your mate. Surprise him with ‘good taste’: After the toothbrush, rinse your mouth with a weak solution of vanilla or almond extract in water. Or try a flavored lip-gloss. Pamper her with a foot rub. Vacuum her car. Start a piggy bank ‘savings club’ & keep filling it with loose change to splurge on something special.” -L. R. Look for ways to fall in love every day. (Quote written by Linda Riley, from Parsonage.org article, “How to Fall in Love Every Day”)

“Waiting for your mate to be perfect is like waiting for a train that will never arrive. It’s not going to happen. When you said ‘I do,’ you agreed in principle to bear with their weaknesses. Don’t let small matters become large. If something is important enough to bring to their attention, then choose carefully. Don’t make every issue something of importance. Doing so may say more about you than it does about them.” (Dr David Hawkins, from article, “Perfectionism in Marriage.”)

“Perfectionism is a primary killer of relationships. The perfectionist often expects more from others than they expect from themselves. At the very least perfectionists see faults in another, amplifies them, while minimizing their own weaknesses. This combination is lethal to a marriage. Scripture says, ‘We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.’ (Romans 15:1)”  -D.H. (Dr David Hawkins, from article, “Perfectionism in Marriage.”)

“Keep short accounts & extend forgiveness regularly. Nothing will ruin a desire to be with your spouse faster than resentment & bitterness. In return, it also ruins your spouse’s desire to be with you. Fights are going to happen in marriage… But you can choose to handle these conflicts in the right way & build up your marriage instead of tearing it down.” Live Eph. 4:32, “Be kind & compassionate to one another…(Sabrina Beasley, Familylife.com article: 10 Ideas: Surprising Ways to Increase Romance”)

“Dream together, share your thoughts… If your spouse is distracted, then ask him or her to carve out 10-15 minutes just to catch up. You may think you couldn’t possibly learn anything new about your spouse, but husbands and wives are humans who change and grow. What are the ways your spouse has grown lately? What new things has he or she learned? Why not find out? It will be the best 10-15 minutes of your day.” -SB (Sabrina Beasley, Familylife.com article: 10 Ideas: Surprising Ways to Increase Romance”)

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” -Ephesians 4:32. “We have the power to forgive because Christ forgave us, and He gives us strength through the Holy Spirit. As you let go of harbored hurts, you will be free to love your spouse, no matter how many mistakes he or she has made. And as a result your mate will love you even more.” -S. Beasley (Sabrina Beasley, Familylife.com article: 10 Ideas: Surprising Ways to Increase Romance”)

“Live selflessly. As followers of Christ, we are called to be servants (Galatians 5:13). This not only applies to the church body and our neighbors, but it also applies in marriage. Since we live so closely to our husbands and wives, it’s easy to forget that we are called to serve them as much as anyone else. As a matter of fact, your spouse may be the most important person in your life (other than Christ) to serve.” (Sabrina Beasley, Familylife.com article: 10 Ideas: Surprising Ways to Increase Romance”)

The Bible says that in marriage, “the two shall be one.” This means that you’re to be so united in caring for one another, that when anyone, including a close family member, hurts your spouse, they hurt you. Defend & support your spouse. YOU are now the primary family you are to defend. Your once primary family is now to take a back seat in priority. “What God has joined together let no man separate…” Stand united! (Cindy Wright)

“Use words of affirmation regularly. The tongue is a powerful tool. James 3:6 tells us, the tongue has the ability to defile the whole body & set on fire the course of a man’s life. In the same way, a critical attitude can make or break a marriage. Instead of pointing out all the ways your spouse disappoints you, start to look for the positive attributes. Take the opportunity to express your heartfelt appreciation.” (Sabrina Beasley, Familylife.com article: 10 Ideas: Surprising Ways to Increase Romance”)

“Laugh together. Marriage isn’t a business deal. You have the opportunity to be best friends if you’re willing to invest in the relationship. Do you remember the fun things you did together when you were dating? Stop reminiscing about those memories from the past & create new ones. ‘A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.‘ (Prov. 17:22) Make room for laughter in your schedule.” -SB (Sabrina Beasley, in Familylife.com article: 10 Ideas: Surprising Ways to Increase Romance”)

Tame your thoughts: “Women, while you’re intimate with your husband, think of him, not the laundry or things you have to do the next day. Men, don’t think of sex as a purely physical event. Talk to your wife; think of her & not the models you saw in TV commercials earlier. As a Christian, the Holy Spirit gives you the ability to control your thoughts, so choose to have thoughts that uplift & focus on your spouse.” (Sabrina Beasley, Familylife.com article: 10 Ideas: Surprising Ways to Increase Romance”)

Stop entertaining the word “divorce.” This threat “plants seeds of fear & mistrust in your marriage. Instead, tell your spouse that that you meant the vows you took on your wedding day. Although there may need to be changes in your marriage, let your husband or wife know that you’re willing to work things out because you made a promise to your spouse & to God to stay in the marriage as long as you both shall live.” (Sabrina Beasley, Familylife.com article: 10 Ideas: Surprising Ways to Increase Romance”)

In marital conflict resolution: “Don’t confront when you’re stressed out. Learn to identify your body’s own natural signs when you’re getting stressed out, overloaded, or about to shut down.” But never walk out without agreeing to take a break. It’s okay to temporally stop when a solution is unclear. However, agree to resume the discussion when your emotions have cooled off. (Eph. 4:26; Prov. 11:14) -Michael Smalley (Smalley.cc article, “Rules for couple’s conflict”)

“Most of our expectations of marriage have come from entertainment, family, and friends so you end up with a copy of a tattered image. Get your expectations from the Word of God and you will reflect the design of marriage’s original maker” -Eye2eyemarriage. A 3-chord relationship is not easily broken. You + your spouse + God = the right way to live within your marriage!

“Pray for emotional intimacy. Ask God to make your marriage a safe relationship and help you and your spouse cultivate openness, honesty, and trust. Confess your sins and talk to God about your deepest fears and longings. Pray for God to heal the emotional wounds that may have damaged your ability to be authentic. Ask God to help you and your spouse enjoy meaningful and intimate conversations.” -W Hopler (Whitney Hopler, from Crosswalk.com article, “Pray Big Prayers for Your Marriage”)

“Ask God to protect your marriage from evil influences & temptations (like pornography) that can pull you & your spouse away from Him & away from each other. Pray for the discernment you need to deal wisely with challenging situations. Find Bible verses that describe the kind of home you want & pray them regularly. Ask God to help you & your spouse manage your time well so you can protect your time together.” -W. H. (Whitney Hopler, from Crosswalk.com article, “Pray Big Prayers for Your Marriage”)

Prayer Idea: “Get a notebook & write down what you pray about. Leave it out where you and your [spouse] can both easily get to it. Later your [spouse] can pick up the journal & pray for those things & list additional people/situations. Share back & forth, agreeing in prayer. You could even do something like this by email. You’re in effect praying together over the same needs, using [another method] to communicate.” (Lori Byerly, from The-generous-wife.com)

If you & your spouse got sexual too soon when you 1st were attracted to each other, or you never had a proper courtship period & can’t look back on a foundation of friendship, you can begin building one today. It doesn’t take long if you’ll do the things that create an atmosphere that’s conducive to friendship. The friendship bond will form -J. E. And don’t forget to continue growing your friendship or it will die. (Jimmy Evans, from book, “Our Secret Paradise” page 125)

“Eccles. 9:10 says, ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.‘ Solomon penned those words, referring to marriage. Lets work in regard to our marriage: -Have the conversation you’ve been avoiding. -Plan a date night to bless your spouse. -Clean the house or fix the leaking faucet -Stop long enough to draw your spouse out about the moodiness you’ve noticed. -Ask. -Talk. -Be purposefully diligent.” (Debi Walters, from the Romantic Vineyard. The actual quote: “Let’s resolve to be wise. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.‘ When King Solomon penned those words he was actually referring to marriage. Let’s put our hand to the plow. Let’s get to work doing the thing we’ve been putting off in regards to our marriage: Have the conversation you’ve been avoiding; -Plan a date night to bless your spouse. -Clean the house or fix the leaking faucet. -Stop long enough to draw your spouse out about the moodiness you’ve noticed in their responses to you. -Ask. -Talk. -Be purposefully diligent. These are the moments God gives us all day after day. They aren’t inconveniences.  They are opportunities for us to grow closer to each other and to the Lord.  But we must be alert. We must be vigilant if we are going to move beyond where we are today and grow our marriage to be strong and mature – the marriage God desires us all to have.”)

“Some spouses do the minimum necessary to get by. They figure out the minimum amount of love, respect, appreciation, housework, sex, or whatever their spouse will tolerate, & do no more than that. …That doesn’t sound like love!” -TGH. And it isn’t. In the Bible, God tells us: “Let us not love with just words or tongue but with actions & in truth.” -1 John 3:18. True love is lived out as we give beyond the minimum. (Quote from The-generous-husband.com article, “How Little Can I Get By With 2”)

Daily bring your concerns to God together in prayer. The Bible encourages us: “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Making prayer a priority in your marriage will invite God’s love & presence into that day’s events. It will glue your hearts together as you worship the God who created your marriage. -Moeller (Bob & Cheryl Moeller, from Growthtrac.com article, “Putting Your Spouse First”)

“We can choose many things & that choice has power for both good & bad. We do in fact choose how we see others. We can see them working to be better, or we can focus on what we don’t like. We can choose to define them by their weaknesses, or choose to define them by their strengths. We can see their idiosyncratic as attempts to hurt us, or as odd parts of their wonderful whole. How you see [your spouse] is a choice.” (Quote from The-generous-husband.com, May 16, 2011)

“In finding help for your marriage, it’s not so much the ‘how to,’ as the ‘heart to’ do what is needed. If you know the ‘how to’ do what is needed, but you don’t have the ‘heart to’ do it, the ‘how to’ won’t matter. You won’t do it. …One of the ways to renew the ‘heart to’ improve your marriage is to rediscover the purpose of marriage.” -Gary Thomas.

“Thoughts & attitudes are like the engine of a train. Our emotions & behavior are like the caboose. Thoughts help form your attitudes toward marriage, how you feel about your mate & being married in general. Thoughts inspire hope or take it away. Changing the way you think is like a locomotive that switches tracks & heads in a new direction, taking the rest of the train —behavior, actions & habits —along with it.” (Actual quote: “Thoughts and attitudes are like the engine of a train and our emotions and behavior are like the caboose. Thoughts help form and determine your attitudes toward marriage. They determine how you feel about your mate as well as how you feel about being married in general. Thoughts can inspire hope —or take it away. Changing the way you think is like a locomotive that switches tracks and heads in a new direction, taking the rest of the train —behavior, actions, and habits —right along with it.” -Mitch Temple, from Focusonthefamily.com article, “Change Your Mind, Change Your Marriage”)

“While it’s critical to find the truth about issues affecting your marriage, relationship is more important than issues. You’re partners, not prosecutors. Partnership doesn’t end when you discuss sensitive topics. Ask yourself whether you’re showing your husband or wife the same respect you show friends. If you’re Christians, ask yourself whether you’re acting as a brother & sister in Christ AND as a husband & wife.” (Rob Jackson, from Focusonthefamily.com article, “Talking About Sensitive Issues”)

In your marriage, extend grace: “Realize you’re capable of doing the very same things (or similar) that you dislike in your spouse. By being understanding & extending grace, you’re hopefully putting on reserve a deposit in your spouse’s bank of understanding so when you’re someday in the same situation, he or she will extend grace to you, as well. Remember this: Grace is the glue that holds the two of you together.” (Cindi & Hugh McMenamin -From Crosswalk.com article: “Extending Grace When You’d Rather Get in Your Spouse’s Face”)

“Romans 15:6 lays out the highest aspiration of marriage: ‘So that with one heart & mouth you may glorify the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.‘ The ways you interact with one another are unique. You are a vital part of God’s worldwide, history-wide plan. Your love will bring glory to God because you two, & the love you share, are intricately woven into God’s plan of love for the entire planet.” -B & P Farrel (Original quote: Romans 15:6 lays out the highest aspiration of marriage: “So that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” You as a couple have much in common with other couples, but no other husband and wife on earth are exactly like you. The ways you interact with one another, make decisions, plan your lives, communicate your values, and enjoy your time together are unique and ought to be treasured. You are a vital part of God’s worldwide, history-wide plan. The dream of your love will bring glory to God because you two, and the love you share, are intricately woven into God’s plan of love for the entire planet. -Pam and Bill Farrel, in Crosswalk.com article, “Can Your Marriage Fulfill Your Dreams?”)

Extend grace. “Be humble & remember you are human, too. Because you, like your spouse, are not perfect, that means you, too, make careless mistakes, just like the mistake your spouse made that is really grating on your nerves. Maybe your spouse’s tardiness has become a real problem. Realize you, too, have been late before” -McMenamin. “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” -John 13:34 (Cindi and Hugh McMenamin from Crosswalk.com article: “Extending Grace When You’d Rather Get in Your Spouse’s Face”)

When someone doesn’t keep their word it hurts & makes life more difficult. We can’t do much about others, but we can deal with ourselves & act in integrity toward others. As a kindness to your [spouse], be careful about what you say you will do. When you do commit to something, follow through in a timely fashion. Your word should mean something. You want to be someone who can be trusted & counted on. -Lori (Lori Byerly, from The-generous-wife.com article, “Do What You Say”)

Do you want intimacy or do you want to be right? “Pride is the biggest obstacle to intimacy in marriage. We need to ask this question honestly when we engage in conflict: Am I trying to grow closer to my spouse or am I trying to prove how right I am? That question will bring your motives to light.” Intentionally make choices “to draw closer to one another rather than allowing conflict to put distance between you.” (Justin Davis, from Refineus.org article, “Stop Walking on Egg Shells”)

“An effective way to non-verbally communicate your desire for relationship change can involve softening. Softening has to do with your tone of voice, language, behavior & even your body posture. Being intentional to soften will send a message to your partner that you’re trying. The impact can sometimes be dramatic. Soft is easier to embrace & easier to listen to. And soft is safer & more enjoyable to be near.” -NIM (National Institute of Marriage Facebook quote, posted 4/27/2011)

“Spouses who shout at each other experience transformation by lowering their voices & becoming softer in their communication. When asked what’s different, couples report, ‘It seemed like she cared about what I was saying,’ or ‘He didn’t look mad, like he couldn’t wait to get it over with.’ When spouses ‘harden’ themselves they become entrenched in a point of view or agenda. Softening is a choice to let caring occur.” (Original quote: “Spouses who report that they normally shout at one another often experience deep transformation by simply lowering their voices and becoming softer in their communication. This factor is so obvious yet may go unnoticed even by the couple themselves. When asked what is different about their communication after being coached through a Heart Talk, couples will report, ‘It seemed like she really cared about what I was saying,’ or ‘He didn’t look all mad and like he couldn’t wait to get it over with,’ or ‘We weren’t getting loud and belligerent like we normally do.’ Softening seems to be deeply related to caring. When spouses ‘harden’ themselves they tend to become entrenched in some point of view or agenda. Softening seems to open people up to understand each other and even care about each other in fresh ways. It is not unusual to see couples reach out and touch or even embrace after just a few minutes of effective emotional communication. It would appear we all want and desire deep connection and intimacy. It is so much of why we married in the first place. Over time walls of resentment and a hardness of heart grows. When this hardness begins to soften it is powerful in releasing caring and affection in a relationship. This softening is not as much a result as it is a conscious intentional choice by someone to open up and let themselves be affected by the process of emotional communication. A choice to let caring occur.” -Dr. Bob Burbee, from Nationalmarriage.com article, “Safe, Slow, Soft”)

Before starting an argument, consider if it’s really worth it -Gloria Redner. A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult -Proverbs 12:16. Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out -Proverbs 17:14. It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel -Proverbs 20:3. (Quote: ccwgloria.comwordpress article, “Have You Ever Wondered What is the Secret to a Long and Happy Marriage)

“Unity in marriage is not about sameness. It’s an expression of purpose. The Bible uses the metaphor of the body to illustrate the power of purpose. A body is made up of many distinct parts where one is not valued over another. The body works together for the purpose of spreading the gospel so Christ can be known. Have you & your spouse identified a purpose for your marriage & the main message of your marriage?” -NIM (National Institute of Marriage Facebook quote, 3/30/2011)

“Do you need to re-center the passion of your partnership? Spend time thinking about the purpose in your marriage & sift out things that stand between you & your calling or distract you away from it. Some couples write a mission statement for their marriage. We’ve chosen verses from Scripture that form the foundation of our marriage & ministry. Consider what might help clarify the calling of God on your partnership.” (April Motl, from Crosswalk.com article, What is God’s Purpose for Your Marriage?)

Priorities, priorities …for many of you: “you are most likely caught in a whirlwind schedule that is controlling you more than you are controlling it. If you decide to train for a great marriage, you must realize that for this to happen, other things will have to go. You must decide your priorities. If a great marriage is one of them, you will have to make time to be together; other things will have to go—or wait.” (Tim A Gardner, from Kyria.com article, How to Spend Time Together)

“You must decide that you’re going to spend time together. I know that sounds overly simplistic, but this is where so many couples falter. You must commit to spending time together no matter what. Just as a house does not clean itself & a checkbook doesn’t automatically balance, nor does a marriage remain passionate & a husband & a wife stay connected if they do not give & make the time to be together. Period.” -T.G. (Tim A Gardner, from the Kyria.com article, How to Spend Time Together)

Married love doesn’t commit suicide. We have to kill it. Though, it often simply dies of our neglect -Diane Sollee. One of the great illusions of our time is that love is self-sustaining. It is not. Love must be fed and nurtured, constantly renewed. That demands ingenuity and consideration, but first and foremost, it demands making the time for each other -David Mace.

In your marriage: “Put yourself on a diet of the mind. Choose not to indulge appetites that you know you shouldn’t. Choose to do more giving & less taking, more loving & less selfishness. It’s difficult at first, just like any diet. However, when you feel you can’t do it, know that the Lord is there to help, if you will let Him. In our own strength, we can do better, & with His help, we can do much better.” -TGH (Paul Byerly, from The-generous-husband.com article, “A Confession”)

“Mary Anne McPherson Oliver wrote, ‘Individuals may contemplate suicide, but they rarely forget to eat, whereas couples often forget to nourish their relationships.’ Gary Thomas adds, ‘One researcher found that the average married couple actively communicates just 26 minutes a week.’ What priorities might you need to re-examine to improve the amount of intentional relationship building that occurs in your marriage?” (Gary Thomas)

“Reading the Bible together is good, but don’t stop there. Merely reading God’s Word won’t help you or your marriage. That’s like reading a recipe but not actually preparing a meal. It will not create a spiritual bond. The Bible provides God’s instructions on how to live righteously in an unrighteous world, but it does us no good if we don’t apply it.” “Do not merely listen to the word… do what it says” -James 4:22. (David Clarke – Book: “A Marriage After God’s Own Heart”)

“The characteristics in your spouse that irritate you today are manifestations of the same ones that drew you toward each other, originally. What once you found attractive, you now find annoying. We have to pick up a new set of lenses that focuses on the positive in each other if we’re going to be in love again. Love, after all, is blind. Or: Love chooses to be blind to the less flattering traits of its lover.” (Hugh and Cindi McMenamin -from Crosswalk.com article, “Want a Closer Connection? Praise Your Spouse”)

Guard your heart. Guard your marriage. “Today, before you initiate, you engage in or respond to any communication, before you’re in the same room or face to face with an individual in question, consider your thoughts, your desires & your actions in light of the kingdom. Is it true? Is it noble? Is it right? Is it pure? Is it lovely? Is it admirable, excellent or praiseworthy? Think about such things (Phil. 4:8).” –LM (Laura MacCorkle, from Crosswalk.com article, “He said, She said: Involvement with Married People)

“In Phil. 4:8 we’re told to keep our minds from focusing on the negative: ‘Keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly & proper. Don’t stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile & worthy of praise’ (CEV). That advice works in marriage. By looking for the good intention, the shred of goodness in something your spouse is doing that annoys you, you’ll condition yourself to praise the positive.” (Hugh & Cindi McMenamin -from Crosswalk.com article, “Want a Closer Connection? Praise Your Spouse”)

How do you turn a spouse into a friend? Proverbs 18:24 tells us “a man who has friends must be friendly.” You have to BE a good friend to HAVE a good friend. You have to purpose to have fun together. Without friendship & fun, marriage is just work. In fact, if you take sex & friendship out if it, marriage is little more than a business relationship. BE FUN, CREATE FUN in your marriage! -Jimmy Evans (Jimmy Evans, from book, “Our Secret Paradise” page 121)

“Weddings are an opportunity to celebrate the union of husband & wife. It’s the closest thing on the earth to mirroring Christ’s relationship with His bride, the Church. We do well to remember our own wedding day, to recount God’s goodness thru the years we’ve shared life & love together. Why not spend time reminiscing about your special day, recalling what you vowed?” Pray & consider if you’re living what you vowed. (Debi Walter, from Romanticvineyard.com article, “Love Is In The Air” -Posted May 13, 2011)

“You need to make a concerted effort to have a few minutes a day just for you & your spouse. You absolutely must have at least a few minutes of alone time where you can connect. This makes your marriage a priority & gives it the preventive maintenance it needs. There will be time for some of those other activities in other seasons of life.” -Rosberg “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” -Ecclesiastes 3:11 (Gary and Barb Rosberg, from Crosswalk.com article, “Find Time for the One You Love”)

“We need to get away alone to talk, laugh & have fun together. It’s in those times that true connection takes place. We need to feel at ease with each other as we face new challenges together. If you & your spouse are both working or going to school full-time it can be incredibly tough to find the time to spend together. If you have the option, don’t have regrets over your family. You get only one chance with them.” (Gary and Barb Rosberg, from Crosswalk.com article, “Find Time for the One You Love”)

Date Night Idea: Buy index cards. Individually write out your high-points and low points for the week. Take time to share and pray over the items on your cards. This is a great weekly discipline to build spiritual intimacy. Discuss: – When do you feel closest to God? – When do you feel the farthest from God? – What can I pray about for you? What can we pray about together? -From Growthtrac.com 

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