WOW! This is the 8th page we’ve created with various Facebook quotes, which we posted on the Marriage Missions Facebook page.
Now, that may not seem like much of a task to you, but it is to us. It takes a lot of time to gather these quotes and put them in the format where there are no more than 420 characters included in the entire quote.
But even more exciting is the opportunity these quotes provide for others. We hear from a lot of Pastors, evangelists, counselors, publishers, lay ministers, those who run family centers, marriage educators, mentors, married couples and individuals who use this web site in various ways to help grow them healthier. This is one more avenue to help them. And it’s also a way to read some great marriage quotes from some of the “experts” around us.
So, with that said, 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:
• A church, ministry, counseling organization, or an individual can use them to share on their Facebook site, if desired.
• They can be used as points of discussion in marriage classes, mentoring, counseling, or coaching situations.
• Couples or individuals can use these quotes to discuss or consider the issues raised, allowing the Holy Spirit, our Wonderful Counselor, to speak further to them.
They make great discussion points for those couples who want to use them for conversation starters for a 22 Minute Date (the guidelines are posted in the Romantic Ideas topic). Just make sure, if you use these quotes in a dating situation, you don’t get into heated arguments over them.
The point in sharing these marriage tips is to build marital relationship bridges, not construct walls of contention, causing a breakdown of communication. You can constructively disagree with these tips and with each other, and still learn more about each other and grow closer together, in the process.
It is our sincere hope that the tips below will help marriage. As you read them, please consider:
1. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
2. Do you have further thoughts on the issue to apply personally or as a general rule? (If you’re reading them with someone else, please share.)
3. Do any scriptures come to mind, which apply to the marriage tip given? (If so, please share.)
The following are quotes to note for your use (each paragraph we were able to glean stands on its own —for your knowledge, the original sources are noted afterward in parenthesis):
“In the midst of an argument it was said to me, ‘You’re a writer, how could you say something so stupid?’ I replied, ‘that’s why I’m a writer. I say stupid things on paper & FIX them before anyone gets to see my mistakes.’ Problem is, most of us aren’t writers. When in the midst of a heated discussion, we run the risk of blurting out something stupid, hurtful, or both.” Dispense grace in what you say & who you judge. (Quote from: email@example.com)
BEWARE: Slander in marriage, “is repeating a matter or offense to another (whether it’s true or false) that puts your spouse in a bad light. Does the person you’re talking to about the matter have any part in the solution? If not, this is slander. If the person’s opinion of your spouse will be lowered as a result of your words, this is slander. We must not hide under the guise: ‘I was just being honest!’” -DW (Debi Walters, gleaned from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “Water Into Wine – Proverbs 10”)
“Marriage partners need to remember the worth of small gestures that often go unnoticed. It’s through these acts of consistent, tender selflessness that your mate’s aloneness may eventually be dispelled. Grand gestures say, ‘I choose to care about you.’ But tiny acts of generosity, words of reassurance, the unexpected hug, an admiring glance, & offer of assistance when you didn’t ask for it say, ‘You matter to me.’” (Dr. Ronn Elmore, from his book, “An Outrageous Commitment… The 48 Vows of an Indestructible Marriage”)
“Many couples fall victim to thinking ‘if my spouse really cared about me, they’d be able to figure out what I’m feeling or thinking.’ What part of your vows stated you’d read each other’s minds for as long as you both shall live? I’m guessing that wasn’t part of the ceremony. Stop waiting for your spouse to pick up on the fact that you’re frustrated, ticked off, hurt, or lonely & (respectfully) speak up.” -Corey (from the Simplemarriage.net article, “We Have Trouble Communicating” article)
The husband, who loves his wife for what she gives him, loves as the world loves, not as Christ loves. The husband, who loves his wife as Christ loves the church, gives everything he has for her, including his own life, if necessary. -Greg Laurie. The wife, who shows respect to her husband only as he “earns” it, is following man’s ways, not God’s. (See: Eph. 5 & 1 Peter 3.) We give love & respect “as unto the Lord.”
“Having the Word buried in your heart will can you a better spouse. The scripture becomes foundational to your life because God can pull it up at odd moments & show you how to live it. Are you bad at memorizing? Me too. But I’m going for it anyway, working on 1 verse a week. Here’s one: ‘For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.‘ Eph. 2:10″ (Lori Byerly, from The-generous-wife.com article, “Memorize Scripture”)
After spending a lifetime counseling other couples, I’m convinced that there are no healthy marriages without apology & forgiveness. All of us are human & humans sometimes do & say things that are demeaning to other people. These unloving words & actions create emotional barriers between the people involved. These barriers are removed only when we apologize & the offended party chooses to forgive. -Dr Gary Chapman (Dr Gary Chapman, gleaned from the book “Things I Wish I’d known Before We Got Married,” page 53)
When couples learn how to apologize in a manner that is meaningful to the other person, they make forgiveness easier. What most people want to know when you’re attempting to apologize is “Are you sincere?” However, they judge your sincerity by whether or not you’re speaking what to them is a genuine apology -Dr Gary Chapman. That means you must express your apology in a way that they—not you, can best embrace it. (From the book “Things I Wish I’d known Before We Got Married,” page 57-58)
“Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray” -Proverbs 10:17. Ask yourself: “Am I teachable, approachable & willing to listen to my spouse’s opinion concerning me? Or do I lash back, argue, become defensive or shut down when my spouse makes an observation about my motives?” -DW. “By wisdom a house is built & by understanding it is established” -Proverbs 24:3. (Quote from: Debi Walters, from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “Water Into Wine – Proverbs 10”)
In marriage: “We are life partners. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. You have different personalities, preferences, different ways of handling things, different interests, different schedules, & different discipline techniques. Your kids play you against each other every chance they get. But the truth is…you & your spouse are partners. If you want your marriage to succeed you have to treat each other as such.” -MLM (From Marriagelifeministries.org MT Project: “We Are Life Partners” -Posted by admin under Truth)
“Most Christian marriages are patterned after the world, with a few threads of Christianity woven in. Couples know certain Bible verses, but few practice the Word of God & use it as the defining standard for their lives. If you want your marriage to become all that God intended, dig deeply into His Word & let it become the source of your lives together. Pray for one another that you’ll abide together in Christ.” (Dennis and Barbara Rainey, book: Moments With You”)
“Cultivate Honor. Stand up for your spouse. Make it a rule: No one talks disrespectfully of your spouse. …Don’t gossip about them. That fixes nothing. Honor your spouse by building them up to your friends. To their friends. To your family. To their family. Don’t let your spouse be bad mouthed by your kids, co-workers, boss or others. Step up in appropriate ways” -SG. “Honor one another above yourself” -Romans 12:10 (From Stupendousmarriage.com article by Stu Gray – “3 Ways: Cultivate Honor in Your Home”)
“Figure out what works for your marriage & do it! Figure out who has talents & abilities in various areas & utilize those! Then help each other out! Just because your spouse is fantastic at loading the dishwasher doesn’t mean that when the sink is overflowing, you let the dishes sit because ‘that’s not your job.’ Work together! Maybe your spouse is having a stressful week & could use some assistance in things.” -MLM (From Marriagelifeministries.org MT Project: “We Are Life Partners” -Posted by admin under Truth)
Pay attention to your spouse, making him/her feel valued. “When you speak to your partner, take the time to look into one another’s eyes. Look up from the TV or computer. Notice when your partner looks especially nice. Look at your partner with eyes that see & listen with ears that really hear. It may seem a small thing but it makes a big impact. Make eye contact when you say goodnight. Go to bed at the same time.” (Gail Rodgers, from Growthtrac.com article, “You Can Have Straight A’s in Your Marriage”)
“Listening is done with more than the ears. Good listening also involves leaning in toward your spouse. It can involve well placed acknowledgments (‘yes,’ ‘uh-huh,’ ‘sure’) & even touch. Make time for them a priority. Show honor by giving your spouse the time of day. Preferably not when you’re completely tired. A good part of your day. Perhaps lunch. Without mobile devices. Without kids. Without distractions.” -SG (From Stupendousmarriage.com article by Stu Gray – “3 Ways: Cultivate Honor in Your Home”)
In your marriage: “Where the mouth goes, the rest of you will follow. If you talk ‘sex negative’ then you’re likely to not be terribly interested in sex, but if you talk “sex positive” you may change your attitude & begin to look forward to sex. (I’m not talking about ignoring real problems; do get help.) The next day after sex, do a little self-talk & replay what was good. Let your mouth lead the way in a good way.” (Lori Byerly, from The-generous-wife.com article, “Talk Positive”)
“Take a moment as you sit at your computer or look at your phone & pray for the marriages represented. Please pray for the coming stresses of the holidays & for couples separated by difficulties, military duty or business. Pray for [those] married to unbelievers & for those couples struggling with financial issues. Pray for better intimacy, couple time & any kind of blessing you can think of. Yeah, God!” -L.B. (Lori Byerly, from The-generous-wife.com article, “Don’t Put This Off!”)
“A marriage that shines thru the world’s cynicism has a lot to do with the couple’s attitude. An exemplary marriage is seen in how a husband & wife treat each other with love & respect, whether in church, on a date or at home. It’s talking about marriage in a positive way. It’s speaking kindly about our spouse when he or she isn’t around –or speaking to our spouse with kindness.” (SM) How’s your attitude in marriage? (Focus on the Family article: “Marriage on Display” -by Susan Graham Mathis)
“No matter how much we see lacking either in our own lives or in our spouse’s life, we know that we know that God is faithful. He has promised to complete the work He’s begun. If you’re tempted to lose heart because the path seems so long before you –use the Truth of Scripture to encourage your heart. ‘Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful‘ -Hebrews 10:23.” -DW (Debi Walters, from Theromanticvineyard article, “Water into Wine – Proverbs 10”)
“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” -Proverbs 11:24-25 “What a wonderful picture of a godly marriage. The spouse who gives freely, & loves wholeheartedly will in turn receive great riches. This isn’t a promise as much as it is a principle by which to live.” -DW (Debi Walters, from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “Water Into Wine – Proverbs 11”)
“When you & your [spouse] recall something different, odds are each of you has some of it wrong, & statistically she’s likely to be more right. My suggestion is to accept that your memory is faulty, & no matter how sure you are, you could be wrong. With that in mind, give a HUGE amount of grace. Think before you correct –is what you want to say really important? If it doesn’t matter, smile & keep your mouth shut!” (Paul Byerly, from The-generous-husband.com article, “Stop Fighting Over Memory Differences”)
“God gave us to each other to be helpmates, to work together. Marriage is a team sport. In home life, housework, spiritual connection, disciplining children, setting up schedules, resolving conflicts… the goal is for us to become ONE. You’re not enemies. You’re not in competition with each other. You’re not to be keeping score of who did what when. You’re to work toward the same goal. You’re on the same team.” -MLM (From Marriagelifeministries.org MT Project: “We Are Life Partners” -Posted by admin under Truth)
“Marriage matters for reasons beyond raising kids, economics or any other reason people get & stay married. The sum of our marriage is more than him + me. God brings us together to support one another in our callings, to encourage each other in our kingdom work. While what we’re called to do as individuals may differ, our shared calling is to follow God & to cheer each other on while we do that.” -C. Rivadeneira (Caryn Rivadeneira, from Kyria.com article, “Lessons from the Campaign Trail”)
“Beware of the Marriage-Killing Twins: Indolence & Insolence. Indolent: Wanting to avoid activity or exertion; laziness. Insolent: Showing a rude & arrogant lack of respect. …Indolence will kill a marriage because it takes work, energy, & effort to make a marriage work. …Insolence destroys a marriage because it conveys the message, ‘You’re not important’” -KB. Be aware! Keep these twins out of your marriage! (Kevin B Bullard, from Marriageworks.org article, “Bewared the Marriage Killing Twins: Indolence and Insolence”)
“When we offend our spouse by our words, actions, or attitude; it’s common to want to take the easy way out by offering a simple, ‘Sorry’ or ‘I apologize.’ However, just saying these words without proper context is as hurtful as our 1st offense. It’s more effective & meaningful if we extend the ‘apology’ by admitting our wrong, acknowledging our spouse’s hurt, intending not to do it again & asking for forgiveness.” (Kevin B Bullard, from Marriageworks.org article, “Half-baked Apologies Are Offensive”)
“Ask God to continually examine your heart. Even in the midst of a conflict with our spouse we can silently pray, ‘Search me, O God, & know my heart; test me & know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, & lead me in the way everlasting‘ -Psalm 139: 23-24. As God points out our wrong attitudes or hurtful words, we can confess & repent on the spot.” -Bob & Cheryl Moeller (from book, “The Marriage Miracle”, pg. 208)
“Can you name the devil’s greatest ploy to cause trouble in relationships? I’d like to suggest 2 words: power struggle. And why do power struggles cause us trouble? It’s simple. In every power struggle, participants become adversaries; they take up opposing positions. And as soon as a husband & wife set themselves up as antagonists, they can destroy each other.” Recognize who the real enemy is –it’s NOT your spouse! (Quote from Greg Smalley, from Smalley.cc article, “Questions: How Can Our Marriage Get Over Power Struggles?”)
“Establish what Bob Paul calls a ‘No Losers Policy.’ In a No Losers Policy, couples agree that it will never be acceptable, from this point on, for either of them to walk away from an interaction, feeling as if they had lost. Each spouse has to feel good about the solution. Creating this policy goes a long way toward creating the kind of relationship that yields joy & satisfaction rather than grief & frustration.” (Quote from Greg Smalley, from Smalley.cc article, “Question: How Can Our Marriage Get Over Power Struggles?”)
“If there’s one reason why marriages wither under the pressures & demands of daily life, it may be the lack of having regular times & places where we deliberately go to pray, share & regain perspective. It may be because we’re always puttering, planning, doing and moving from one place to the next but never stopping …and listening …and recharging …and pondering. Together.” -D. R. Proactively seek God TOGETHER! (Dennis and Barbara Rainey, from book, “Moments With You”)
“When was the last time you had some friends over to celebrate your marriages? Why not make plans to do just that. Consider inviting couples whose marriages: you admire, who are in a similar season, or who are coming up behind you. Think ahead of time of some good questions to ask to keep the conversation from going to the default topics of work, children and/or problems. It doesn’t have to be a fancy meal either.” (Debi Walter, from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “Slices of Our Anniversary Celebration”)
“Being married 25 years is not impressive if the couple has been angry &/or miserable most of that time. I honor them for sticking it out, but how much better to have worked through things to build a good marriage. I hear ‘divorce is not an option’ & I’m all for that, but let’s go the next step to ‘staying broken & miserable is not an option'” -Paul Byerly. Work to make your marriage healthier, one step at a time.
“Be with” your mate & their pain. We all carry sorrow & loss in our hearts & yearn to have a safe place to share those feelings. Relationships in trouble have even more pain they must learn to process with each other. “Being with” your mate’s struggles will not only create a powerful bridge to them, but will be the basis from which you solve the problems that give rise to those painful feelings. -Dr David Hawkins (From the Crosswalk.com article, “The Power of Being One With Your Mate”)
“He who guards his lips guards his life; but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin” -Proverbs 13:3. Ask yourself if what you’re saying to your spouse is respectful. God’s Word tells us to be careful & helpful in all we say. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” -Ephesians 4:29.
Most of us will be doing some decorating for the Christmas holidays. May I suggest a bit of restraint? Start with the simplest, most basic of decorations & then add as you have the time & energy. If you don’t get everything set out, no harm done. Most importantly, decorate your face with a smile. Be warm & patient with your family. (It helps to imagine what kind of memories you are making for them.) -Lori Byerly
“No spouse is immune to stress. We all feel like we’re coming unglued at times. Wise experts agree; the best way to cope is with a good laugh. ‘Humor makes all things tolerable,’ said preacher Henry Ward Beecher. ‘Laugh out loud,’ says Chuck Swindoll. ‘It helps flush out the nervous system.’ On another occasion Chuck said, “Laughter is the most beautiful & beneficial therapy God ever granted humanity.” -L&L Parrott (Drs Les and Leslie Parrott, from the Focusonthefamily.com article, “Bringing Laughter into Your Marriage”)
When we marry, we pledge to steer our lives in the direction of living together with God as a “chord of three strands.” Left to our own “instincts” we distort what marriage is meant to be. It’s a marrying of who we are, to become the best we can be with the help of God & each other. To do this, we need to become students of marriage, students of each other, & students of God’s ways & will for our lives together.
Advice given to Fawn of Happywivesclub.com “’Happiness is a choice. My husband & I have been married 29 years & we have chosen to be happy. Every morning when we wake up we choose to enjoy our day with each other. We choose to be happy.’ With that, she looked Keith and I square in the eyes and said, ‘Choose to be happy & it will last.’ To this day, that is the best piece of marriage advice we’ve ever received.”
“A successful marriage involves the joining of hopes of two individuals. As a couple, your hope in life overlaps intricately. Do you know what the hopes are in the heart of your mate? Ask, probe, listen, observe. Begin with a decision to observe & join your partner in the journey of their hopes. Is it time to rediscover your spouse’s hopes? After discovering their hopes, decide to join your spouse in their pursuit.” (Gleaned from Couplethingsblog.wordpress.com article, “Holding Hopes” written by Rowan and Mara Fraser)
Careless words, when spoken, can deeply crush our spouse’s spirit causing permanent damage in many different ways. Just because a thought comes into your mind —it doesn’t mean that you have to let it pass through your lips. Garbage should be thrown out —not delivered to the one we vow to God that we will honor for the rest of our lives. “Love is not rude; it is not self-seeking” (1 Corinthians 13:5).
“If you’re struggling in your marriage, be willing to take action & do the right thing, believing God all the way. When your strength is depleted, remember He has promised to give you His strength. Search His Word, humble yourself & be willing to do the right thing. What have you got to lose? What have you got to gain? ‘Now to Him who is able to do above & beyond all that we ask or think…’ (Eph. 3:20-21).” -JB&S C (JB & Shugie Collingsworth, from Lifeway.com article, “Doing the Right Thing”)
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” -Eph. 4:26-27. “That verse proves that anger, in & of its self, is not sin. However, it also shows us that anger can easily lead us into sin –especially if it’s not dealt with quickly. A lot of harm is done to marriages by anger –both his & hers. Anger is a poison that kills a marriage from the inside out.” -TGH (Paul Byerly, from Thegeneroushusband.com article, “Be Angry, But”)
“Holding our own doesn’t have to be an angry stance. We don’t have to respond to bad behavior with equally bad behavior. Scripture tells us to stand firm. ‘Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, & having done all, to stand.‘ (Ephesians 6:13) Often, we cave in to the agenda of others. Then we resent them, when it’s largely our own lack of clear boundaries.” -D H (Dr David B Hawkins, from Crosswalk.com article, “Hiding Behind Blame”)
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…” -Philippians 2. “Your attitude affects the attitudes of those around you. So why not start your day with a smile, an attitude of gratefulness, or a patient word? Let your attitude ripple out to others (especially your sweetie).” -Lori Byerly “Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?” -D & W Mannering. Make sure yours reflects the love of Christ.
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” -Prov. 13:20. It’s said, “‘your convictions rise to the highest level of Biblical knowledge you have learned.’ If your knowledge isn’t increasing, neither will your convictions. If your convictions aren’t increasing, your marriage may be flat-lining, this could be the ‘harm’ of which this verse speaks.” Choose your friends wisely. (Debi Walters, from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “Water Into Wine – Proverbs 13”)
“What do you want & NEED to do between now & Christmas? Decide what has to be done & what you’d like to be done & see if it’s realistically going to fit into the next 19 days. If it’s not going to fit, with time to spare, cut some thing(s) out & scheduled again. Keep cutting till it all fits easily. The goal is to NOT be so busy & stressed you miss out on what’s important –God, family, giving to others…” -Paul Byerly (From The-generous-husband.com)
“The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out” -Proverbs 17:14. “This verse is a warning. Listen to it now while there’s time to quit. Say no to the strife & yes to His grace to resist it’s clutch. Strife & anger come easy. It’s our nature to lash out. But God has promised to help us in our weakness, if we will but cry out to Him for help & mercy in our time of need.” -D.W. (Debi Walters, from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “Water Into Wine – Proverbs 17”)
“When we’re angry with each other, being filled with the Spirit enables us to control our tempers & impatience. He battles the selfishness within us. We don’t always let Him win, of course. But every time we submit ourselves to His control, He grows in us the character traits that please Him & bless our spouses. ‘For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life & peace‘ -Romans 8:6.” (Dennis and Barbara Rainey, from book, “Moments With You”)
“The primary influencer of how kids see dad is mom! The way she views her husband & the manner in which she treats him, is very often mirrored by her children. A woman is counted wise if she carefully builds her house & this includes her husband’s reputation. However, she’s counted a fool if she tears it down with her own hands.” See: Proverbs 14:1. (CG) The same is true with husbands in the way he treats his wife. (Quote from Connie Grigsby)
“Have you seen a house built without a blueprint? We have. In one, the floors were uneven, rooms were haphazard, 1 set of stairs led nowhere. It was fun to walk thru, but not to live there. Have you seen a marriage built without a blueprint? We have. When marriages are built without following God’s blueprint, relationships can get uneven, haphazard, & often lead nowhere. Build on purpose, using God’s blueprint!” (Actual quote: Have you ever seen a house that was built without a blueprint? We have. It was so crazy, they were selling tickets to tour it. The floors were uneven, the rooms were haphazard, and one set of stairs led nowhere. It was funny to walk through, but we wouldn’t want to live there. Have you ever seen a marriage built without a blueprint? We have…waaaay too many of ’em. When couples build their marriages without intentionally following God’s blueprint, their relationship gets uneven, haphazard, and often leads nowhere. It is absolutely vital that we build on purpose, using the right blueprint! – Harold and Bette Gillogly, from May 2010 Newsletter, GTO Ministries, Marriages.net)
“Activating God’s Word is not easy, but it is doable because God has ‘given us everything we need for living a godly life‘ (2 Peter 1:3). Do you believe you have everything you need to choose his way? It’s his Word. Will you use it? Will you activate it? Will you continue to struggle or choose his Word and his way? What have you got to lose? Scripture could change your marriage if you let it.” -Lisa Cowman (From Crosswalk.com article, “Activating God’s Word in Your Marriage.”)
“Marriage has its ebbs & flows. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, there is a time for everything, “a time to weep & a time to laugh, a time to mourn & a time to dance.” There’ll be times when you’re close & times when you couldn’t feel farther apart. If you can’t allow for ebbs & flows, then you’ll turn a low season into something worse. You’ll whip a rain shower into a typhoon. Check in with God—Is this simply an ‘ebb,’ Lord?” (John & Stasi Eldredge from the Crosswalk article, “6 Reasons Marriages Hit Rough Waters”)
BE INTENTIONAL! “This time of year is a great reminder of the gifts we should be giving throughout the year. If it takes this particular season to help us remember what we need to do more often, that’s a good thing… Give the gift of time: If you’re 2 people who seem to only pass in the hallway & exchange scheduling of who’s taking the kids where, perhaps you should schedule the time to spend with one another.” –SG (Stu Gray, from the Stupendousmarriage.com article, “6 Gifts to Give Your Spouse All Year Long”)
“Give a gift that shows love. What does your spouse REALLY want & need? Try to give a gift that meets their love language. It may not be a present under the tree that means the most. Maybe it’s a morning to sleep in, a weekend golf trip, all the laundry being done & put away, a handwritten letter that says how much you care, a back or foot rub. Try to send the message, ‘Not only do I love you, but I ‘get’ you’.” -TC (Teri Claassen from Simplemarriage.net article, “Make a Holiday Connection”)
“Over the next few days: Smile at someone who’s tired. Pray for the people in the room. Thank God for 3 things. Be patient with someone. Give spouse the benefit of the doubt. Find a private moment to kiss your sweetie. Do something that moves you outside of your comfort zone. Be generous…start with your sweetie & those closest to you.” -L. Byerly “Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” -D. Evans (Lori Byerly and Dale Evans, from The-generous-wife.com article, “Living Generous”)
“The greatest gift I can give my children can’t be placed under a tree, no matter how big it is. The greatest gift I can give my family is a commitment to my marriage & the fortitude to work on that relationship no matter what. If you’re married, give the gift that will keep giving to your children, friends, everyone around you, & yourself. Give the gift of commitment. No wrapping paper or bow needed.” -Chris Fabry (from the Chrisfabry.blogspot.com article, “A Wreath Observed”)
“‘Laugh out loud,’ says Chuck Swindoll. ‘It helps flush out the nervous system.’ Arnold Glasgow said, ‘Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.’ The point is that even when you’ve had a tough day, ESPECIALLY when you’ve had a tough day, you need to laugh. It helps wash away stress & keeps the 2 of you together when you’re coming unglued. So help each other find something funny even when it’s not easy.” -L&LP (Drs Les and Leslie Parrott, from the Focusonthefamily.com article, “Bringing Laughter into Your Marriage”)
“In a study, it was found that those who were the least materialistic enjoyed their marriages the most & those who were the most materialistic enjoyed their marriages the least. Some insights: Those who scored high on materialism scored high for marriage killers like blaming, complaining & criticizing. Bottom Line: If you’re materialistic, it’s hurting your marriage.” -P.B. “The love of money is the root of evil…” (Quote gleaned from Paul Byerly in The-generous-husband.com blog, “Is Materialism Bad for Your Marriage?”)
“Spend time with each other at events. When you go to a gathering & spend the whole time apart, you may miss an opportunity to connect. Make a point to connect several times throughout the event by asking them if they want something to drink, introducing them to someone new, showing random affection when you’re walking thru a room, etc. Getting lost in the crowd or ignoring can cause your spouse to feel unimportant.” (Teri Claassen from Simplemarriage.net article, “Make a Holiday Connection”)
“Quitting on your marriage may temporarily reduce the pressure you feel, but a broken marriage & family will add truckloads of new pressures over a lifetime. It takes courage to do what is right. Remaining devoted to your spouse becomes your living testimony to the faithfulness of God & the strength of your marriage covenant. Pray that you’ll always love as God loves, forgive as He forgives & endure as He endures.” (From book, “Moments With You” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)
“Once you divorce, you let a judge into your parenting to decide how you can raise your child. Your parenting values can be jeopardized by what the courts decide.” -Lawyer. You may think that getting a divorce will help you to experience more peace than you have today, but consider that there are “hidden costs” that could be much more expensive to pay in the end. “Consider the costs” before tearing apart your home. (Quote came from a lawyer from Regent University commenting on the 700 Club program Feb. 17, 2010)
“It might make you feel a little sad to put away your Christmas decorations & let life return to ‘normal.’ But it doesn’t have to be this way. Look to the future with joy and spend this time preparing for what God has in store for you & your marriage. Find ways to focus on being the best wife or husband you can be this coming year, & watch what can happen.” (B.S.A.) Most importantly, partner with God in this mission. (Betsy St. Amant, from the Crosswalk.com article, “Look to the New Year with Hope for Your Future”)
“Be intentional about giving your spouse room to share their heart. Be the person that he/she “wants” to come to when their heart is encouraged & the person they ‘want’ to come to when their heart is heavy. Why should it be anyone else?” -Eye2eyemarriage “MAY THE LORD DIRECT YOUR HEART INTO GOD’S LOVE AND CHRIST’S PERSEVERANCE.” -2 Thessalonians 3:5 (Quote from Facebook page for Eye2eyemarriage)
“Look at your priorities. How important is your spouse and your marriage to you? Realize that your priorities and your actions give the honest answer to this question. Your children are catching more than they are being taught. In other words, your actions are teaching them what you really believe. What you say means much less when your actions don’t match the words. Nurture your marriage.” Be pro-active in doing so! (From Agrownupmarriage.com article, “Children Catch More than They are Taught”)
“The attitude we have about our marriage shows in the time we invest in our relationship, the attention we give to our mate & things we do to strengthen our marriage. As we make sacrifices for each other, we make a warm & safe place for our mate in the midst of life’s challenges. When we do this, others see a Christian marriage as the sacred union God meant it to be. This example can make them hungry for the same.” (Susan Graham Mathis, from Focus on the Family –Canada article, “Marriage on Display”) (Original quote: The attitude we have about our marriage comes from the time we invest in our relationship, the attention we give to our mate and things we do to strengthen our marriage. As we sacrifice our personal desires for each other, we make a warm and safe place for our mate in the midst of life’s challenges. When we do all this, others see a Christian marriage as the sacred union God meant it to be, and this example can make them hungry for the same.)
“God thinks it’s wise to commemorate. In the Old Testament, there are numerous festivals & holidays. Besides your wedding anniversary, what date could you celebrate? What’s your spouse’s favorite holiday? Make it even more memorable by including an activity your spouse might enjoy. ‘Google’ unusual or bizarre holidays & see if you can create a NEW fun tradition year after year. If not, make it “Wow Your Spouse Day.” (Bill and Pam Farrell, in the Crosswalk.com article, “Ways to Romance Your Spouse in the New Year”)
“Touch each other (sexually & non-sexually). The boost of connection you receive from human touch is huge. And every touch doesn’t have to be sexual in nature. Sure, sexual touch is important & will increase the connection, but so will non-sexual touch. Hold hands, hug, sit close beside one another, cuddle. Each little (or big) gesture can cause a boost of Oxytocin (the bonding chemical) for both of you.” -Corey (From Simplenet.com article, “Don’t Bother Rekindling Your Marriage …Create Something New”)
One “method that can stimulate spiritual intimacy” in marriage: “Active couples may feel closer to God & each other by prayer walking together. The goal of prayer walking is to care for body & soul simultaneously as you pray back & forth (with eyes open!), or sing, or even recite Scripture that builds each other’s faith. Exercising in this fashion can produce spiritual intimacy, in a different approach.” -Steve Bell (From Kyria.com article titled, “Soulful Connections”)
In marriage: “skimming the surface of each other’s lives won’t connect you spiritually. Your souls must become engaged. Spiritual intimacy is the connectedness that occurs when a husband & wife access God & experience Him TOGETHER on the deepest levels. Putting it simply, spiritual intimacy is about relationship—a 3-way relationship that grows together as each spouse grows closer to God.” God+spouse+you= INTIMACY. (Steve Bell, from Kyria.com article, “Soulful Connections”)
“Total connectedness, total understanding, and total love come from God and God alone! Scripture tells us: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). As much as we may long for the Garden of Eden, the reality is, we can’t have the garden without God. Only when we access the unconditional love of God can we love our spouse with soulful love.” -S. B. (Steve Bell, from Kyria.com article titled, “Soulful Connections”)
“No matter how intimate their relationship, or how firm their commitment, married people find their mates maddening at times. So how is one to endure an irritating spouse? The Bible requires that we do far more than tolerate each other. We’re instructed to accept each other as God accepts us. We’re to forbear one another in love.” (Larry Crabb) This is tough stuff, which requires tough love —GOD’S way! (From Kyria.com article written by Steve Bell, titled, “Soulful Connections”)
“People think they can say anything in the name of honesty. But when you hurt someone with your words, it’s not honest; it’s stupid & insensitive. Truth (in relationships) is not just a statement that’s factually accurate. It’s a statement expressed with utmost concern for another person’s feelings. That’s more than honest; it’s Truth with a capital ‘T.'” -M.F. “Speaking the Truth in LOVE, we will grow…” -Eph. 4:15 (Mort Fertel, from emailed message, “How to talk so your spouse will listen”)
“How easy it is to think, I’ll work on my marriage when life calms down. But the reality is that life doesn’t calm down. It just gets busier, more complicated. There are simply too many good options in today’s world for us. Our tendency is to put our marriage on hold—in fact, to neglect it—thinking, One day we’ll have time for us. But we’ll never have time. We have to MAKE time.” Do it NOW! Later may be too late. (Susan Yates, quote originally appeared on MomLife Today, FamilyLife’s blog for moms.)
“No one elevates themselves by putting down another. One just digs themselves down deeper than the person they claim is beneath them. If you think your spouse is lousy, keep it to yourself & God. Why would you tell someone that you picked a lousy spouse? Sing their praises. You make yourself look good by making your spouse look good. If you make your spouse look bad, you only drag yourself down with him/her.” –Tony (Comment left on Marriage Missions web site)
“Successful marriages aren’t reserved for ‘special’ couples. Rather, they’re attained by couples who do ‘special’ things, like putting forth effort when they don’t want to, showing love when it’s undeserved, forgiving when they’re offended & being present physically & mentally when they’d rather be somewhere else. When you & your mate begin practicing any of these things, you’ll have a successful marriage.” -M W! (Quote from Marriage Works! article, “You Can Have a Successful Marriage”)
“If you think of you & your partner as a unit, you’re more likely to weather the tough times. If you want a happier marriage, use the word: We. “We-ness” is a language that spouses who are better able to resolve conflicts speak, according to a study from the University of California. Other good words are ‘our’ & ‘us.’ Pronouns such as “I,” “me” & ‘you’ are a problem.” The use of ‘we’ shows a sense of partnership.” (New York Daily News article, “WE-NESS WORKS” -by Sherryl Connelly)
“Recognize marriage as a ‘we’ business. Any couple who gains a ‘we’ perspective eventually experiences success in marriage. But a marriage shrivels when it becomes a matter of two ‘I’s’” -Neil Clark Warren. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” -John 13:34-35
Take responsibility for YOUR actions. “Every counselor’s 1st job is to get a person to take the responsibility for their own situation. Whether you’re a parent, a son, a daughter, [& ESPECIALLY, as a spouse] I trust that you’ll begin to say, ‘Lord, begin with me.’ Look in the mirror. Offer what you see to the Father, & just like the father of the Prodigal Son, He’s going to clean you up & make you look like royalty.” (Ron Hutchcraft, from “A Word With You” devotional, with this one being titled, “The Answer in the Mirror,” based on the scripture, Luke 15:11-32)
“If either of you in your marriage is rich, poor, famous, unknown or anything else, making a marriage work requires you to support & love the other. If you’re not communicating well, have trouble hearing each other, argue without solution, or find yourself tempted, get help now. Being rich, famous, or successful & alone is still just that…alone.” -JB “…Faith, hope & love. The greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13) (Joe Beam, Crosswalk.com article, “Fame and Fortune in Marriage”)
“It’s better to deal with sin & disappointments as they happen, and not let the sun go down on your anger. It’s better to pull the weeds of discord today & not let them go to seed. Ignoring the weeds only multiplies them. Ignoring conflict does the same thing. If all isn’t well in the marriage, then do whatever you can about it.” “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” –Romans 12:18 (Debi Walters, from Theromanticvineyard.com article, “Water Into Wine – Proverbs 14”)
“One of the easiest ways to reduce misunderstandings & communication friction is to share a few thoughts with someone (your spouse) & then allow the person to repeat back what he/she thinks you said. This method will also improve your listening skills. When you not only listen but also repeat back what someone says, you communicate that his/her opinions are important to you & worth taking seriously.” -Gary Smalley (Gleaned from book, “4 Days to a Forever Marriage” by Gary and Norma Smalley)
“The walls of a house keep a couple in comfort & happiness while protecting them from ‘outside,’ destructive elements. In your House of Marriage, the walls of your house are the values & beliefs you hold most dear regarding marriage. These beliefs encase your relationship & determine the quality of life lived inside them. When storms rage outside your marriage, you’ll be especially thankful for their protection.” (Rowan and Mara Fraser, from Thecouplethings.com web site article, “Quick, Get Inside!”) (Actual quote: “It’s bitterly cold outside, but in here we’re nice and warm. The contrast in temperatures between the outside and inside reminds me of an analogy we use in our pre-marriage coaching. We call it the House of Marriage. We explain how the walls of a House of Marriage will keep a couple in maximum comfort and happiness while protecting them from the storms of life and the “outside,” destructive elements. Our society seems to have a few of those. In your House of Marriage, the walls of your house are the values and beliefs you hold most dear regarding marriage. These beliefs encase your relationship and will determine the quality of life lived inside them. And on days when the storms may rage outside your marriage, you’ll be especially thankful for their protection.”)
“Is it time to minimize distractions & enjoy depth in your relationship? Find a way to let tools of work, entertainment devices, screens & games be relegated to when you actually choose them, not when they choose you. Create distraction free zones & pockets of time. Turn your phone(s) off during together times. Determine not to live distracted. Let’s do this lest we continue to miss so much. Life is full of depth.” (Rowan and Mara Fraser, from Couplethingsblog.com article, “Me? Distracted?”)
“God says (Gen. 2:24) that when we marry, we’re to leave our parents. This means that we sever the emotional umbilical cord. The word ‘leave’ is translated ‘to forsake’ –to disconnect yourself from your parent’s priorities & influence. It’s not that you can’t talk with them again, but that your allegiance is to change. Your loyalty belongs to your spouse. Your partner should never have to compete with your parents.” (Dr Ray Pritchard, from Keepbelieving.com sermon, “Living in Light of the Future”)
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