Cindy and I (Steve) have a plaque on our wall that reminds us: “Invest in your relationship as early as you can, as much as you can, and as often as you can!” (Jason Krafsky) And there’s no better way for us as couples to start the New Year than to make sure we’re investing in our relationship.
People invest in stocks, bonds, education, homes, children, families, upkeep of our “stuff” etc. We put our time, money, and added attention into that, which we believe is important for our future. But what about investing in our marriages, by putting the same (or even more) effort into them? Why do we think that love should just come naturally, but all else needs added attention? It doesn’t. That’s why so many marriage relationships get into trouble.
We actually need to put more attention, money, skill building, and effort to keep our marriage growing in healthy ways than most anything else. Sure, children, and our bosses complain louder, but does that excuse us from putting more attention into our marriages? No. And we’re not thinking God thinks so either.
Investing in Your Marriage
So lets pull together to do that, which we promised. Lets continue to learn to “love, honor, and cherish” each other as husband and wife for the rest of our lives. Sure, you can’t do it all alone, but it’s amazing what we can do with our hands put into God’s hand. To help us all do this, here are a few of our favorite ways (tips) on how to do this. All are fairly easy to employ in our marriages and the benefits will be immediate.
Here are 3 simple tips:
- Treat your spouse like they matter. “Greet your mate when he/she arrives home. Don’t just call hello from another room. Stop what you’re doing. Go to the door and initiate contact. Smile, offer a hug, kiss or a touch, and express in words, ‘I’m glad to see you!’” (David and Teresa Ferguson) If you give strangers the priority of greeting them in energetic ways, why not do this for your spouse?
- “Wise husbands and wives will take time to practice small acts of touching: Hold hands in a walk through the mall, stopping to rub your mate’s shoulders for a moment, taking the time to gently hold your spouse at the door on your way out. These small but important acts can work like ‘super-bloom’ to a plant and green out a relationship.” (Gary Smalley)
- “If your marriage has been neglected, you aren’t going to be able to rush the course correction. Like drops of water filling a bucket, the slow dripping of neglect makes for a heavy load. So, dump it out and begin investing drops of attention, * kindness instead. Day after day invest in your spouse and the health of your relationship. Over time you’ll reap sweet, lasting effects.” (Priscilla Shirer)
Here is are 3 books we recommend that you obtain, READ, and APPLY the advice given:
- Sacred Marriage is written by Gary Thomas. This book is foundational in understanding WHAT YOU COMMIT TO when you marry. Too many of us marry, never realizing the sacredness of our vow. Once you learn this, you approach marriage in a totally different way.
- How We Love, is written by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. The authors of this book “draw on the tool of an attachment theory. They show how early life experiences created an ‘intimacy imprint.’ This is an underlying blueprint shapes your behavior, beliefs, and expectations of all relationships, especially your marriage.” This is an enlightening, and practical book. It gives great insights to help you to love your spouse with greater understanding.
- Talk Easy, Listen Hard is a book that is written by Nancy Sebastian Meyer. “It helps you tackle your communication barriers, and not each other.” We learned many of these things through different resources. But what’s great is that it’s all in this one book. How we wish we would have known these things earlier in our marriage.
If you are in a place to do so, please consider investing in other marriages by becoming a marriage mentor. You can do this in many ways. You can:
- Become a Mentor, investing in the marriages of others. We have a lot of information to help you decide if you can and should do this. You can find it in the Marriage Counseling & Mentoring topic.
- Mentor in big and/or small ways. You can find more info on this within the following insight: NEEDED: An Army of Mentors.
This world needs an army of mentors who are willing to invest in other marriages.
Please invest in your marriage (and the marriages of others). Do this “as early as you can, as much as you can, and as often as you can…” through 2017. And may your year be blessed!
Steve and Cindy Wright