We did it! We finally birthed the marriage book that we’ve been writing for such a long time. It has actually taken us over 46 years to write. That’s because we lived it before we wrote it. (And the saga continues…) It’s the principle of live, learn, and pass it on. So that’s just what we’re doing. We’re passing along to you the 7 ESSENTIALS that we have learned will grow our marriages to be healthy, loving and strong.
We believe that it’s a marriage book that we wrote just for you. It doesn’t matter what stage of marriage you happen to be going through; there’s something in it for every married person. And even if you aren’t married yet, you can learn a lot from it even before you marry. What a wonderful way to prepare for married life beforehand!
It’s also a great book to give as a wedding gift. When you attend a wedding you are a witness to the beginning of their married life together. Your presence shows that you care about this couple. That is why it’s important that you invest in their marriage, as well as celebrating it. By giving them this book, you are helping them to get off to a great start in their married life.
This Marriage Book
We pray with all of our hearts that this marriage book will be a blessing to everyone who reads it. But we hope that people won’t just read it, but rather, everyone will glean through it, and apply what they can use. You can have all of the greatest tools on earth at your fingertips, but if you don’t use them, when they’re needed, what good will it do? And if the advice doesn’t fit just right, then adapt the advice given accordingly. The dynamics of every marriage is different because the people within it are different. So retrofit the tips given to work for your marital situation. As long as you aren’t going against scriptural principles, you’re golden in doing that.
A Sneak Preview of This Marriage Book
Below is a small sample of a portion of the marriage book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. In this particular ESSENTIAL, I am writing about “love in action” within our marriages:
All of what I describe is love in action. Sometimes words go with them… sometimes not. Expressing love verbally is an important piece of a healthy marriage built on God’s foundational principles. But actions speak even louder than words in these incidences. Perhaps you can think of some of your own. Don’t just think of what you do, but try to think of some of what your spouse does for you. It could make you appreciate him or her more.
Some of these actions are ones that can easily go unrecognized. They are actions that the other spouse can often take for granted. I’m talking about the unappreciated spouse who faithfully goes to work to help support the family financially. I’m talking about a spouse who is faithful, even though they are faced with temptation at every turn. (This is not a very marriage-friendly world, even though it pretends to be.)
Sometimes a spouse is taken for granted who regularly puts gas in the car, mows the lawn, does the dishes, vacuums, pays the bills, takes care of the kid’s needs, and/or does the laundry… the list goes on. Sometimes it’s the wife who does these things, and sometimes it’s the husband who does them. But regardless of who does them, words of appreciation, given by the other spouse, will go a long way in growing a marital love relationship.
What is my point? Amplify your love and appreciation with your words.
Sure, you might expect these things from your spouse, and he or she can expect them from you. But giving a hug and saying thanks for everyday things that no one else may notice gives your spouse a type of paycheck of the heart that is priceless. It helps your spouse to not feel that he or she is taken for granted. Invest in your marriage relationship. Make sure your spouse knows that he or she is your top priority, after God.
Setting Priorities Straight
“Your spouse needs to come to the top of your priority list— just a bubble behind Jesus. You need to give your spouse priority access to your time—instead of just the leftovers.” (Drs. Gary and Barb Rosberg)
Show love and appreciation by what you say, what you do, and how you make time to spend quality time together. The efforts you make to invest in your marriage can grow your love relationship in exponential ways. Saying your wedding vows to each other did not erase either of your needs to feel loved and appreciated. Please know that.
“If you’ve been ignoring a taking-my-spouse-for-granted weed, pull it up now and fill the gaping hole with flowers of appreciation or thoughtful words of gratitude. If you’re stuck for words, close your eyes and imagine what you would have said in your courting days. Digging deep into that well will bring up sweet water.” (Alistair Begg, from the familylife.com article, “3 Weeds to Pull From Your Marriage Garden”)
Care Packages for the Heart
Also, saying nice things about our spouse to a family member, a friend, or even a stranger in front of your spouse can mean a lot to him or her. It’s been said that, “Giving accolades in front of an audience is like giving care packages for the heart.” This is a sure way to grow your love relationship with your spouse. I’ve seen this to be true in my own marriage. We’ve also seen this to be true in hundreds of marriages that we’ve observed. Who doesn’t like to be bragged on—especially by our spouse?
To read more, please go to the link below to purchase either the digital version or the paperback version available for your purchase. Steve and I both wrote about our own perspectives of marriage within each chapter. That way you get the benefit of reading from the husband and the wife’s perspective.
I/we hope you will! And as you read, glean, and apply what is written, we pray it will help you to reflect the love of Christ within your marriage.
Cindy Wright, of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
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