A happy marriage is about 3 things:
Memories together, forgiveness of mistakes, and a promise to never give up on each other.
As we celebrate 29 years of marriage, I find myself looking back at our earlier years. At first, I couldn’t image a lifetime without my new husband. But only a few months into our marriage I found myself thinking “I cannot live a lifetime like this!” So the hard work began.
I was so unsure of many things. But the one thing I was sure of-
LOVE IS A CHOICE.
I determined in my mind and heart to LOVE my husband. It was not always easy. But I’ve learned a few things along the way. You CAN fall in love again…and again, and again!
1. Be thankful for him. The bible commands us to think upon good things. This is not easy…especially after a long night of a fussy baby and he “forgets” to take out the garbage…again. But I encourage you to think good thoughts towards your husband. Remember what made you first fall in love with him.
2. Pray for him. Pray blessings on his life. Don’t pray ABOUT him. Don’t pray just for the changes you would love to see. Actually pray that he falls madly in love with the Lord and you will be surprised how that love will flow over to you.
3. Be Kind. Sounds so simple, yet it’s a struggle. Earlier in our marriage he worked long hours so that I could stay home with our little ones. I was lonely, exhausted, and basically felt “used.” He came home hot from working in the Florida heat, expecting dinner and to “relax.” The last thing I wanted to do was to be sweet. Seriously, I just needed a break the babies and a long shower. This is where communication comes into play…
You may also enjoy https://www.raisingourtribe.org/post/art-of-marriage
4. Talk! I know you think that he can read your mood, but ladies, he cannot. I honestly thought my man understood my need for other woman in my life and time alone in the bathroom. My nasty attitude did not reflect my real need. He had no idea what was wrong with me. We had to learn to calmly talk about our feelings, wants, and needs. Which leads us to the next tip…
5. Serve Your Man. As a new bride with babies coming almost every year I had tunnel vision. I was totally focused on my own needs and the needs of the little ones. But the Lord began to speak to my heart on serving my husband. I know it sounds old fashion…but I dare you to try it. Woman often ask me how I “trained” my hubby to mop floors. I didn’t. I started making sure he had a good dinner, laundry was done, and the house was cleaned up. He realized that I was working so hard to make him happy he decided to do the same. I love how God’s ways, although they may go against modern society, REALLY work.
You may also enjoy:
6. Listen to him. Let’s face it ladies, we are the talkers in the relationship. Men don’t always pour their hearts out the way we do. But listen to his dreams, his concerns, and get to know him all over again.
7. Appreciate him. I have learned that praise and encouragement go a long way in building a strong marriage. Tell him how proud you are of him for working so hard to provide for his family. Thank him for washing the dishes. Praise him for making the yard look awesome. Kiss him for being such a great dad. (Even if things are not exactly the way you would have done them, praise him anyway)
8. Speak from the heart. Remember, no one is perfect. We all need a healthy dose of God’s amazing grace. I remember Walter telling me that he knew he wasn’t the perfect man, but he would try his best to be a good husband. It was honest. It was real. And it made a huge difference in the way I looked at him.
9. Be Romantic. Men want to know that we respect them AND that we want them. Remember the Shulamite in the Song of Solomon? She desperately sought her man and desired his touch. (Song of Solomon 1:2,7). Give him those flirtatious looks. Wear his favorite nightie and perfume. Send him sizzling text messages and leave him love notes.
Reignite the passion!
“When a wife initiates sex it makes a man feel great.”-Pastor Walter Donnelly
10. Simple Acts. It’s the simple things that make the biggest difference. Hold hands. Kiss often. Rest your hand on him. Touch throughout the day. Say “I love you.” This will require discipline as you may not always feel like kissing, but do it anyway! Fear not girls, the feelings will start to come back.
“A man who feels respected, wanted and desired by his wife will move mountains for her.”-Pastor Walter Donnelly
The key to a strong marriage is intimacy. It’s connecting with the ONE you made a covenant with: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
A strong marriage is not a fantasy. It’s not something you stumble upon. It’s something you work VERY hard to create. But fear not…you can do it!
Highly recommend this book!