Top ten suggestions on how to keep your marriage love alive or what I wish I knew on my wedding day:
- Do everything in your power to help facilitate the other person being what they were created to be and to do, without keeping score. This is a covenant; you bring all that’s you (good, bad and the in between) and give to your spouse. Totally giving yourself to the other. Yes, it takes time to build that kind of trust but it’s a process of truly becoming one that’s worth investing your life’s energy into. Think about what your marriage can be if both spouses give all they can to the other.
- Embrace and learn to celebrate the differences of each other instead of trying to form the other into your image…. which is not to say that we couldn’t use some training from our spouse on what’s good and appropriate for the other. Learn to love the other how they need to be loved not how you want to or how it is convenient for you to love.
- Focus on the good in the other person and the good aspects of your marriage instead what is not so good and what hasn’t happened yet. Balance your expectations for life and your spouse versus what happens through certain chapters of everyday life. The main reason relationships get sideways is expectations that one has in unrealistic time frames. We grow and change at different rates. Remember marriage is not a commitment for a couple of years but a lifetime.
- Don’t believe that the honeymoon will end. In fact, if done correctly the honeymoon is only the beginning and should continually increase in love, romance and trust.
- Confrontation is healthy, inevitable and necessary. How to do it with respect for most is a life long pursuit. Make the issues, the issue. As long as you both may live, don’t say words that tear the other one down. Don’t use phrases like “you always, you never.” Never allow the word divorce to be spoken.
- Be nice to each other. Remember your spouse is not the enemy. Don’t take your frustrations out on each other.
- Be transparent. You now have a partner to help navigate the challenges of your life. Don’t keep temptations, weaknesses and especially sin in the dark. Be honest about your stuff and hopefully it’ll bring the same honesty forward in them.
- Life & marriage are what you make it; you have the opportunity and the power everyday to make it kind, warm and joyful.
- Make your parent’s ceiling your floor. It has always been God’s plan that each generation learn from their parent’s mistakes, but also to take their strengths to a higher level. Both set of parents want the richest blessings for their kid’s marriages: physically, financially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
- And when you forget all the above, remember the 12 most important words in marriage: I am sorry, I love you. Please forgive me, I was wrong.
One of the most powerful acts you can participate in with your spouse is to tell them, “I choose you. I love you very much. My goal with you today is connection.” When this is practiced with intentionality and sincerity, I promise you will huge results of intimacy that you long for.
Love should be at the genesis of every marriage and hopefully it will remain as the abiding force that keeps both husband and wife connected to each other. When both the husband and wife take responsibility to do what is best in their marriage, love can and will grow. I always like to challenge every married couple to read I Corinthians 13:4-7 daily and together if possible. God’s word is our plumb line to keep everything in proper balance and alignment. When we do marriage HIS way, we will always be successful.
***Bill and Lisa Roitsch are Marriage Mentors who love to coach and disciple marriages to stay together, grow together and stay connected to the pure source of all love and power – the Lord Jesus Christ. Visit their website at: http://www.powerofhislove.com