The Good, the bad and the ugly.
Marriage can be wonderful. But let’s be honest. I’m sure you would agree that there are some downright bad and ugly times as well.
I’ve been married 25 years and I’m not sure I would change one thing in our past, even if I could.
Our past is what defines our present.
Sometimes we need to experience the bad and the ugly along with the good to grow. This is true in our walk with Jesus as well. The bad and the ugly have to come to the surface for the good to take over.
Sharing our testimony is what defeats the enemy.
I’m sharing some truths I’ve learned in my own journey. The Word tells us that we should share our story with others to defeat the enemy. When we are transparent in our own lives, it helps unlock others to freedom in Christ Jesus.
And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.
1. Invite Jesus into your marriage.
If you want a successful marriage, you must have Jesus in your life. He needs to be the foundation on which you build your marriage. Without Jesus in our lives, we are self-centered, selfish people. And it is extremely difficult for two self-centered, selfish people to exist in love and unison.
2. After our personal relationship with God, put your spouse first in your life.
Your husband needs to come before your children. And your husband needs to come before yourself. I know this goes against what the world will tell you but it is so important. I learned the hard way. Yes, children need us moms. But more importantly than that, children need to see mom and dad love each other. They need that security. And your husband needs that security as well. He needs to know he matters.
3. Let go of the pettiness.
In the grand scheme of life, does the way someone leaves little piles of clutter in their wake really matter? Learn early to put things in perspective. I learned a little late that my house was always going to be messy. Having a house ready for the magazine cover is just not realistic or important. If you stop by for a visit, you’re always welcome but just know that you’re going to see shoes in the foyer, dirty dishes in my sink and newspapers and magazines on the table. And I’m okay with that. I made peace with it a long time ago and I no longer feel the need to apologize for our clutter. Messiness is part of life. Get used to it early.
4. Make time to sit on the porch together.
Make time for the small things. No TVs, no smart phones, no computers, no distractions. Just you and your man sitting in the quiet listening to the birds chirping and talking about whatever comes up. Even when there are dinner dishes in the sink, dirty clothes to wash, lunches to pack. Remember, there are always going to be chores for us to do. But with life’s hectic pace, we do not always have that quiet together time. When you can snatch a moment, do so.
5. Hold hands and hug often.
Do not underestimate the importance of physical contact. Even just holding hands. It matters. Every day after the craziness of the work day is over, my husband gives me a hug before we start our evening. I have to admit that he is the one who takes the initiative to give me a hug every day and it makes me feel very cherished and loved.
6. Be a good listener.
Truly listen when he talks. We all like to be heard. Be a good listener. Don’t be distracted with the noise of the world around you. Be focused solely on your spouse.
7. Be his cheerleader.
Encourage him to follow his dreams. Don’t fear the future. Fear can be a barrier that you erect in your marriage without even realizing it. If your spouse has a dream that requires major change in your lives, take it to your prayer closet. Ask God to show you what you need to do. We need to be open to new ideas even if they bring a little fear to our hearts.
8. Be his companion and best friend.
When he asks you to go for a ride to see the leaves, go. When he asks you to go with him to Lowes or Home Depot to pick up a tool he needs to finish a project, go. It’s important to spend time together even if it is running errands. Don’t get in a bad habit of going your own way. That can never bring the closeness that God intends for a husband and wife to have.
9. Choose love.
Love is a choice we make. Sometimes we have to make that choice daily ~ sometimes hourly. When we are in a new relationship, it is so exciting and new. Emotions are fresh and alive. But that wears off. Then come babies, jobs, mortgage payments, home repairs, etc., etc. It is too easy to decide that you no longer love your spouse.
You want that new and exciting relationship you had when you first met. Please, please know life is all about decisions. I choose to love my husband today. I choose to overlook all of the irritations that I could let come between us. I choose to overlook all the things that could drive us apart. I choose to see all the things I fell in love with. I choose love. After all, isn’t this what Jesus wants us to do? Choose love. Every. Single. Time.
10. Pray for your husband.
I saved the most important for last. Pray for him often. Pray for him boldly. Lift him up to Christ Jesus every single day. Ask Jesus to fill his heart with love. Ask Jesus to protect his heart, his thoughts and his spirit. Pray for your husband from head to toe. This is the single most important thing that you can do to have a strong, loving marriage.
I hope these truths will help you, wherever you may be in your own journey.
Read a related story about my marriage in When a Demotion Saved My Life.
Stay in the Light and the Love always,
Visit my store for handmade cards and t shirts that will help you share God’s love.