"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'' For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
I have learned a tremendous amount about marriage since I first said, I Do, in my early twenties to my amazing husband, John.
My first lesson? Marriage isn't easy, not to mention a good marriage. And in honor of Valentine's Day coming up on our heels, I've compiled my top love lessons I've learned that has made my marriage strong, happy, and a good marriage.
#1 There isn't a concrete right or wrong way to fix problems in a marriage
It's important to do what works for you and as a couple in any problems that arise in your marriage. But one important factor to consider is if what you're currently doing, is working. If it's not, change what you're doing. I would go at a problem the same way every time in our marriage and got the same sad results. Once I changed my approach ;dramatic results happened.
#2 Run to the Throne before you run to the phone
I used to always ask advice from everyone I knew when having an issue with my marriage. This proved over and over again to not work. I needed to give my marriage and my needs to God.
James 1:5-6 NKJV If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
So before you run to pick up the phone to get some advice from people who will tell you what you want to hear; give it all to God. He will guide you and give you wisdom.
#3 I've learned that I don't always have to be right
This was a hard one for me. Admit I'm wrong? Listen to my husband and find his story credible? Oh, this was tough. I had a lot of growing to do and this was one of the first ones God needed to change in me. I needed to humble myself, I needed to respect my husband and what he had to say, and I needed to not end an argument with me always being the victor.
I've learned it's important to hear each other out, be willing to apologize for any hurt I've caused, and learn to be open to hearing opinions that may differ than mine. Always respect your husband. Always.
#4 Make time for intimacy
When you're a mom, you're touched all day, needed all day, and this is exhausting in and of itself. At the end of a long day all we want to do is sleep. But saving some of us just for our husband is important in a good marriage. You can even plan for it, too. Making sure kids are in bed at a good time so you have time together, planning a night out and arranging a sitter, and making the choice that your marriage and husband are important to you. Always make sure don't give your husband just your leftovers. Make the choice to always make time for your marriage.
#5 You don't fix things by fixing your partner
I love this advice from Dr. Phil. I have been guilty of this method of thought. When all along, God had some fixing to do in me. When I grew and made changes, my husband changed.
#6 Give your marriage one hundred percent
I would have a hang-up at times on who's doing more. We would actually argue over this. Ridiculous. We both work hard and sometimes, if things seem unbalanced and your needs are falling on deaf ears, keep on giving your all and giving your needs to God. He will balance everything out, give you rest and it will honor your marriage. Remember too, that we aren't always perfect in meeting all our husbands needs either. I always needed to remember to calm down, gain perspective and make the choice to love and give no matter what because I am doing it for God.
#7 His needs/Your needs
It's important to express your needs when needed to your husband and your husband with you. But a big mistake is to think that your husband is always going to meet all of them and keep harping until he does. We all will fall short and we need to give God our needs, our feelings, our hardship, and our frustrations. Keeping this in the forefront of my mind, kept things in perspective.
Having a good marriage is a choice. Choose to be committed, chose to do what it takes, and don't give up. A good marriage is worth the work.
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