Back again today with more mawwiage advice. In a strange way this set of posts have actually provided an unexpected level of accountability to me…when I’ve wanted to act ugly toward Chris or roll over instead of praying or anything of the sorts, I hear this voice in my head squeaking “But that’s not the type of advice you gave on your blog!”
Uh. That can be soooo annoying sometimes.
Let’s get back to it…my “Top 5 Marriage Tips.”
5) Guard your time together…and take time apart
It’s a tricky balance, with this thing called time. I recently heard that “God gives you enough hours in the day to do what He has for you to do.”
Ouch. That blows a hole in the “I just don’t have enough time” theory.
I’ve also been convicted that being a wife, and eventually a mother, is God’s highest calling on my life. To me, that means that Chris should get the best parts of me…not the worn out, too tired, grumpy part of me. I need to make spending time with Chris a high priority.
One way I can do that is to guard our time together. If we’ve had a busy week, there are times I have to say no to extra activities or fun events so that Chris and I have time together to relax and reconnect. I’m sure once we start having children there will be new challenges in this area, but I have the example of many sweet Christian families to follow as they work to make their families #1 priority. I also have the example of my own family, who taught me how to say no when I was becoming overwhelmed and who made being home together one of my favorite things.
So with all that being said, once you’ve loved on your husby and created a happy home, I think there is something to be said for having some time for yourself as well. Whether that be “alone time” or “girls night out,” there can be a lot of value in recharging and fellowship. I have always appreciated how Chris let’s me have the time I need without getting impatient or jealous. I know there will be seasons of life when we won’t be able to have as much of this, but I’m sure then (as it is now) I’ll be thankful for the time I do get.
4) Know his heart
This was an important lesson I learned when I was going through the “Love and Respect” study. Life changing even.
In the study, Dr. Emerson points out that we must remember that (in most cases!) our spouses intentions toward us are good. My husband is not perfect…a sinful man like the rest of us…but his heart towards me is full of good intentions. He loves me. It is not his heart to hurt me.
So when he says something that comes across the so wroooooong way, I can A) get my panties in a wad, or B) remember his heart and temper my reaction with love and grace. Same thing when he says something hurtful in the heat of the moment. If I can remove myself enough to remember his heart, I am usually able to see what the cause of his words/behavior is. That takes the sting out of his words and can help me to stop the “crazy cycle.”
All that can only happen by the grace of God mind you…by His ability to strengthen my resolve and self-control and yes…even to tame my tongue and cool my temper.
I heard something else recently…it was about discipleship. It was that “besides marriage, there is no greater sanctifier than discipleship.” Did you catch that? Marriage is about sanctification. It’s messy stuff, this process of becoming more like Christ…but He’s in me. And He’s in my husband. And that is why I can trust my husby’s heart.
3) Recognize the enemy
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one. It’s pretty basic.
There is an enemy. His name is Satan. If you have any doubts that he is blatantly attacking marriage, then just look at the divorce rate. Among Christians.
If marriage is about sanctification, then doesn’t it only make sense that he would do all he could to stop that process? To thwart it? To destroy it? To turn it into something that it isn’t?
The thing about our enemy is that he is cunning. Oftentimes he doesn’t use outright, bold lies to lead us astray. He just twists the truth a bit…plants a seed of doubt in our minds.
For example, he knows it is too far out there for married Christian couples to consider becoming swingers. (I’m just pulling something out of the air here…) That’s outright wrong, and we know it. Instead, he takes hold of the seeds of hurt between a husband and wife and twists them just enough to make a wife roll over and pretend to be asleep.
Do you get what I’m saying?
I read a quote once that said “Satan will do anything he can to get a couple *into* bed before they are married….and he will do everything he can to keep them *out* of bed once they are.” Since I heard that, there have literally been moments in my head where I’ve had to take my thoughts captive to Christ, where I’ve had to tell myself that I will not allow the devil to keep me from being one with my husband.
This relates to more areas than sex, don’t get me wrong. But Satan knows the power that can come from marriage, from the intimacy that develops between a husband and wife. And he wants to put a stop to it.
Doesn’t that make you mad?
It makes me sick…mad…and, since I just watched “The Avengers”…as angry as the Hulk.
But, praise Jesus, we can have victory over Satan through the blood of Christ. Through Jesus we can make choices, moment by moment, day by day, to deny Satan the opportunity to destroy the work God is doing in our lives.
So recognize the enemy. And then beat the snot out of him and make your husband a happy man.
If you get what I’m saying.
I’m feeling like that’s a good place to stop for today. Who knew this would turn into a mini-series? More to come!
KEEP CALM & STAY MARRIED!
P.S. – Did you must the first part? No worries…just click here!