Marriage



                               

Last week millions of people rushed to buy flowers, stuffed animals, candy, cards and diamonds to remind their spouse of their undying devotion.

I wonder how many of those millions are still feeling the love this week?

love is patient

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

How many of us live out these biblical truths in our marriage? They are hard to put into practice, but it’s only through the grace of God that we can learn to love like Jesus loved, even in marriage.

Only through the grace of God can we learn to love like Jesus loved, even in marriage. {tweet it}

Love is patient, with our spouses and the curveballs that life often throws at us. Love is kind, even when our spouses are cranky. Love is humble, even when we are the one that is “right” in an argument. Love is filled with honesty and Godly truth. Love is endearing, even when our spouses are not. Love endures all things, even the biggest stresses that life can throw at us. Love is filled with a hope that only comes from knowing Jesus Christ.

Let’s face it, this love stuff is tough work. We are busy. We have responsibilities. Little and big people to care for. To do lists a mile long. Laundry and lots of it. And sometimes romance is the first thing to fly out the proverbial window in our marriage.

But in the middle of all the daily craziness, don’t you want to feel loved by the one person on this earth that you vowed to go through life with? I sure do.

How do you show love to your spouse in the daily chaos of life?

My hubby’s love language is home cooked meals so I have learned to love the act of cooking because it makes him happy. I tuck little love notes inside his lunch box when I remember. I often mow the lawn on a hot summer day while he’s at work, or take out the trash before he gets home. Sometimes I buy him his favorite candy bar when I’m out running errands. It’s the little things that make him happy.

I don’t need roses, or diamonds or even chocolates to feel loved by my hubby. But a little patience, encouragement, a listening ear and a man willing to empty the dishwasher when I’m having a crazy week goes a long way for me.

Let’s make it our mission to love our husbands every day of the year. In the middle of our messes. In the little ways that matter.

What can you do this week to  let your husband know how much you love him?



                               

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Top Ten Tips to a Happy Lasting Marriage

Rev and I are celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary today. It’s hard for me to believe. I can still relive the moment we met, our first date, our first kiss, and each and every milestone since.

We have a few do’s and don’ts that we’ve used over the years. We believe they have been helpful in not only having a marriage that lasts, but one that is happy and fun, too.

Our Top Ten Marriage Tips:

1. Laugh – We both love to laugh and we love to make each other laugh. Humor has gotten us through many of life’s difficult moments.

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The Dance of the Pepper Shaker

When he pulled that pepper shaker out of the bag I almost laughed out loud.

Fourteen years earlier we stood on separate aisles of Target – me with crossed arms and him wondering if we would ever make it. With scanner gun in hand, I stared at the rows of salt and pepper shakers. Wooden? How could I possibly season my food with wooden salt and pepper shakers?

As Alan and I registered for our upcoming wedding, we hadn’t anticipated the sometimes-uneven start of zipping two lives together. After dating six years, we were more than ready to marry. I’d dreamed of this very event since our high school trigonometry class where we met and fell in love.

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Holy Lightning

Love is patient, love is kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4

“Lord, please strike him with a holy bolt of lightning,” I prayed. “No real damage. Just enough to scorch him a little.”

Okay, so I don’t normally pray for my husband’s ruin, but let me explain what happened.

It was a Friday night when Grace was still four months old. I heard her in the monitor and tapped my husband, mumbling something like, “Grshisup.” He stumbled from the bed and down the hall. I followed to make him a bottle and then flopped back in bed. Minutes later, my sleep bubble burst when Alan stomped in our room.

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What’s that Smell?

The smell was so bad he was embarrassed to take friends to lunch.

My husband drove a burgundy Saturn in the early days of our marriage. And it stunk. For a male, a little stink in a car is like a trophy. What guy wants his wheels to smell of strawberries and roses?

But over time, the smell was more than he could bear. He tried scented pine trees fresheners. When that didn’t work, he put oil of wintergreen on cotton balls under the seats.

No matter how he tried to mask the terrible odor, it remained. When co-workers suggested lunch outings, Alan cringed at the thought of shuttling friends in the stink-mobile, and rolled down the windows to blow the stench away.

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Sweet Talkin’ Ken

Have you ever wanted to program your husband to say the right things?

Imagine. You walk down the stairs for a coveted date night with the man of your life after spending hours choosing just the right outfit to disguise your left over baby weight. You’ve spent extra time putting on your “face,” even taking the time to Google some make-up tips and tricks. With your smoky nighttime eyes, you walk past your man looking down at your freshly painted toes, hoping he’ll notice your lids.

You twirl, pretending to look at the television, giving him a view of you from all angles.

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Don’t Play With Matches!

As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. Proverbs 26:21 NIV

“I can’t find the thing,” I spat into the phone.

“Which thing?” my husband questioned me.

“The thing. The thing! The thing that tightens the car seat!” My patience thin, I shouted into the phone while my husband tried to explain how to install my daughter’s car seat.

I hunched in the back of the van, stepping on toys and castaway cereal, heat dripping down my face, trying for the life of me to find the magical tightening strap for baby Grace’s seat.

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Speak Without Words

This week I attended a woman’s Bible study at my church. It wasn’t my regular study group. I was surrounded by new faces. Each one took their turn sharing their prayer request and slowly they made their way to the young lady sitting beside me. She was an adorable mother of two, all smiles and sweetness. But, the moment she opened her mouth her voice cracked and her eyes misted over. “Could you please pray for my marriage?” She asked. “With our newest little one, I am finding no time for my husband. And quite frankly, I don’t want any time with him.

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