Archives For June 2014

Romantic couple relaxing in hammockDating was so easy, but marriage seems so hard. At least that’s what appears to be the consensus. I continue to hear that marriage is hard work.

I’d have to disagree with that sentiment. What is actually being said is that apologizing is hard. Submitting to the ideas of another is hard. Missing a must-see football game is hard.

Oh!

So in reality if the other person is apologizing, submitting to my wishes, and giving up something for my benefit, then marriage is easy.

However, what appears to be making marriage hard is self-centeredness. Our next five letters attack that selfish mindset head-on.

I – Intimacy. Let’s break this word down as follows: Into-me-you-see. This is all about honesty as we talk about our feelings and heartfelt desires. Guys tend to struggle more with sharing their feelings than women, but healthy marriages are characterized by complete openness and honesty.

J- Joy. Recently I attended a play in Richmond with Carol. Typically, plays don’t make it on my radar–actually to be more accurate, plays neverĀ make it on my radar. So does that mean I was in a foul mood all night? Was there no joy because it wasn’t my choice of activities? Not at all. My joy came from being with her the entire evening.

K – Kindness. This alone may be the key to a great marriage. Kind marriages simply do not fall apart. Do something kind today for your spouse. I promise you that it will elevate your marriage. You simply cannot ignore this principle.

L – Love. The verb, not the feeling. This is all about intentional acts. I’ve heard couples say they don’t love each other any more. Amazing! I know they are talking about feelings. But feelings tend to follow action. So what they are really saying is I’ve quit doing intentional things that will lead to a more loving marriage.

M – Manners. So what actually happens when you don’t get your way? Do you pout? Does rudeness raise its ugly head? Do you retaliate in unseen and less obvious ways so you can score a win? That’s not a marriage. That’s a competition. God put a couple together to compliment one another, not to compete against each other.

These five principles tackle self-centeredness head on. These five are doable today. So do them today! That was easy!

Romantic couple relaxing in hammockLet’s continue looking at 26 principles to help your marriage go to another level. Of course, you will need to hang with me for all 26 letters of the alphabet since the letter Z represents a real game changer. Trust me on that one.

Today let’s look at a few more letters.

EEros. Perhaps you familiar with the word erotic. The words are similar. It’s a word for love with the focus in on the romantic, passionate side. Typically eros is high during the dating period and the early days of marriage. But then life kicks in, and eros begins to slide. It all happens so innocently. We quit saying nice things to and about each other, we allow our grooming habits slide, we make less eye contact, and we may even put on extra weight. All of these things have an affect on our eros.

FFun. Why do couples quit having fun together? When we were dating, fun was what it was all about. So schedule fun things, do fun things, and keep having fun together.

GGod. Marriage is more about Him than you. When God created Adam and Eve, He made them in His image. They were to mirror Him. Yet, way too often marriage becomes more about my needs and my wants.

HHumor. You really can laugh your way to a better marriage. You can’t afford to quit laughing. Laughter is good for the soul and extremely good for your marriage. In Victor Frankl’s classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he talks about surviving imprisonment during World War II. How did he survive? Humor. Never underestimate the power of humor. Bill Cosby said, If you can find humor in anything you can survive it.

Keep laughing, never forget God put you together, plan fun events, and keep the home fires burning!