This weekend is all about us.
We will eat dinner at our favourite restaurant - the one where the waiters know us by name. We will have a massage - together in the same room. We will take long walks together. We will talk, really talk, about the big stuff. We will laugh. Lots. We may even have an early night. Or a late morning. Or both...
I am so excited.
No marriage is perfect, no matter how much you love each other. Each of you has strengths; each has weaknesses. A good marriage needs hard work to stay good, strong and healthy.
My Beloved and I work really hard at our marriage - do you?
Here are our ten tips for keeping our relationship strong:
- Keep God at the centre. Our love for God is the thing we cling to every day. He comes first. Spend time together with God. Read together, pray together, worship together. Get your priorities right - God first, partner second, kids third.
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Psalm 127:1 NIV
- Make important decisions together. Like how to raise your children. And once you decide then be consistent and maintain a united front in your parenting. Be honest with each other about your kids' strengths and weaknesses and talk about strategies. Often.
- Keep it exciting. Some couples have date nights once a week. That never worked for us. Instead we have special romantic weekends. Like this one. Hurrah!!!! If it is a surprise then all the better. My husband planned this weekend all alone. He and Jemimah have kept it a secret for weeks. You can imagine my joy when I learned of it last night! Oh my!
- Remember the small stuff - a bunch of flowers, a surprise love note in a lunch box, tickets to a movie. Make your partner feel special.
- Never ever ever put your spouse down. Not even as a joke. Actually, especially not as a joke. Act as if you love each other, and say it out loud. Yes, Even in front of your mates. It is never okay to humiliate your spouse.
- Don't be too proud to admit when you're wrong. Conflict happens even in the most perfect marriage. You will argue and you will say unkind things to each other. When you behave inappropriately apologise and ask for forgiveness. Say sorry and really mean it.
- Make time to talk to each other. And really listen to the reply. Know what is going on in your partner's life. Show empathy and understanding. Be patient.
- Don't get complacent and don't think it'll never happen to you.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. Matthew 15:19 NIVAnd if bad things happen - really bad things then don't give up - this is the time to work harder. (Hah! Easy for me to say, isn't it?) Anyone who has watched Fireproof will know that adultery can happen in your mind too... or on your computer.
- Never let the sun go down on your anger. (Ephesians 4:26)And don't discuss it in bed.
- Learn your spouse's love language - and use it. Often.
I'll be back on Monday to read your suggestions.
If you want me before that then I'm afraid I'm busy.
...Self satisfied smirk.