29 Apr 2010

Keeping the spark alive

This weekend Jemimah is spending the weekend with her grandparents while her Daddy and I spend the weekend together.


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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 NIV
    And 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.
  9. Never let the sun go down on your anger. (Ephesians 4:26)And don't discuss it in bed.
  10. Learn your spouse's love language - and use it. Often.
So there you have them. Our ten. What can you add?

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.


  1. WONDERFUL post!! Great tips! I am currently reading The Five Love Languages (and Sacred Marriage). I'm a bit of a book hog. I am reading three right now. I will pick one to finish soon....I hope!

  2. Have a wonderful time, Jeanne! How excited you must have been to find out about your surprise getaway. All your tips are great, and I agree they do make for a strong marriage. :) May God richly bless your time together.

  3. Jeanne, have a wonderful weekend! I treasure those evenings/weekends with Himself, sans enfants. They are far too rare. And great marital relations tips, as well. I'll leave you one of my own, with thanks to Ogden Nash:

    To keep your marriage brimming,
    with love in the loving cup,
    Whenever you're wrong, admit it.
    Whenever you're right, shut up.

    It's worked wonders for us. ;-)

  4. I missed which part was the hard work - the massage or the sleeping in?

    Don't work too hard!

  5. What a wonderful, delightful blessing for you both! Thank you for making all your female readers just a tad jealous...lol! Look forward to hearing about your weekend next week!

  6. oh have a wonderful time. I would love to have a weekend away to ourselves. It will have to wait till I wean Joseph though.

  7. have a wonderful time Jeanne!
    I think your list is great and comprehensive not much to add really except one piece of advice I heard from an older pastor was that on their date nights they never talked about ministry stuff:) I'm sure we can apply the equivalent to our date nights though we are not pastors.

  8. yes, yes, yes. all good points. thank you for the reminders. :) marriage is SO worthwhile to work hard at! when it's good, it's real good, when it's bad, well... we've been there once or twice.

    One thing that reminds me to keep on working even when things get rough is this verse:
    "Put on then...
    compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, FORGIVING each other...
    AS the LORD has forgiven you
    so you also must forgive.
    And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony."

    SO you're talking about how to keep it good (LOVE that you get to spend this time together) and I'm talking about how to handle it when it's not. Because my mama says there'll be days like this, there'll be days like this my mama says. :)

    I have no idea why I wrote that.

    have a WONDERFUL time.

    amy in peru

  9. Grea tips. I was saying 'yes!' as I read each one.

    Unfortunately we lack in the gandma department helping out with the kids. They are both "too busy" and "have done my time with children." *sigh*

    Enjoy your weekend...sounds truly divine.xo

  10. The romantic weekend sounds wonderful - have a good time! The 10 tips sound good too - thanks for the reminder.


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