Thursday, April 17, 2014

Marriage with Passion or Routine - It's Your Choice

A passionate marriage will not just happen.  It requires hard work, but it is extremely fulfilling.

When we get married we are so “in love” that we don’t think we will ever drift apart.  However, as we’ve all probably discovered, marriage can become routine.  There are just so many daily things that HAVE to be done.

Your list will be different than mine, but it doesn’t matter what phase of life you are in, it becomes filled with activity.  After working, family life, our homes, and church there is little time left for romance.

Just as our homes will not maintain themselves, neither will our marriages.  We must be deliberate to keep the flame burning. 

Jerry and I learned the hard way it is necessary to do daily little things to keep our relationship fresh and vibrant.

We never used the “D” word in our house, but about 23 years ago we found ourselves facing divorce.    We were separated for 1 ½ years, and by all outward appearances, there was no hope.  However, God had other plans. 

We drifted apart so subtly we didn’t even realize what was happening until it was too late.    We were just busy – too busy to even notice the distance.   You may know the drill.   

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:11 (The Message) regarding the Israelites:  “These are all warning markers…written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes.” 

I have heard it said, you can learn either from mistakes or mentors.  Please be willing to learn from our mistakes so you can have an exciting marriage. 

Once God restored our lives, there was no way around it, our priorities had to be reordered.   Here are some things we learned:

1.              Get a babysitter at least weekly for a date night.  

2.              Study each other to know each other’s likes and dislikes.

3.              Use verbal appreciation.

4.              For me, I had to lighten up.  Life had become too serious.   Have you ever heard of a couple having fun together getting a divorce? 

5.              We had to make the things that were important to each other a priority.  For instance, if Jerry asked me to do something for him, I had to make the time to do it.   (Especially since he doesn’t ask much of me.) 

6.              Listen to each other talk – really listen.   That means time has to be carved out to make it happen.   It’s tempting to come home at night and veg in front of the television.  You can either watch someone else’s life or live your own. 

7.              We found a hobby we enjoyed doing together.    It creates friendship and enhances communication. 

8.              Make time for sex.  With a busy family, it may not just happen.    Planning just creates expectation and excitement. 

9.       Go away overnight or longer if possible with your spouse annually.   Talk about your favorite memories throughout the year and plan some fun things to look forward to.

10.        Spend time daily with God.    Although this is #10, it should be your #1 priority.  When we are conformed to the image of Christ, we will be better spouses for each other.  

This is not an exhaustive list.  There are many things I could add.  You may want to suggest some of your own in the comment section. 


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