2015 | Week of March 9 – #1088
We do a lot of commentaries regarding the attacks on marriage—and we need to because the assaults on God’s plan for marriage and family are very real and quite honestly are ramping up. But from time to time, it’s good to just stop and think about what we can do or say that will encourage married couples to strengthen their marriage and by doing so strengthen their entire family unit.
So this week, this commentary is devoted to just positive advice from some of the Christian marriage experts, advice designed to encourage you, strengthen you, motivate you to enjoy and cherish the husband or wife God has given you. Nothing here is original with me.
This I know…marriage and family strengthening doesn’t happen by itself. It takes purposeful time, energy and discipline. But the rewards from strong, lasting marriages—marriages that make it a lifetime—and the families that so often are created from those marriages—are the best rewards this world has to offer. So, I challenge you, if you’re married, to take even one of these ideas and run with it. Try it. Work on it. If you’re single, share one of these ideas with a husband or wife you know that is right now having a tough time in their marriage, not in a judgmental way, but as a humble suggestion for something that just might help.
These ideas come from Ron Edmonson on The Christian Post. His article is entitled, “12 Ways To Make Marriage Fun Again.” I chose this particular posting because I like the idea of marriage being fun—not a drag, not a curse, not an endurance race, not a bore—but fun.
Edmonson suggests first that one’s marriage ought to be a priority—above work, above hobbies, and, yes, even above children. This needs to be a priority of practice, not just on paper or in words.
He goes on to say that married couples need to schedule time for fun—purposeful time as a couple. Plan some date nights—without the kids. And then he reminds couples to let worry go. Follow God’s command to not worry but to pray and to trust. Don’t let the struggles of life and marriage tear the marriage apart; rather let those trials draw you closer together. Related to that admonition, Edmonson says expect surprises—don’t be surprised by challenges to your marriage. Be ready for them and use them to strengthen your relationship.
While you’re preparing for some of the trials, however, don’t forget to celebrate the good things that are and have happened to you as a couple and as a family. Remember God’s blessings in your lives.
This next one may be a bit tough for some—enjoy each other’s interests. Edmonson says it’s good for the husband and wife to have their own interests, but they need to remember that marriage is a together thing. So do things together, even if it means you don’t especially enjoy the activity. Enjoy the time and the person you’re with!
While this tip certainly isn’t new, Edmonson reminds us to laugh at life—we know it’s good for the soul; it’s also really good for relationships.
One tip that especially caught my attention was the idea of serving together—serving others, your church, missionaries. One of our board members and his wife take a mission’s trip to Guatemala every year. He works with the men on building projects, while his wife cooks for the team. This service together not only helps missionaries with their work, it serves as a bonding time for the couple as they together serve the Lord by serving others.
But you don’t have to go to Guatemala to serve together. Find ways right where you live, where as a couple you can serve. Consider, for instance, becoming a mentor couple for other married couples in your church. Use what you have learned over the years to encourage and help others, especially younger couples who often just need some loving advice and a friend to weather the storms early in their marriage.
Marriage isn’t just an institution that we must defend; it’s a real-life personal relationship with a husband or wife. And that relationship needs continual tending. One of the best things that can happen to marriage in our country is for Christian married couples to be truly happily married.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”