Marriage is a beautiful thing, don’t you think? God brings two souls together and they obviously become one. It’s beautiful, because overtime it tests our commitment, our loyalty, our faith, & patience. It teaches us to forgive the unforgivable and love beyond imperfections. And those things come from a relationship with God.
At the young age of 19, we said the words “I do” and the battle of love and war began. We were so young and so selfish. Looking back at how far we’ve come. We are in awe at how God has saved our marriage over and over again. He’s allowed us to hit rock bottom, it was from there we found Him. 16 years later we are still fighting for our marriage. It is surely Gods grace that has saved this wretched marriage! He has taught us how to forgive and how to continue to love in the hardest of times!
In honor of 16 years (today) of love and war, but mostly LOVE, we jotted down things we have learned. My sweet husband helped me put this list together and narrow it down to 16 top tips. We pray you will find it beneficial for your marriage.
1. Pray for Your Marriage: in today’s times, some people have given up too soon on the words they promised to commit to. We must keep our promise to love, to forgive, in good and in bad, otherwise we make these words cheap! God is very fond of marriage and He wants you to fight for yours. Prayer is one of the best ways you can fight for your marriage, because you invite in God’s power.
2. Always Forgive: we all come with a messed up past and unfortunately some, like me mess up big time while married. My husband has showed me true forgiveness and I value that with all my heart. When you’ve truly forgiven your spouse you wouldn’t bring up old things again. If you are, then things probably still need to be talked out further. God shows us His grace when we don’t deserve it also, we need to follow his perfect example.
3. Laugh Together: oh! this is my favorite. We love to be silly. We sing together, he does a beat box rhythm and I sing along. We’ve been doing this since we first met and we still do, lol! Find what you like and laugh about it together. It’s such a great feeling and it builds your friendship and your intimacy.
4. Know your spouses love language: it took me a long time to fully grasp this. Find out what your spouses love language is and express it to him/her. When you bring them what they are longing for, it is always a win/win for you both.
5. Remember your Kids come 2nd NOT first: this is how you protect your marriage. This is your gift to your children. When they see you love and respect each other they grow up and do the same. It’s also important because you can’t run a home when mom and dad are not on the same page. That is a recipe for disaster.
6. Do things Together: what are things that you think you both will enjoy doing together? Working out? Painting? Maybe work on a project? My husband and I love to bake and cook together. When we are in the kitchen we talk about our kids, our struggles, we reminisce on the younger us. This shared activity gives us the time to talk about everything and anything.
7. Have Children: for me a home isn’t a home unless you have a bunch of crazies just as crazy as you are to raise and adore and to love on. Our children have brought us together in the most challenging times of our marriage. They bring us so much joy and laughter.
8. Spice things Up: in my culture it’s very much awkward to talk about this category, ha! But this is one of the most crucial part of a marriage. So don’t be afraid to spice things up as often as you can. For women, you’re giving your husband the love and affection he so highly desires. Try your best to never refrain from him! The last thing we want is to make way for the devil to start causing discontentment! If you’re like many women who struggle in this area. Please talk things over with your husband and pray, pray, pray about it!
9. Keep Dating: continue to go on dates. If you can find time at least once a month to go out! Gooooooooo! It was so hard for me to do this. We now have older teenagers who are responsible enough to be in charge, especially if I already put any little ones to sleep. We will take even just an hour or two and go not far from home and visit a coffee shop or get a quick meal like Pho’ soup. Do what works for your family, but don’t neglect catching up alone.
10. TRY NOT to go to bed mad: it’s easy to say, “don’t go to bed mad” but in all seriousness I’ve gone to bed mad too many times then I could count!!! The matters of the heart are just so real! I always think if I go to bed mad tonight and never wake up, I’d be so sad to leave this last memory of us together. I’ve found that when I go to my room mad and pray alone God always changes my heart and humbles me and the same for my husband.
11. Family before Work. We agree that our priorities are that our work should never come before our family. We always stick to God First, Family second, and then Work.
12. Be Kind with your Words: Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. This was hard in our early years of marriage, trust me. Instead of standing on holy ground and watch my words, I stood my own ground! It brought nothing but disaster, arguments and fights. God has brought me a long way. If you’re so angry and know that you will be doing some serious damage with your words, which you most likely will regret later, practice walking away. When you’re ready to talk properly, nicely and kindly, then try again.
13. Go to church Together: going to church together is awesome family time. I’ve found that when I go alone I don’t feel complete. I love to have my husband right next to me enjoying time in the Lord with the Body of Christ! It helps us when we are learning the same bible lessons at the same time.
14. Thank each other for the little things: it shows your appreciation that even the little things matter to you. Showing appreciation is also giving words of affirmation to your spouse. You end up encouraging them to want to repeat this kind act again.
15. Women, remember to honor and respect your Husband: it wasn’t until I fully understood this that marriage began to make sense to me. Most times you will find that when you honor and submit to your husband as God called you to, amazing transformation starts happening in your husbands heart. (1Peter 3:1 Wives, respect and obey your husbands in the same way. Then the husbands who do not obey the word of God will want to know God. They will want to know God because their wives live good lives, even though they say nothing about God.) This is powerful, try it!
16. FIGHT ALWAYS FOR YOUR MARRIAGE: because it is worth fighting for. So, I pray that whoever reads this, no matter what you’re going through in your marriage, may you fight for your marriage on your knees … God will do the rest! It is through your marriage that you reflect “Gods Love Story” –and that is true love.