5 Minute Marriage Secret

8
Aug
2013

If I told you there was a nearly sure-fire way to create a fabulous marriage, would you believe me?

What if I told you it would take only 5 minutes a day and you could do it anywhere?

How about if I shared that the secret was life giving and would bless you immensely?

And now, how about it I told you it wouldn’t cost you a dime?

Would you want to hear what secret I had? It really isn’t a secret at all, but unfortunately most Christian couples aren’t engaging in and experiencing the benefit of this practice.

The secret – praying together in marriage.

Why

Praying together in marriage is one of the main ways to create a strong and secure marriage, with both each other and God in the center.  This is reflective of the nature of sharing our intimate thoughts with each other in prayer as well as verbalizing them to God.  It is like a lifeline that links all three together.

  • Praying together brings couples into agreement as you thank Him for your blessings as well as petition for things you desire or seek as a couple.
  • Praying together is vital to a lasting marriage. Being vulnerable in front of both God and your spouse creates a level of intimacy not reached in any other way.
  • Keeping God at the center of your marriage sustains the covenant between you.

Benefits

The list of benefits is probably endless. I would even go out on the edge and say there could not be a downside to praying together as a couple for your marriage – there are only positive benefits.

  • Deeper communication is one of the real benefits of sharing prayer together with your spouse.  By allowing the deeper feelings to come to the surface, you are revealing parts of you that will create a strong bond.  This is what leads to greater intimacy and a stronger marriage.  Good communication is critical to a successful marriage.
  • We also humble ourselves both before the Lord and in front of our spouse.  This is hard, especially when you first start praying together, but it allows us to be honest and open in a way that allows growth in our marriage.  It also provides an atmosphere for mutual respect to blossom.
  • When you can bring problems or concerns before the Lord together in prayer, you are allowing God to work in both of you, developing a deeper trust and providing accountability to each other.
  • Lifting your marriage in prayer on a continual basis will keep it in the forefront of your mind and reaffirm your desire to make your spouse your second priority.
  • Praying for your spouse and petitioning God for his needs helps keep you from being self-centered and only requesting for yourself.

Real Life

Now, let me just say I am not the one who has it all together and prays everyday in my marriage.  In fact, I am truly blessed because my husband takes responsibility as the leader of our home and initiates praying together. I rarely do, which is disappointing to me.

We go through different seasons and different needs – sometimes we pray once a day, sometimes once a week, often times on the phone or even via email.  You see, there are no real “rules” for praying together – you just need to find what works for you as a couple.

My husband travels out of town 3 ½ days per week, so praying via text, email, and on the phone is a must for us in order to make it happen.  We could just throw in the towel since we are not living a “traditional” marriage with a regular 9-5 job with my husband home each night, but instead we got creative.  I’ve often tucked notes into his suitcase with prayers for him, letting him know I will be praying for him.

When he is in town, we often pray for a few minutes before the kids get up in the morning.  Simple, not thought out – yet powerful together.

How can you fit prayer into your marriage?

What is holding you back?

Where is one place you can make a change today to make it different?

7 Steps to a Better Marriage

14
Feb
2013

7 Steps to a Better Marriage

Marriage is hard work and at times you hit bumps in the road or find that you’ve lost the spark of years past. Never fear – even the happiest and most romantic of couples hit rough patches now and then. What makes relationships survive long-term is how couples overcome the hurdles and work together to improve their relationship.

In honor of Valentine’s Day and it’s important part of celebrating the love in your life, I wanted to share some relationship secrets and tips that can help build your relationship all year long. It can be easy to get caught up in the daily mundane routines and forget to care for your marriage, so consider small changes and choices that you can make starting today! If you love these, you might want to read this post I shared a few months ago today.

Let the Small Stuff Go

If your spouse is messy, squeezes the toothpaste in the middle, or some other minor annoying habit, just let it go. Consider how fortunate you are to have your honey by your side and what a small price it is to pay to be with the person you love. You can also be sure that you have a few annoying habits that drive them crazy too!

Be There

We live in such a busy age with tons of distractions. Cell phones, computers, kids, neighbors, and work seem to soak up most of our time. One of the most important gifts you can give to your spouse is your time. Respond positively when your husband reaches out to you, even if you aren’t feeling your best. People in happy, healthy relationships stay focused on the here and now as much as possible, instead of dwelling on things of the past or worrying about the future.

Show More Affection

As couples become comfortable with one another, they tend to be less affectionate. Every day, make an effort to show your partner affection. A simple touch, holding hands, or an affectionate look can mean so much. A hidden love note in an unexpected place, a casual photo of you two tucked into a purse or wallet, a surprise flower, gift, or dinner are great ways to show affection. Last week my husband surprised me with notes hidden all through the house. They made me feel special and let me know he cared, even when he wasn’t there with me.

Communicate

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the events of your day, sharing random thoughts, dreams, and wishes, or even being a sounding board for your husband, communication is vital to a happy and successful relationship. Not every talk has to be on a serious topic, but regular communication is a must.

If you feel your communication skills are lacking, consider reading How We Love by Milan & Kay Yerkovich. My small group is studying this book together and I can tell you, it has changed how I view my marriage and how MY actions can change it. Remember, it isn’t so much about your spouse, you can’t change them. But you can certainly change yourself, so learn more about how your patterns of behavior were formed and what you can do to meet the needs in your relationship.

Work on Developing a Deeper Friendship

If you talk to couples who are in long-term relationships, they’ll tell you that not only are they partners, they are also friends. Spend time doing things you both enjoy while working towards deepening your friendship and you can’t go wrong. Men connect by “doing” activities – so why not find an activity to share with your husband? Hiking, golf, tennis, working out – the ideas are endless. Even if it is not your first choice, just do it!

Compliment One Another

It takes no effort to tell someone how beautiful, smart, or talented you think they are. Compliments don’t have to be mushy; they just need to be truthful. Be free with your compliments and you’ll both be glad you did. I bet if you gave compliments more freely to your husband, they may in fact come back to you more frequently too.

Agree to Disagree

Accept that relationships are not perfect and sometimes you will disagree. During these times, have an open mind and hear your husband out even if you disagree on the subject. By listening without interruption, you are showing them that you care. I’ve learned (the second time around) that disagreeing is just part of being a couple. You cannot possibly agree on everything and allowing it to rest sometimes is the best for everyone.

A marriage is like a two-way street where both spouses have to share in making it grow and become deep-rooted. Even the smallest gestures can make a big difference when you approach them with an open mind and a loving heart.

How can you express your love to your husband – even after Valentine’s Day?

Being the Wife Your Husband Needs

29
Nov
2012

Being the Wife Your Husband Needs

Today is my husband’s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! He makes my life so much better and has shown me how to be a better mother, wife, and person. I am truly grateful. He is funny, smart, and handsome all in one package!

I received a note from a mom yesterday asking for more resources and support on helping her keep her marriage fresh as well as helping her keep the eye on the ball with making it a priority and not allowing it to take a back seat to the busy life they lead. I can relate to that one. You all shared some wonderful resources on the Facebook page, and I so appreciate that. I am sure she did too.

In honor of my hubby, I thought I would take this topic and share a bit more on ways I’ve found to help keep my marriage in a place where I can feel confident it is not being neglected and I am being the wife my husband needs. We talk a lot around here about being the mom your kids need, but your husband needs a loving and supportive wife to be the man God wants to lead your family. How can you help?

Take a Supporting Role

I often get into a pattern where I feel things should be all about me. Yep, it is true. Activities we do as a family should fit my style, my interest, and my “fun” meter. But you know what I’ve learned? Things go much better when I don’t have to be the center. This one is hard for me. I can begin justifying my needs above others in very concrete terms, but the bottomline is I need to allow my husband to call the shots a good part of the time and go along with HIS plans too.

What things interest your husband? Do you actively share in some of those interests? Do you support those interests?

My husband “was” a duck hunter before we got married. Once we started dating and then married, he had fallen out of this hobby (is it called a hobby?). But in the past few months he has found a friend who hunts and they’ve begun going duck hunting together. This is certainly not my cup of tea and I can get very territorial over my husband’s time when he is home, as he travels typically 3-4 days per week. I mean when he is home, I need him around. I’ve just survived 3-4 days on my own as a single mom, so I deserve a break, RIGHT?

But when I sacrifice my time with him, so he may go and enjoy a day hunting, I am blessing him. Now, I can say I use to do this and then give the guilt treatment maybe for the whole next day. Playing the martyr. But ladies, that is so backwards and I was not truly blessing him or anyone else! I actually was making things worse.

So what can you do to bless him with time to do an activity he enjoys or perhaps take a big interest in something that he enjoys doing?

Pamper Him

Our husbands still have a need to be loved in tangible ways. With everyone else in the family demanding my time, I can get so busy I forget to take the time to love on him extra. This does not mean more kisses and hugs, although my hubby does like that stuff, but what about cooking his favorite dinner or making his favorite dessert to surprise him when he arrives home?

You know my husband travels, so when he arrives home after being gone for three days I really want his arrival to be special. It is a great time for everyone in our house, welcoming him back home. My hubby loves pie – I mean really loves pie – me, not so much! But I can bake other things very easily. When he walks in the door and smells brownies baking or an apple crisp in the oven, it is telling him through his nose, “I love you and I missed you and couldn’t wait for you to come home.”

What other ideas do you have to pamper your husband? Bring him his first cup of coffee in bed? Or a cup of tea after dinner while you sit on the sofa for 5 minutes? You know your husband best. What do you think would pamper him and make him feel special?

Find Connection

One of the best things we’ve done in our marriage is to study a book together at the same time. We’ve done: ScreamFree Parenting, Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately NeedsThe Five Love Languages, and are now currently doing, How We Love.

Making intentional time to learn more about who we each are and how we work and fit together has made our married life much more enjoyable. I would venture to say a bit easier too because our hearts are closer and we’ve learned so much about the other person that compassion is more evident in our daily life with each other.

We decide on a book and then break it down into sections to read, set times up that we both will sit and discuss what we’ve read, and the most important part – put those set times to discuss on the calendar! We sometimes use it as date time, but other times we sit and chat during nap time or after the kids are in bed. I will say this current book that we are discussing, How We Love, is amazing. My Bible study group chose this book for study this year and most of us have gotten our husbands involved in some level and we are all seeing growth and understanding in areas we would never have had otherwise.

Respect

This is a biggie. I learned a lot when I read Love and Respect and understood how men need to be respected to feel love and how this respect affects everything within a marriage. There are many parts to respecting your husband, but a few that have done wonders for me are:

  • Prayer – Praying for my husband daily and allowing God to answer those requests. When I share with my husband that I prayed for _____ today for him he is touched. Especially when he is traveling, I need to take the time to pray for his protection and wisdom.
  • Appreciation – Tell your husband what you appreciate about him, even the little things. Why not share with others what you so appreciate about your husband too? Everyone loves hearing some good things instead of the bad!
  • Don’t Criticize – This is a biggie. It goes along with the above appreciation. The opposite of appreciation is to criticize. Even worse is when we criticize our husband in front of our children or question his decision making in a way that shows disagreement. Save these for private discussions between the two of you.

Another area that we can easily get caught up in is complaining with our girlfriends about our husband. This produces nothing but more hard and harsh feelings and can taint the relationship that others may have with your husband, which is a negative. Be aware of how you speak of your husband both inside and outside your home.

Now, I will be off to pamper, respect, connect, and support him on the day that I get to call his for the year! I just saw this post yesterday too as I was finishing up this article. It was great!

How do you prioritize your marriage?

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Romancing the Home

21
Mar
2011


This is a post from Guest Columnist Lori Byerly of The Generous Wife

I am romanced challenged.

My husband was born a romantic.  Our relationship has been … interesting.

Our first year of marriage, he couldn’t understand why flowers and gifts weren’t winning my heart.  I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t pick up his socks.

Years later, I am still unraveling the mystery of romance, but along the way I have learned a few things and, in an effort not to pass on my romance disability, I began to “teach romance” to our kids (yes, it can be taught). [Read more…]

Catch Me at Simple Marriage Today

8
Dec
2010

I am guest posting over at Simple Marriage today, ” The Mortar of the Family” a personal view of how I feel mother’s are key in the growth and sustainability of the family.  I hope you will join me and leave a comment on your thoughts.

If you are looking for some wonderful gift ideas to strengthen your marriage I would take a look at Corey’s wonderful products – especially his latest release, “Buck Naked Marriage” – Stripping away the unnecessary in order to focus on the bare essentials.

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