Millions of marriages are smoldering. The passion is gone. The fire is almost out. The excitement and astonishment left years ago. Marriages go through stages as Jesus said: “hot, cold, and lukewarm.” I’ve been married for 40 years and I’m sure I have been through all three of them! If your marriage needs some “hot sauce,” I can help you with that.
Ask yourself these 10 questions:
1) ARE THE KIDS TAKING OVER?
- Without discipline and order, home feels like a daycare center! We had six children, and you must institute “boundaries and consequences.” Read about it HERE.
- Preserve a night together every week. Hire a baby sitter and go somewhere to make “goo-goo” eyes at each other.
2) IS MONEY ALWAYS AN ISSUE?
- If roughly half of divorces are about money, you had better get a handle on it! Learn about the stress of debt, comfort of savings, and wisdom of investment.
- I highly recommend “Financial Peace University.” Check it out HERE.
3) DO YOU LIVE SEPARATE LIVES?
- Study what each of you do with your spare time. If you are not careful, “interests, hobbies, and careers” can make the gap wider and wider. Make an effort to become familiar with whatever they are interested in.
4) DO YOU REGRET MARRYING THEM?
- Who hasn’t thought about this? No wonder so many people have looked up their high school sweetheart on Facebook!
- Don’t let idealism creep in. Trust your first judgment and attraction. Go back to what brought you those feelings and stay there.
5) DO YOU FEEL LONELY?
- The explosion of technology is challenging our intimacy. Many couples sit at a restaurant, both engaged in social media.
- Talk. Discuss. Laugh. Share fears, dreams, wounds. FOCUS when your spouse is speaking, savoring the words in your mind.
6) IS YOUR SPOUSE UNATTRACTIVE?
- DRESS: If you dress sloppy, still wearing things you wore ten years ago, make a trip to J. Crew! “Buy what they put on the mannequins.”
- HYGIENE: Don’t get defensive but ask your spouse if your hygiene needs help.
- WEIGHT: Look at an average weight for your height and start a plan of diet, exercise, and self-control to get there. Do that HERE.
7) DO YOU SHOW YOUR AFFECTION?
- Do what you did before you got married: “Touches, hugs, and kisses.” Don’t expect the sexual to work without the sensual.
8) DO YOU SHARE A DIVERSION?
- Find a common diversion: “Movies, exercise, camping, cooking, etc.” Find a movie genre you both love and walk a mile a day together. It will add years to your marriage and your life.
9) DO YOU SHARE A PASSION FOR OTHERS?
- Don’t stay held up at home, totally self-focused. Get out in the community together, helping other couples, helping the elderly, working in a political campaign.
- Teamwork makes the dream work.
10) DO YOU SHARE YOUR FAITH?
- Melanie and I have read our Bibles and other devotional books almost every day for years. We share our thoughts and pray before meals and before bedtime every day. Stay connected “vertically” and you will stay connected “horizontally.”
Work at these 10 areas. The longer you are married, the more you must work at it and the greater the fulfillment!
Want more marriage tips? Here are my top 7 principles of marriage. Still looking for the right one? Here are 5 ways to marry the right person for life!