Marriage has to have a foundation. If it doesn’t, you will endlessly drift on the sea of culture, disappointment, and changes. I have boiled down my seven most important lessons that give Melanie and I stability now in our 40th year of marriage.
Photo Credit: Christi Childs
Check out how you are doing in these seven areas and see if one needs to be adjusted:
1. Never doubt God’s wisdom in putting you together
- Your spouse is the exact person you need. The qualities you are missing God has supplied in them. Through every difficulty we have faced, I have never doubted that God sovereignly put us together as a team.
2. Marriage is the school of character
- If I will let Him, God will work through my spouse to change me into a far better person. If I get defensive, I will never change and will go from one marriage to the next.
- Jesus said divorce is because of the “hardness of your heart.” A hard head is not far behind! You have to be flexible, pliable, and changeable
3. Sex is the “mirror” of your relationship
- Sex is the “last domino” in your relationship. You don’t “fix” your sex life; you “fix” your relationship and sex will take care of itself.
- If you are tired, sex will be tired. If you are frustrated, sex will be frustrating. If you are angry, sex will be non-existent.
- Men are motivated by the “eye” gate; women are motivated by the “ear” gate. Ladies, don’t go to bed looking like an astronaut! Men, you cannot expect to have great sex if you never speak to her (women like to speak 25,000 words a day!).
4. Three months of savings is the best financial plan
- When you have three months of salary in the bank, you always have the money for an emergency. Sell whatever you need to accumulate that amount of cash. It may take you a couple of years to do it.
- Don’t touch it unless both of you agree it is a dire emergency. Quickly replenish it before you spend any more money. You can choose to live off the top of the barrel or bottom of the barrel.
5. A wife wants a husband to be strong for her
- Your wife married you to have someone who could protect her, lead her, and help her in the areas she could not help herself: a “covering.”
- A couch potato recluse around the house who wears headphones all evening is not what she married. Your emotional stability, clear direction, and raw courage is what attracts her. That is why some of the ugliest men marry some of the most beautiful women!
6. Your husband wants to be respected
- In a survey, 70% of men said they would rather live alone than be disrespected!
- Ladies, you have plenty of opportunities to disrespect your husband (like when he forgets the garbage night or to pay a utility bill). The secret of all honor is to look past the person to the position they occupy.
7. You have to work to stay connected
- The honeymoon is not real life. The honeymoon is an automatic connection (conversation, walks, meals, laughter, and spontaneity). Real lifetime connection takes WORK.
- Work, kids, career, emotions, health issues, can all pull you apart. You can still be living together but disconnected. You can be living two separate lives: no communication, no intimacy, no sharing of deeper thought and truth.
- I highly recommend the book by Matthew Kelly Seven Levels of Intimacy. Day-to-day routines build a connected marriage: meals, coffee, walks, movies, etc.
See if these seven principles won’t bring your marriage back into “alignment.”
What is the one principle you needed the most?