7 things I’ve Learned about a Healthy Marriage
7 things I’ve learned about a healthy marriage in 17 years:
- Communication can’t be more highly prioritized. TALK. ABOUT. IT. Talk about your concerns, your finances, your needs, your schedules, your disagreements, your hurts, your frustrations. Stuffing and ignoring help ZERO percent of the time. ZERO. It might feel like a decent band-aid but that wound is going to get infected in the long run if it’s not properly cared for.
- Marriage comes before Kids. It’s easy to let kids rule our minutes, and obviously, we should care and nurture our children! But…a healthy family is only as healthy as the marriage. Your children cannot thrive if your marriage is suffering. Prioritize marriage over kids, and your kid WILL benefit.
- Compliment each other. ALWAYS. I’m spoiled, no doubt, but I can’t tell you how often my husband says he’s proud of me, he loves me, he compliments me on how I look, or tells me I’m beautiful. Simply put: I have NEVER doubted that I’m loved. I’ve heard these compliments multiple times/day for the past 17 years. I’ll admit – he’s much better at it than I am. I get caught in the grind, but I’m working at trying to do a better job of letting him know that I SEE him and I greatly appreciate him.
- Let a few things go, for goodness sake. 😉 This is by FAR more my lesson than his – I tend to be the pickier one (I know…you’re shocked) in our relationship, but finally a few years ago I decided rather than continue to complain about the dirty clothes right next to the hamper, I’d just wash the clothes instead. Here’s the deal – it’s really not worth building up bitterness over some clothes on the floor. Deciding that I’d use the opportunity to serve him has been much more beneficial to my heart and our marriage than continuing to nag over this item.
- Sex is a gift. I could say lots about this…I could say nothing. I’ll leave it at this: I’ve talked with enough women to know that this is a hard subject, especially among the women I reach – tired mamas. I’ve been there. I get it 100%. It will look different in different seasons. Sex isn’t just a man’s need. It’s God’s gift to the marriage, and if you’d love a fresh perspective, I highly recommend the @heaveninyourhome podcast! She has so much wisdom to share!
- Speak truth over one another. The most tender, beloved, intimate times with my husband have included taking the opportunity to pray for one another and speak truth over one another when the other is believing lies or struggling. Oh how Satan hates it and God just blesses it abundantly.
- God first. Always. God first in our marriage – yes. But God first before each other, even more so. Your spouse cannot fulfill your heart. He or she WILL fail you. Oh, how we’ve failed each other. How we’ve hurt each other. Our Father simply never will, and by first pursuing Christ, we simply can’t go wrong. The marriage can only thrive when we both are individually and together pursuing a relationship with our Savior.
Friends – if I can leave you with one thing today: Satan will do anything he can to destroy marriage. He absolutely hates it, because a strong marriage is so much more effective for the Kingdom. Running together – we are stronger. Tear each other apart – and our witness, attention, and effectiveness are weakened. Don’t let Satan have a foothold. Repent of sin. Run to the Father. Don’t let go of each other’s hands. And don’t give up.