4 Important Ways To Make Your Marriage Last

Marriage requires work.  You’ve heard that before, right?  Well, on this day exactly 26 years ago my wife and I both vowed a lifetime of love and commitment to each other.  After 26 years I can tell you that it takes a lot more than work to keep a marriage alive.

It requires L.O.V.E.

Yeah, that might sound a bit cliche’ but hear me out.  The way I see it, both husband & wife must practice giving L.O.V.E. to one another in four unique ways. See if you agree.anniversary couple

LOYAL – As defined by Webster’s Dictionary:  faithful to one’s oath, commitments, or obligations. Simply put, we enter into marriage sharing a mutual commitment that this thing is forever.  We’re not keeping separate bank accounts or signing prenups as a back-up plan.  Allowing the thought, “In case it doesn’t work out” to resonate in our heads is like keeping a divorce attorney on the back burner. When my wife and I got married, we privately vowed that no matter how rough life might get we would never verbally or mentally consider the word ‘divorce.’  If we are not saying “I do” to forever, then why would we consider saying “I do” to today?

OPEN-HANDED – When our hands are kept open, things are able to enter and leave freely.  Keeping an open-handed approach in marriage helps to prevent non-essentials (relationships, possessions, hobbies, etc.) from shoving our spouse out of the way.  My wife and I are both 1st borns and Type-A personalities.  You know what that means?  Yup, we both love getting our own way.  So we really work at this one!

VERBAL – Here we go.  ‘Communication.’  Probably the most commonly referenced word in premarital counseling.  If you ask me, couples don’t divorce because of financial hardship, disagreements, falling out of love, or even affairs.  Those are all byproducts of poor communication.  Work hard to talk regularly about your worries, blessings, plans, needs, and even insecurities with your spouse.  Vulnerability and openness builds an unshakable foundation for your marriage.

ENTERTAINING – I don’t care if you’re introverted or extroverted.  Have fun together!  Try new things until you discover what you both enjoy.  And be flexible.  Give a little….for the sake of connectedness.  Recently, our dryer went out.  So, my wife and I have been grabbing coffee on the way to the laundromat and calling it a ‘date.’  That’s not for everyone, but it works for us.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 

What would YOU add to this list for keeping marriage healthy and vibrant?

 

Comments, prayer requests, and questions are welcome below.

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9 Insights To A Lasting Marriage

Leadership requires selflessness, mentoring, learning from others, patience, persistence, and the willingness to grow through your mistakes.  These also apply to making a marriage work.  And not to simply ‘work,’ but to THRIVE.

Today (August 31) marks 24 years with one AMAZING woman of God!  Both of us have had to lead ourselves and each other through some pretty challenging seasons.  But we have both learned that marriage is much more than a ‘relationship status’ on Facebook.  It’s a life-long investment in a journey together.

Here are 9 lessons on marriage I’ve come to realize over the years.

Leavenworth,_WA_-_Gustav's
Honeymoon | 1991 | Leavenworth, WA (Bavarian Village)

Marriage Insight #1 | Celebrate well, and remember often.

Turner Field | Our first MLB game
Turner Field | Our first MLB game

Marriage Insight #2 | Experience new things together.

Annual Family Vacation | Lincoln City, OR
Annual Family Vacation | Lincoln City, OR

Marriage Insight #3 | Cherish your family traditions while you have them.

Gloria Jean's Coffee | A Favorite From Our Dating Years
Gloria Jean’s Coffee | A Favorite From Our Dating Years

Marriage Insight #4 | Don’t forget to travel down memory lane now and then.

Every Time We Visit Nashville, TN
Every Time We Visit Nashville, TN

Marriage Insight #5 | Travel and explore together often.

The 'Chick-fil-a' of Hamburgers | Lake Forest, CA
The ‘Chick-fil-a’ of Hamburgers | Lake Forest, CA

Marriage Insight #6 | Experience good food together.

Multnomah Falls | Columbia River Gorge, OR
Multnomah Falls | Columbia River Gorge, OR

Marriage Insight #7 | Family memories are priceless.  Protect them.

Marriage Retreat | WinShape in Rome, GA
Marriage Retreat | WinShape in Rome, GA

Marriage Insight #8 | Invest in your relationship.  Otherwise it will run dry.

Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach, SC

Marriage Insight #9 | Don’t be afraid of displaying your love for each other publicly.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  1 Cor. 13:7

To Cailey, the most incredible and beautiful woman I have ever known….Thank You!  Thank you for loving me, especially at times when I’ve been unlovable.  Thank you for patiently waiting for me to learn what it looks like to be the Spiritual leader of our home.  I still have much to learn here.  Thank you for being a loving, guiding, teaching, and nurturing mother to our children.  And lastly, thank you for constantly challenging me to become a better husband, father, and church leader.

Happy Anniversary…I Love You!