Monthly Archives: January 2010

How To Make A Marriage Work – Part 5

This week I am blogging about five ways you can make a marriage work. Today is part-five of this five-part post. You can read Part 1Part 2: Part 3 & Part 4 here.

So here’s part five:

5. Live Life Together

This one may sound a little weird, but one thing I have noticed more and more is that so many married couples start to treat each other like room mates not mate mates! You’ve seen them. The wife goes shopping (trying not to be stereotypical but I’m failing!) with her mother, then goes to Starbucks with her girlfriends while the husband plays softball for the third time that week. He goes home and gets on his X-Box and stays there for the rest of the night chatting with other husbands online while playing Call of Duty. The wife comes home and goes straight into the bathroom to get ready for the girls movie night. All this and it is only a Tuesday!

Maybe a little extreme, but the point is that many married couples find themselves in trouble because they don’t live life together. They have different friends, different hobbies and in all honesty, different lives. If you want to have a long happy marriage you have to be intentional about spending and making more time for your spouse than any other interest in your life.

This doesn’t mean you should withdraw from your friends, but it does mean you should do things together and if your friends only want you without your spouse, then they really shouldn’t be your friends!

When it comes to hobbies, don’t let go of what you enjoy, but involve your spouse in it. If they can not stand your hobby, then find a hobby you both like and make sure you spend plenty of time doing that (still trying to get Raquel into those cute ladies golf outfits, just not working at the moment!).

The old saying goes, the couple that prays together stays together. I’ll take it a step further, the couple that plays together will also stay together.

So ask yourself this weekend. Am I spending more time with other people and activities than I am with my spouse? If so you may need to make a few schedule changes!

So a quick review of my five ways to make your marriage work:

  1. Believe in your spouse more than your spouse believes in themselves
  2. Put God first
  3. Put your spouse second, yourself third or later
  4. Engage in meaningful conversation
  5. Live life together

How To Make A Marriage Work – Part 4

This week I am blogging about five ways you can make a marriage work. Today is part-four of this five-part post. You can read Part 1Part 2 & Part 3 here.

So here’s part-four:

4. Actually Have A Conversation With Each Other

Before I got married I use to look at those couples in a restaurant who never said a word to each other and think how sad! I vowed I’d never do that! If I’m eating dinner with the women of my dreams, aka my wife, I would never just eat and not say anything!

Well, I must admit it was a vow I broke. We have been that couple on several occasions. It wasn’t that we didn’t have anything to say, it was just that the conversation sometimes got boring! Now before you think I have just offended my wife, let me explain. We dated long distance for 15 months. I was in England, Raquel in Missouri. We talked everyday for over an hour. We talked about everything, from likes and dislikes, to dreams and passions, to friends and family, we even answered questions a few times out of a book about relationships. When we got married we lived, worked and breathed together. Most of our conversation became about work (it was our life!). One day I realized when I got bored talking about work, I had nothing else to talk about. The days of long romantic conversations had turned into talking about work and church ministry.

The last nine months have been fantastic for our conversation life. We no longer work at the same place (we makes me sad some days), so long talks about work are off the agenda. We have now rediscovered real conversations once again and my love for my wife has grown beyond control in the process!

As I look around at many married couples, they have lost the art of conversation. They now talk about their kids, or their family or their finances, but they rarely delve into one of those meaningful conversations that stimulates their mind and their marriage. This past summer we spent most nights sitting on our deck with the TV off, the birds singing and the mosquitos biting. The conversation would flow and we felt we could sit there for hours.

So those times at dinner where we have nothing to say to each other I pray are a thing of the past. God created to converse. Converse with him and to converse with others. For a marriage to work you must stimulate meaningful conversations, not arguments, not brief exchanges about the kids, but real deep conversations. Trust me it will revolutionize your marriage.

So what you going to talk about over dinner tonight?

How To Make A Marriage Work – Part 3

This week I am blogging about five ways you can make a marriage work. Today is part three of this five-part post. You can read Part 1 & Part 2 here.

So here’s part three:

3. Your Spouse Has To Be Second In Your Life

Following on from yesterday’s post, we discovered that for a marriage to be healthy and successful, God has to be first in their lives and in their marriage. After God comes your spouse! Not you, not your kids, not your career, not your dreams and aspirations, not your parents, not your friends, not football, not shopping, not your bank account, not anything. If your spouse is not second priority in your life your going to encounter a whole lot of problems.

Just think of the arguments married couples have. They all center around someone not thinking of their spouse first. Pastors are the worst at this in all honesty. They put church work ahead of their spouse so often that their marriage deteriorates so much that the ministry is all they have left in common!

In all the conversations I have had with people who have had marriage difficulties and even gone through divorce this has to be the most obvious reason there were any problems in the first place. Selfishness is a cruel and destructive thing. A marriage where one or two sides are selfish is a marriage that will never experience its potential.

Let’s be honest. We are all a little selfish.  I’m selfish and your selfish. We often look out for number one. We think the world is against us and sometimes that includes our spouse. If you want your marriage to work this is something you have to address. When you wake up in the morning do you think about yourself or how you can serve your spouse? When you get home from a long hard day at work do you think about yourself or your spouse? When your favorite TV show is on, or your sports team are playing, are you asking yourself is this something that is putting my spouse as a priority in my life?

Pretty hard-core I know, but marriage is hard-core and one little ounce of selfishness can bring down even the best of marriages.

Romans 12:10, says to let love continue, and in honor prefer one another above yourself. So often we can do this with other people, but when it comes to our spouse our true nature comes out. The harsh reality of our selfishness surfaces because we are not putting on a front.

So today, whatever you are doing, take a moment to do something for your spouse that would take a little bit of sacrifice on your behalf. Show your spouse that they are your top priority in life, behind God of course!