TWELVE IDEAS ON MAKING MARRIAGE A LITTLE HAPPIER!
By Randy Nabors, (the imperfect husband)
1. Sometime in the relationship you have to choose to love the person they are, and accept the idea that they don’t have to be (maybe will never be, maybe should never be) the person you want them to become.
2. Sometime in the relationship you should finally want and try to be the person they hoped you would be. The speed in the pursuit of this desire should be in direct proportion to their concept of the ideal you which matches conformity to Christ.
3. Hopefully, soon in the relationship (and for the rest of your life,) you should begin to attack your own essential selfishness and carry your own part of the load, and some of theirs.
4. If, or when there comes a time in your relationship when everything has become routine and there is no spark or joy in your daily interaction, you should refuse to settle for the status-quo and take some practical steps to re-connect and re-ignite emotionally. Take action on this quickly, and reject the tendency toward emotional laziness.
5. Hopefully, sometime soon in your relationship (and for the rest of your life) you should care about the spiritual health of your spouse, and pray for them. Seek to listen to them with spiritual discernment and compassion. The primary verb here is to “listen” and not to correct, fix, preach, or criticize.
6. If you love them you will pray, work toward, and plan how to give them some spiritual support, without condemnation, manipulation, condescension, or ultimatums. Here, make a practical list right now:
7. If you love them you will think about the ratio of what encouragements, thank-you-s, and compliments you give compared to the amount of criticism or silence you share. Make sure the silence you share is the message you mean to give.
8. Being nice, polite, and kind is its own kind of romance.
9. Keep flirting (with your spouse) and be funny. Write your own memoir on “how not to be boring!”
10. Get over being resentful when your spouse tries to help you or compensates for your obvious weaknesses.
11. Count the number of “no’s” you keep giving to their ideas, plans, or desires and ask yourself if that is the signal you want to send about your love and care for them. Work on generously pleasing your spouse.
12. Every once in a while, just for the love of them, do something for them (and I emphasize here for them) that they aren’t expecting (especially when they aren’t expecting it) that you are pretty sure they will like. Birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas is obligatory so go beyond the norm. Don’t be “norm,” unless you are.