I’ve been married to two women in my life. My first wife passed away in 2005 and Jenny and I married in 2007. I’ve been married for a collective 35 years. In those years, I’ve learned more lessons than I could ever convey in a BLOG post.
But here are three lessons that every relationship, especially a married couple can learn from (hopefully sooner than I did). If these don’t fit for you, awesome! If they do, pass them along for others to learn from.
- Learn to Listen! Why is this so hard? It’s hard because very few of us have a natural inclination to really, truly listen. Most every argument or misunderstanding or attempted murder has its roots in my inability to listen. Yes, I do mean, actually put your phone down, mute the television, look directly at your partner and listen. There must be a reason the Divine gave us one yapper and two ears. But don’t stop at audibly hearing. Learn to listen and hear what they are saying in between the actual words. Most folks use the term intimacy as another term for sex, but true intimacy is even deeper. It is the ability to hear, interpret and lean into a shared live of conversation, celebration, and crisis. It is the language of the heart as it studies to understand more than to be heard. Learn to listen and your marriage will exponentially grow more loving.
- Seek to Serve! When we determine that our desires and actions are focused on helping our lover become the very best them that they can be, we become the best us that we can be! When the Scriptures speak to the Spiritual Leader of the Home, He is saying that we are to serve our spouse and family. When the Scriptures speak to submission, we earn submission through service, love, admiration, value and partnership. If you want to have a quantum leap in your marriage, start serving your spouse with big things, little things, and all things. Nothing screams “I LOVE YOU” like serving the one you love. That’s why Jesus uses Himself as the picture of the Groom and His church as a picture of the Bride. He selflessly served and gave and served some more, to the point of ultimate sacrifice. If you really want a short litmus test of the health of your marriage; Ask yourself what you are doing to serve your sweetheart.
- Stay on the Prowl! Every human on the planet wants and needs to be pursued. Nothing feels quite like knowing you are being pursued by the love of your life. Once again, Jesus is the model. We weren’t seeking for Him, He has been seeking us. He chose us! If you want a healthier marriage, a better sex life, a happier home, and an intimate mate, stay on the prowl to let them know you are still crazy about them. I often hear couples in my office say things like, “we just grew apart.” Or, “somewhere we lost our passion.” Or my favorite, “I love them, but I’m no longer in love with them.” The very best days in my 10-year marriage with Jenny have cost us the least amount of money but were filled with laughter, love, fun, and intimate talk that only we could possibly understand. It’s more than date nights. It’s searching for fun that you both can enjoy. It’s fighting against the urge to come home, eat, watch television, go to bed and start all over tomorrow with the same itinerary. Stay in hot pursuit of the one you love and the chase will work both ways!
I know that these aren’t exactly earth shattering, but when you define them uniquely for you and your love, they can become really powerful. I hear that marriage is hard. I think blending families and raising children is hard. But marriage isn’t really that hard when we SEEK TO LISTEN, SEEK TO SERVE AND SEEK THE PASSION OF THE PROWL!
May Your Love be Lovely Today!