Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thoughts on Marriage

A few years ago Ryan and I had been talking about what we had learned and observed since being married. We came up with a little list of things that really stood out to us--about relationship, commitment, and taking care of our marriage. We've lived them out better in some seasons then in others. In February we have our 9th anniversary and these are still marriage thoughts that are true for us.

Let your first ministry be to each other.

  • There are needs and people all around you. In getting married, you’ve committed yourself to placing your spouse as your top priority after Jesus. Make decisions based on this premise—your first ministry is to your spouse.
  • Consider the people you surround yourself with—be discerning about those that don’t support your priorities.
  • Be discerning about workplaces that don’t support your priorities.
  • Relationship doesn’t “just happen”—be intentional in how you love one another.

Write out your vows and put them in a public place to remind you of what you have pledged to one another.

  • Look at what you have vowed before God and your spouse. Your marriage vows are typically the one thing that you actually vow.

Choose a small group of individuals to give you counsel about your relationship.

  • The individuals should be TRUSTWORTHY—they know how to keep their mouths shut!
  • The individuals should show evidence of wisdom and insight
  • The individual should be a follower of Christ
  • God doesn’t call us into isolation—He calls us into community. But that community doesn’t have to be EVERYONE (and shouldn’t be everyone that just asks). No one is “entitled” to the intricacies and intimacies of your marriage.

Be wary of anyone that takes “sides” or tells you that you are right…

  • You don’t need anyone to “tickle your ears” with agreement that you are right and your spouse is wrong.
  • Marriage is a two way street—try to maintain a posture of openness and honesty rather than defensiveness when disagreement occurs. Believe it or not, you may not always agree with one another

Honor one another

  • Don’t criticize or put down your spouse in front of others.
  • Make a habit of complimenting and esteeming your spouse whether your spouse is present or not.

Be on the same page about how you save and spend money and then STICK TO IT!

Seek for ways to serve your spouse…

  • Make your spouse’s needs more important than your own.

Ask for what you need

  • Your spouse is not a mind reader
  • It is OK to ask for help…time…flowers…a compliment…a hug
  • Think about what the need is—and consider if there is some underlying reason for that need…are you needing validation, affirmation, affection, reconnection
  • It is unfair to your spouse to expect him or her to understand exactly what you need--you can help your spouse!

Set boundaries

  • How do you view boundaries? Do you believe Jesus had boundaries? Is having boundaries contrary to Scripture? Are you willing to keep boundaries you set?
  • What do you need your home to be?
  • Consider how you can be intentional about spending time together.
  • You don’t have to explain anything to anyone—and double check with each other what you want to have shared. You may have different ideas about information that you want shared. As you set boundaries that are new to those around you, expect to have them pushed. Do you really mean what you say? You will get to help people understand what your limits are—this process does take some time and repetition.

Eat, Laugh, and Love with gusto!

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