Michael and I have been married 35 years. Neither has ever committed adultery. We have had a lot of years of difficult times and a lot of wonderful times. We have learned a lot about how to have a successful marriage. Here are some very basic tips that we have used over the years to keep our marriage strong, passionate and honoring.
1. Adultery is not an option. Say that out loud all day long.
2. Print out your wedding vows. Hang them on your bedroom wall. Read them out loud daily. Memorize them. When frustrated with your spouse or tempted to sin against them speak your vows out loud. Then choose to stand on them. Remember, you made these vows to God. One day you will give account to God as to how you kept your vows.
3. Find a friend or good counselor you can go to on as needed basis. Even great marriages need a sounding board to sort things out.
4. Always be a safe place for your spouse. That means they can tell you ANYTHING without you being offended. If you can always be honest with each other you will share your fears, temptations, hopes, dreams and desires. You will never have to hide the truth.
5. Begin each day with a short devotional and a word of Prayer with your spouse.
6. Always say this “Let all that I do be done in Love.” Then stick to that word.
7. Never crush the other person. Just because you have the power to do it doesn’t make it right. Speak truth to each other with grace & kindness. Even when you are really, really mad.
8. Periodically ask yourselves, on a scale of 0-10, how good is our marriage? If it’s below an 8 then find out why, what it will take to change it and then do it. Don’t settle for bad or mediocre. You were created for more than that.
9. Good marriages don’t just happen they are made each day, each hour, each minute. Be intentional. Purpose to have an amazing marriage.
10. Each day find a way to tell your spouse how much you appreciate what they do for you. Be specific. Honor them and they will honor you.
11. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Regardless of how much or little money you have you can always find creative ways to do things different, new and romantic.
12. Never spend alone time with members of the opposite sex. Even in church. Satan is always waiting to LURE YOU into adultery. Not an option.
13. In public places (especially at the gym) keep your eyes down or straight forward when around members of the opposite sex. Even in church use wisdom. You don’t have to be friendly. I’d rather have a great marriage than a big social life and possible opportunity for sin.
14. When you are tempted by another person realize that “Your back door is open.” Lovingly tell your spouse how and why your needs are not getting met and that the other person is starting to meet them. Be honest until it hurts.
15. Once a year read the book Cherish together.
16. Post several romantic sayings in a kitchen cabinet and at least once a week read them out loud to your spouse while holding their hand.
17. Pray daily “Lord I can’t love ______________(spouses name) You love him/her through me.”
18. Once a week read the following quote from _______________________________ (let me know if you know where this is from).
To Love Honor and Cherish
There are places in the heart where you don’t wear muddy shoes. You enter carefully. You walk quietly. You speak softly. These are the treasure rooms…The places where you keep all that you hold valuable and precious.
Only cherished things belong in such places of the heart. And that is where a man ought to keep his wife and life companion, right there in that high and holy place just below (but never higher than) the place reserved for God. And that wife must hold her husband dearer than houses or wealth or career of even children.
We honor that which we cherish.
We protect that which we cherish.
We guard and prize and treasure that which we cherish.
Marriage says “I cherish you, my love, most of all.”