7 Tips For A Beautiful Marriage
Growing up without a father, I knew the sheer sorrow of living amidst an unhappy and broken marriage. So I took this area of my brokenness into prayer and contemplated on what does keep a marriage together.
With the help of my married and single friends, I bring you 7 points that will help protect a marriage or get us thinking about what a marriage really entails:
- Reflect on how your father treated you growing up. Did your dad value you and treat you like a princess? Was your father your hero and did you wait for him to come home every night? Or like me, were you afraid you couldn’t measure up to your dad’s expectations? Did you dread spending time alone with him? Your first encounter with manhood is your father. So if that is a positive or negative part of your life, your opinion of marriage and masculinity will be affected. Your father either proves that happily ever after can exist or that it is just a fairy tale fantasy. Search your heart. Seek what is truly there, all your fears and dreams are rooted from what you know. Make sure the man who wins your heart reflects the heart of Christ. Ladies, this isn’t one sided- make sure you also reflect the same thing that you desire! If you want the man of your dreams, you need to strive to be the best possible version of yourself.
- Study your spouse and how he receives love. Each person carries different tendencies, personalities and reacts to things a certain way. A way to learn about yourself and your spouse is to learn both of your temperaments and how you respond to conflict and different situations. Love your spouse in the way they receive love. People receive love through gifts, touch, acts of service, words of affirmation and quality time. For more information on love languages, check out this website and you can learn your love language: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
- Respect one another. “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour” (Romans 12:9). Learn to listen, compromise and have open communication when you disagree. Strive to understand why your spouse feels the way he does and try to empathize with his side. Ask questions and be open to the answers even if you don’t like them. A man’s biggest fear is failure and the inability to have what it takes so ladies please encourage and affirm him. If he did the dishes or filled up the gas tank, show appreciation and focus on the good more than the bad. Resolve to be kind or to compliment your spouse. Do a sweet thing for him that shows your appreciation. Remember your vows. Marriage is for better and for worse, sickness and health, for richer and for poorer. Make love your goal every day. Mother Teresa says it best: “do small things with great love.”
- Say Sorry. Model forgiveness and ask for it frequently. Humility in the small things helps us to be humble in the big things. Allow yourself to be receptive. Practice mercy and sympathy when you encounter your spouse’s humanity and flaws. Give mercy and love without counting the cost.
- Strive to always work on yourself. You may struggle with a bad habit or a small or big addiction that ranges from too much Netflix, too much coffee or too much shopping or more serious ones like pornography and substance abuse. Take these things to prayer – we crave for more and that craving is manifested in different crutches in our lives. Start to reflect on the crutches in your own life and make small goals every day to lessen your dependence on them. Mumford and Sons said it best: “where you invest your love, there you invest your life.” Let us invest more in marriage so that we may strive for selflessness instead of selfishness.
- Make time for each other. Continue to keep dating your spouse! Make the effort to be together, dress up and romance each other. Be intentional in your love for each other. Take the time to plan something special or eat a meal together without your children so that you can continue to learn more about each other. Celebrate your love! It is rare and so deeply needed in this world.
- Pray for each other every day. Most women pray for their future spouse and once they find the guy, they stop talking to God about him and settle with complaining about him. Continue to seek God’s support and wisdom in your marriage by also initiating prayer with your spouse whether it is through bible study, Mass or having a daily devotion to a saint.
Be a good woman to him. Be quick to forgive. Be quick to be silly. Take things less seriously. Savour the little moments and giggles that come with marriage. God wants you to have the most beautiful and life-giving love story. Don’t settle for anything less, ladies! We are praying for you.