I am not happily married.
Boy, that’s a loaded statement.
Please stick with me here. I know this is long, but I also know that these tips can change your marriage and in doing so, change your life. If I said this post could guarantee you lose 10 lbs in a week, you’d probably read it purely out of curiosity. (And maybe a little wishful thinking) Give your husband the same chance you give your waist line. 😉
So, let me rephrase that statement above, I’m happily married, but not always happy with some of the seasons we go through.
As we sat on our couch watching TV last night, I thought about our marriage~
A typical evening after a crazy day. Turn on the TV, pick up our phones during commercials, turn off TV. Lock the doors, turn off lights, wash face, brush teeth, pray, go to sleep. It seems like this is the norm when we are in the middle of busy seasons in our life. A tuned out, overtired pattern we seem to follow.
I actually started thinking about this whole marriage post a few weeks back. I was scrolling through my Pinterest feed and realized it was flooded with pictures of young teenagers and college age couples kissing, holding hands, hugging etc.
What in the world!?!
One after another they popped up. I have never looked up anything that would convince Pinterest that I was interested in pictures of goofy teenagers “in love”.
I have to be honest though, last night during that commercial break I looked at those pictures, then looked over at my husband on the other end of the couch. He was reading his phone. He looked like he was 100 miles away. I looked down at that Pinterest picture and wondered, when did we get so old?
I thought about this as I lay in bed last night. This isn’t how I remember our first year of marriage, even when life was crazy busy. Is this what marriage was destined to look like in our grandparent years? Zoning out and reading our phones. Across the couch from each other, but a million miles away?
Nope, ain’t gonna happen.
It isn’t always like this. Some weeks the sparks are flying but other weeks~when we’ve been on our feet all day running in circles, we’re sore and completely exhausted at night. This is 55 and 60. But if couples aren’t careful, this can easily become a habit. Before you know it, years have gone by and you begin to wonder who it is sitting across the couch from you. I don’t want this to be our new normal.
So, I decided to pray about this and ask the Holy Spirit to show me ways that I could make my marriage better. I asked God to help me look outside the box. I didn’t want the typical marriage guru’s advice.
(ie make time for each other, add romance, go on dates etc.) I wanted simple, every day, easy, attainable goals.
I’m going to take you on my journey this week. Restore the goofy teenager love we once had. How am I going to do that? I honestly have no idea right now. 😂😂 I’m taking this one day at a time and asking God to show me.
You might be a newlywed or you might be a grandma like me. Age shouldn’t matter. Yes I’m a grandma, but I have to be honest~ deep down I will always want that goofy teenage feeling, even when we’re in the middle of our busy seasons. So, here are some tips that I tried and that actually worked. Not from a marriage guru, just a 55 year old grandma who’s been married for 35 years 😉
1. Just like every post I’ve done on tips, my first tip remains the same. Pray. I Thessalonians 5:17. Today I’m praying for God to show me how to change. I’m praying for God to light that fire again by showing me what I should be doing (not complaining to God about everything Mike is not doing) in this relationship to make it better. There’s no room for~ ”but you don’t know my husband” here. This is about God showing ME what I need to change.
2. Next I’m asking the Holy Spirit to fill me. God tells us the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith and meekness. Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesians 5:9. Need I say more? Seems like this is THE key, not only to a successful marriage but a happy one. This has to be a constant. I can’t be filled with Charisse because when I am, selfishness takes over and there’s no room left for that fruit to grow. Continually pray to be filled with the Spirit. Don’t sit on that couch looking over at him and allow yourself to get irritated. If we aren’t careful our thoughts can consume us. Thoughts like~ “Why doesn’t he try harder? Why isn’t he more romantic? Why doesn’t he ask to put his arm around me or sit closer? Why doesn’t he acknowledge my presence instead of staring at his phone?”. When these thoughts start brewing inside your head, you need help. You need the Holy Spirit’s filling to change those thoughts to the fruits only He can provide.
3. My next tip is to put your phones away in the evening when you finally do sit down. If this is a struggle for you, please trust me and try it. If it is a struggle for your husband, don’t get mad. Once again, pray for the Spirit’s help and then pick up your phone and send him some love notes or steamy texts. You might shock the pants right off of him. 😉 Keep sending those love notes and when he looks up from his phone, shoot him that smile you gave him 35 years ago when he was about to ask for your hand in marriage.
4. Another tip is to sit closer and snuggle. Why do we as ladies think it’s all on the husband to be more romantic and make the first move? Why does he have to be the one to bring home flowers or buy sappy cards? Take a deep look at yourself and ask yourself if you are the same person you were while you were dating. Are you treating him the same? Do you hang on his every word? Do you try to make yourself beautiful for him? Do you grab his hand to hold, or hug him for no reason? I fall in to this trap too often. I start feeling sorry for myself and wonder why he isn’t paying attention, why he isn’t being more romantic. But then I just sit on my butt and stew about it instead of doing something about it. As much as you as a wife enjoy romantic attention, your husband longs to feel needed and wanted. It’s a two way street. Do your part and you’ll soon notice that he is doing his as well.
5. Something else that worked and seems to always make Mike and I feel like goofy teenagers is to talk about memories from our dating years each night before going to sleep. Pretty soon we’re both smiling and laughing and automatically feel closer no matter what kind of day we had.
6. My last two tips are to set reminders on your phone (or your alarm clock) to think about him throughout the day. Philippians 4:8. We can get so busy with our homes, our kids, our jobs, our errands and housework (and the million other things we as women do) that our husbands are the last things on our minds. Do you remember when he was the ONLY thing on your mind all day, despite everything you might have had on your plate? Do you remember when you couldn’t wait to see him each day? Remind yourself of that all day long. When you do see him, I guarantee it will be a different experience than when you don’t think about him at all. I would also like to encourage you to make a list of everything you love about him. Go over that list every day. Go over that list when things are going good and go over that list when he’s driving you crazy.
Marriage takes work and I’ll be honest, sometimes I just want to be lazy. After a crazy busy day I just want to recline on my side of the couch and vegetate for a while. But when I think about all the areas of my life that I put extra effort into and work hard at, I realize my marriage should be at the top of that list. Because my marriage is a picture of Christ. Ephesians 5:25. My marriage is an example for my children. My marriage is my most important relationship besides my relationship with Jesus. My marriage is the foundation of all the joy Jesus gives us in loving another as you love yourself and being one with that person. Galatians 5:14, Mark 10:7-9, Ephesians 5:31
Tonight Mike walked in with a smile on his face and handed me a Mallo Cup candy bar. “Thought you needed this today”, he said as he sat down on his side of the couch and picked up his phone. I smiled as I watched him. I reminded myself that it’s also ok to just be together, secure in your love for one another and comfortable laying in your recliners in your pajamas eating pizza and Mallo Cups. Best friends and lovers. There’s a happiness in the goofy teenage moments but there’s also tremendous happiness in the beautiful mundane of being together. Of being in love.
I Peter 4:8.
As long as we seek the Holy Spirit’s help and aren’t putting ourself at the center of our marriage but making sure God always is, I guarantee these tips will change your marriage and in doing so, change your life.
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22 Lets pray to be that “good thing.” 💗