Some things in life are not worth fighting over: team sports, lesser theological topics, some political issues, etc. But, there are definitely some things worth fighting for: marriage is one of them. And the only one you are totally responsible for is your own. Yes, you can pour into other couples and their marriage and you can disciple others, but ultimately you are only responsible for your own.
Being married for 5 years, and having gone through some really difficult circumstances in those 5 years: out-of-state moves, job changes, traumatic birth, another birth soon after, commission jobs, change in life direction, loss of friendships, damaging personal relationships…we’ve had to fight for our marriage.
Here are some things we do to fight for our marriage:
- Sometimes, you go to bed angry. Ok – we’ve all heard the saying don’t go to bed angry, and the principle is biblical (don’t let the sun go down upon your anger). We’ve learned that one thing we can do when we are angry with each other is sometimes just go to bed. When we are tired and crabby and angry – we usually don’t have healthy conversations. So, we will call it a night, go to bed, and typically by morning, we are better. We will still have some things to talk about, but we have rested, prayed, and calmed down.
- Taco Night. Often times during the week my husband and I don’t eat meals together. He’s at work, I eat with the kids, he gets home late, etc. But, on Sunday nights, as far as it is up to us, about 830pm, after the kids are in bed, I get Chipotle tacos and guac – 12$ if we buy two guacs. We sit on the couch, talk, eat, laugh. Sometimes we will talk for about 3 hours – something we did when we were dating, married but didn’t have children, you know the scene. Sometimes we will watch a show on Netflix (right now: Leverage, West Wing, Blacklist). Just sitting shoulder to shoulder, eating yummy food (that I didn’t have to cook), and talking or just being with each other – ends our weekend, long Sunday, and spurs us on to be married another week. I love it!
- Being in the Word. We do not do our devotions together. We actually find it hard to pray together and it is something we are working at. But, we do each have time in the Word each day, and that helps us love God and love each other better. I often tell him what I need: more of Jesus, more of him. Two things I can never have too much of. Cary and Dena Dyer have written a book for couples, a compilation of their story as a couple, humor, biblical wisdom for married couples, and discussion questions. A couple things I really liked about the book was they shared their own stories. Some marriage books give tips and pointers but don’t delve into their personal marriage any. I love people’s stories and I want to know how they live their marriage each day. Another thing I liked was the talking points at the end of each chapter. Some couples find it hard to talk – or find things to talk about – and need help. One thing I didn’t like was that I couldn’t see my husband reading this book. It didn’t seem to fit a guy writing/reading style. I know most books are bought and read by women. So, maybe how a wife could do incorporate Love at First Fight into her marriage is by bringing up some of the questions to her husband.
- Get the long vision. I heard one time that marriage is a long walk in the same direction. Get a long vision of marriage. We seemingly have been in one hard season after another in our 5 years of marriage. And maybe one day the hard season will end, but we know that we wouldn’t want to walk these hard seasons alone, or with anyone else.
If you would like to win a copy of Love at First Fight, just leave a comment on your best marriage tip. Sponsored by Shiloh Publishers and Sidedoor Communications. All thoughts are my own.
I wish I had some better tips… not a lot to offer yet. One of my first thoughts was somwthing you already mentioned- going to bed! I often find that I’m more grumpy and moody when I’m tired and I’ll turn a tiny thing into something major. I realize when I’ve slept that it wasn’t such a big deal after all. I’d also say to keep a list of the good things. I started this but don’t keep it up like I want to. But I write things like “he encouraged me to go out with ththe girls and stayed home with S” so that later when I feel like “he never _____” I can remind myself of truth. I can so easily get stuck in the negative!!
So good. Don’t give up on that list – just do it when you think of it.
Ha my favorite marriage tip is take showers together! It’s a fun way to end the day lol. Sometimes it leads to other things and other times it doesn’t. But it’s fun and relaxing either way. Ps I love your taco nights!! Such a great, easy, cheap date (even from your couch!!). Love your ideas girl.
My mister gets wide awake with showers. The heat makes him wired. So, I shower alone at night! 🙂 But, I love that idea! And thanks Lauren!
My tip would be to say I love you to one another each day and to have open communication with each other.
Maria – I say I love you so much. I often have to remind my husband I do mean it! 🙂