My baby brother, Jon, just married Regina Simmons two weeks ago. It got me thinking about what advice Marilyn and I could offer them concerning life as husband and wife. Hopefully they can help you or someone else that you know. Here are the top five tips of advice that we came up with:
- Quality time together must be intentional. Let’s face it… You make time for what’s important to you. You have 24 hrs. in a day just like everyone else. But once you say “I do”, you’ll have tons of things and multitudes of people pulling at your attention. Eventually, you’ll have to schedule quality time to be with each other. Otherwise, the urgent will take place of the important.
- Your spouse is CONSTANTLY changing. I used to be a touch-me-not. Now I love for Marilyn and the kids to pile on me. I’ve seen Marilyn’s love language change over the years from loving to get gifts (which she still enjoys) to needing quiet time, to desiring acts of service (like helping with the kids or house work), to needing my complete attention, etc. About the time you think you have your spouse figured out, look again. Odds are that his/her personality has changed a little. That small change can mean everything.
- Kids are a blessing, but will not make your spouse love you more. This is especially important for the ladies to understand. We have seen many women who think that the answer to the distance they feel with their disconnected mate is to have kids. The Bible tells us that children are a blessing, but they were never intended to help the disfunction between you and your spouse. Kids will bring much joy to your life, but they are one more pull at the attention and energy of your marriage.
- Selfless service, regular intimacy, and communication are great ways to affair-proof your marriage. No one, including you, is exempt from the temptation of infidelity. Throughout the years, you must work at serving your spouse’s needs (emotional and physical). You must continue to communicate, taking special care to make sure that even in the midst of disagreement, your words are life-giving and not cutting down your spouse.
- Love is a choice, not a feeling. This is something Marilyn and I both felt was important to pass on. If you simply are committed to your spouse when your needs are being met or things are going how you think they should, then you’ll be divorced before your next anniversary. Just like Jesus chose to love us with all of our imperfections and rebellious streaks, so we are to choose to love our spouse.
Maybe you could benefit from another post of mine, “Conflict In Marriage“. Check it out and feel free to comment.
A special thanks for some of these tips go to my wife, Marilyn. You can follow her on her twitter account here.
What are some other tips that you would pass on to newly-weds? Leave a comment and let the other readers know!