I would be lying if I told you that marriage will be easy. We all love to hear a couple say their vows on their wedding day, but if we’re honest, most of the time we’re skeptical. We’re hopeful for them, but we know the road that lays ahead for them.
Only a few couples make it to ’til death do us part’ and the ones that do, they do things that other couples don’t do.
- They keep God at the center of their marriage. This is not just spiritual or Christian talk. Couples who make it to the end keep God at the center of their marriage. They grow together spiritually, they take control of their spiritual lives and don’t leave it to chance. They read solid books together, they pray together, they have a plan for how they will disciple their kids (they don’t leave that to chance either). They attend church together, are in Christian community and serve to use their gifts and talents. God is not some figure that appears periodically in their marriage, but is what the marriage and family revolves around. Men are asking how they can help their wife grow and become all that God has called her to be.
- They protect their marriage. This is something couples kind of stumble through. They take their vows, wear rings, but too many don’t protect themselves when it comes to their minds, hearts and eyes. Yes, they make sure not to sleep with someone they aren’t married to, but everything else is fair game. A couple who lasts does not do that. The only thing on their menu is their spouse. They protect their eyes, they aren’t looking at porn, they aren’t fantasizing about that girl at work or the guy in the movie. They aren’t dreaming about their romance novel, they aren’t acting out (even with their spouse) in their mind, they act out with their spouse (and only their spouse). They make sure nothing will tear them and their spouse apart.
- They pursue each other. Pursuit is what got you married (because you started pursuing when you dated). Pursuit is what keeps a marriage healthy and pursuit is the first thing to go out the window of most marriages. The couples who last don’t leave this to chance, they make time for their spouse, they have a yearly getaway with their spouse, weekly date nights and they do fun things with their spouse. I’ve never had a couple who did this tell me they regretted it. I’ve had lots of couples tell me how they long for this.
More than likely, you do one of these well in your marriage, maybe even two of them. But it is that last one that will take your marriage to a new level. Which one do you as a couple need to raise your game on?
Remember, getting married is easier than staying married. One takes showing up, the other takes planning and effort.