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    I Heart My Marriage

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  • Dec 03 / 2015
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Is your spouse getting your leftovers?

 

Most of us live fairly hectic lives. Between raising our children, working long hours, 5 or more days a week, and keeping up with the many other responsibilities of life. Our spouses often have to settle for what’s left of us after life has sapped us of all of our time energy. Over time, the disconnectedness that forms between us and our spouse, creates a rift in our marriage that if left unaddressed, can easily cause the failure of our marriage.

This situation can be eliminated or at least greatly reduced by making changes in our life aimed at reducing our busyness and better serving our spouse’s needs. Some changes that will greatly help accomplish this are:

Make your spouse a priority. If we don’t make our spouse a priority and consciously put them above our children, career, friends, hobbies, etc. Inevitably there will always be something trying to compete for, and probably steal, our time and attention that we should be giving to our spouse. When this happens, our spouse becomes just another item on our to-do list. Causing resentment and anger on the part of our spouse who feels cast aside or relegated to the back seat.

Don’t let this happen. Show your spouse their importance to you by taking care of their needs before tackling items on your to-do list.

Learn to say NO to those who would steal your time. Nearly all of us know someone who always seems to be in need of a favor, or needs our help for “just a few minutes”. While it’s good to help others in need, to make our spouse a priority, we must set boundaries and limits on our time so we do not let people like this to take advantage of us, or steal time that rightfully belongs to our spouse. And while doing this won’t be popular with your needy friends, your spouse will thank you for it.

Keep ample margin in your life. Just as the margin is the area on a piece of paper that is blank, with nothing on it. The margin in our life is the time we have left over after all our daily obligations have been met. It’s time we typically use to relax and enjoy the company of friends, our spouse, or just take a nap. Because much of the time we spend with our spouse is margin time, when we keep our life schedule so full that we have no or very little margin, the time we are able to spend with our spouse typically suffers, and with it our marriage.

To avoid this, we need to be intentional about the hours we work and how much we put on our plate. If your work schedule causes you to spend very little quality time with your spouse or you constantly feel like you’re playing catchup. Chances are you’ve overloaded your life and changes might be needed.

I challenge you to make it a point to daily put aside time and energy for your spouse. Your marriage and your spouse will thank you for it.

  • Nov 17 / 2015
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Random Acts of Love


Have you ever climbed a mountain? Standing at the bottom they can look intimidating and so large that we might think that we can’t possibly conquer them. As a result, many people may give up and assume they can’t make it to the top without even trying.

In many ways, our marriages can feel the same way when we’ve allowed years of neglect to rob us of the love we once had for our spouse. Standing at the bottom of our marriage mountain, the top looks so far away that we think that we will never get there, and therefore we don’t even try. 

But just like that mountain that we can surely conquer one section at a time, and one step at a time. So too we can return our marriage to a state of wedded bliss that we once shared with our spouse. 

When a marriage is lacking love and intimacy, most likely it didn’t happen overnight. It was a process that happened slowly through neglect of the marriage over the years. We probably didn’t even realize it was happening. We just woke up one day wondering, how did we get here, and more importantly, how do we get out?

One step at a time

Just like climbing a mountain, the answer is one step at a time. We start small, doing things to improve the marriage that while they may seem small, they will be the building blocks for the bigger things to come. 

One week at a time

Start with a small act that is missing from your marriage, and commit to doing it once a day for a week. It could be something as simple as hugging your spouse or texting them to say that your thinking of them. It just needs to show them you love them and are daily thinking of them. 

With each new week, find something different and a little bit more loving to do for your spouse, but continue to do what you were already doing the previous week(s). As the weeks go by, and you continue to build more and more loving acts back into your marriage, not only will your spouse begin to feel loved and appreciated by you again, they will most likely begin to return your love through kind acts of their own.

Where are you on your marriage mountain, at the top, the bottom, somewhere in between? No matter where you are, getting intentional about your marriage and doing things to make your spouse feel loved again will strengthen your marriage and move you closer to that wedded bliss feeling you’ve has been missing.  

For the greatest impact, it’s important to know your spouse’s Love Language. If you are not familiar with what a Love Language is, or don’t already know your spouse’s Love Language. I would recommend reading more about The 5 Love Languages HERE.

  • Nov 03 / 2015
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Your marriage needs grace

There is one ingredient that many of today’s marriages, including my own at times, is missing. It’s something so powerful, that when applied appropriately can make for an amazing marriage, and when missing can cause a marriage to struggle and even fail. This missing ingredient is grace.

What is Grace?

    grace: ɡreɪs/

noun

  • Unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
  • Disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency

 

As you can see by the above definition, grace is basically an act of kindness or forgiveness afforded to us, that in most cases we don’t deserve or haven’t earned. In the context of a marriage, grace means desiring the absolute best for your spouse, even when they don’t deserve it due to their actions or pain they’ve inflicted.

 

In offering our spouse grace, we must learn to forgive and love them unconditionally. Not for them, but for ourselves. For the person that is most healed by forgiveness is the person who does the forgiving. When we are able to genuinely forgive another, we set a prisoner free, that prisoner is us.

 

The only thing harder than forgiveness, is the pain associated with refusing to forgive.

 

While grace may be hard to implement in a marriage, doing so can cause astounding results. In my own marriage, it had come to a point where I felt that the failure of our marriage was imminent and there was probably nothing I could do about it. After coming across Ephesians 5:25, which reads: husbands love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. I felt challenged by God to apply it in my marriage by loving my wife unconditionally, forgiving her for past hurts, and working to fix the issues that I myself had brought to the marriage.

 

Read
Husbands Love Your Wives devotional.

 

Did it work? I’ll answer that with a resounding, YES! It took very little time for my wife to take notice of the work I was doing to improve our marriage, and that it didn’t come with my normal “I’m doing my part, now you do yours” statement. Before long, the grace and love I was sowing into our marriage started to return positive results in the form of, my wife working to forgive me, and beginning to work on her end of the marriage. Two years later, against all odds, we are not only still married, we are VERY happily married, and spreading our message of a grace and love filled marriage to other married couples.

 

Grace is not always easy to introduce into a marriage, especially if the marriage is troubled. But once it begins flowing freely between you and your spouse, God will use it to give you both hearts that are forgiving, grateful, generous, and willing to serve – all qualities that can keep your marriage strong.

 

Additional reading: How to strengthen your marriage with grace

 

Does your marriage need grace?