The one you fell head over heels in love with. The one you cherish. Your favorite person to spend time with. Your spouse. We need to love them well. Which doesn’t always come easy. The romantic lovey dovey stuff seems to be saved for the movies instead of for real life. Reality is we can tend to be judgemental, grumpy and argumentative with the person we dedicated our entire life to. Oh and don’t forget bossy, we can be so bossy. Or maybe that’s just me. And Claire from Modern Family. 🙂
I do not have great words on this subject because I have failed often but I think it is super important so I wanted to clumsily put words to it. One thing I have learned is don’t try to change your spouse. Seriously, you married them for a reason, just let them be. Stubborn me, I try anyway. Foolish, I am so foolish. Love them right where they are at. If God calls you to lifestyle change, wait for your spouse to come on board and chase after it together. God sees, he gets, it, he will wait for you. Your spouse is more important and your marriage has to come first.
Make time for each other. Put it on the calendar. It was so easy with no kids. We could go and do and we were always together. And then came work and SIX kids and life gets crazy. So you have to start to be strategic, intentional with how you spend your time with your spouse. Maybe your time together is watching your favorite shows after the kids go to bed. Maybe you have a date when the kids are at VBS or school. Be creative and find a time to be together. Date night is huge. Get a babysitter and go out just the two of you as often as you can. It is so easy to get bogged down by work and kids and be too tired at the end of the day to give time to your spouse. Most of the time I just want to ignore and do MY thing. But their is so much fruit in being intentional to love your spouse well. I find that I first need to take care of myself and be well so that I can then plug into others well. Life is well lived when we are not self-serving but other focused. And this comes into play big time with your spouse. One of the best things I heard and that has helped me so much in loving my husband well is from Jamie Ivey. She said that one day all of her kids will be gone and it will just be her and her husband left. So she is going to date her husband now because she doesn’t want it to be like they took a break for twenty years. She wants her kids to watch their parents love well. I LOVE this. So good and such truth.
Be intentional to do nice things for your spouse, to say nice things, to spend time with, to learn what makes them happy and go serve them. It is probably the most important thing that God wants us to do, he created us as one flesh. But it can also be one of the most easily ignored tasks. Go love your spouse with an extravagant love and feel the joy. It is the best blessing.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. -Mark 10:7-9
I wanted to leave you with some resources. I have learned much from listening to Jamie Ivey podcasts. She hosts a woman each week and they talk a lot about marriage. It’s real and vulnerable and such great teaching. Also Jen Hatmaker’s book For The Love has a few amazing chapters on marriage. I have met her. She is the real deal. Wise and authentic. Read and be blessed. And seriously just watch Chip and JoJo. They have such an incredible relationship. They are so FOR each other.
Be blessed friends!!!!