How To Have A Happy Marriage

Marriage is amazing, and I love it. But it's hard work y'all. Marriage is difficult. That is obvious when you see how many couples end in divorce. The only way to make your marriage truly work is to center it around Christ and make a conscious effort daily to work on it. God intended marriage to mirror His relationship with the church so that we could basically be a testimony to others and SHOW them what God is like. Here are a few tips for both wives and husbands on how to have a happy marriage.

Don't be unfaithful.  This is huge.  Marriage is sacred, period.  Being unfaithful to your spouse proves that not only do you not respect them but you are also untrustworthy.  The pain it bring is in no way, shape or form worth it. 

Don't neglect yourself. Shave your legs, do your hair, put makeup on and put on that outfit of yours that he just loves

Don't talk about him behind his back. We need to remember that we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Guard your husband's weaknesses; don't announce them to the world. i definitely have weaknesses. I would be mortified and humiliated if my husband teased about it or loudly wished for someone with that strength. Remember the "golden rule"...Do to others as you would have them do to you Luke 6:31. Our husbands need our respect. What a great way to respect them by not trash talking them.

Don't compare your marriage to movies. The problem isn't wanting a fairytale romance but trying to compare your marriage and your spouse to those whirlwind romances in the movies. so many times i've been guilty of that myself, and i simply set myself up for disappointment and failure. We need to truly love our husbands without unreal expectations.

Don't be disrespectful. Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. {Ephesians 5:33} I’ve read this verse over and over again. it doesn't say respect your husband only when you feel he deserves it, it doesn't say he has to GIVE respect to GET respect and it's certainly not up to us to deem when he is worthy of it. God was pretty clear with this verse, the wife MUST respect her husband.

Don't lose the friendship. Building friendship in marriage takes a lot of work and time. We have to realize that straight away and commit to it. If it's something you truly want, the hard work and commitment won't feel like a big deal at all. i think one important thing is choosing to spend time together rather than apart. Whether it's taking a quick trip for ice cream or sitting beside him watching football, time together is absolutely precious.

Take the time to find out what it is that you still have in common. Chances are you will find out you still have quite a few things in common. Find out what the common interests are and explore them together. Joe and I love truck pulls, watching big brother and random road trips. Don’t forget to have fun! Fun is a key ingredient to a successful friendship. No one wants to spend time with a debbie downer.

Don't think marriage is all about you. Marriage is not all about you...contrary to what the world tells you, it's not about your happiness. It’s not about getting your needs met. It’s about going through life together and serving God and each other. It’s about committing yourselves to each other, even though you may be different people in the years to come.

Don't nag. Bite your lip and don't nag or complain. I know, this one can be a challenge. Especially for this big-mouthed girl. But if I can do it, I’m certain anyone of y'all can do it.

Don't hold grudges. The Proverbs 31 woman wouldn't love her husband with conditions or hold grudges and neither should we. God wants our love to be sweet, soft-hearted and lovely. And He wants it overflowing with forgiveness. By offering forgiveness, we are offering the grace that God has given us. Don't cling to prior offenses, tucking them in your pocket to use later. Simply wipe the slate clean as soon as the offense happens. This will not only set your husband free, but you as well. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. {Colossians 3:13}

Don't withhold sex.  Withholding sex is wrong. Period. Paul said that spouses have the responsibility to meet their spouse’s needs (within reason). I certainly do not believe that if your husband wants sex twice a day you therefore have to make love twice a day. Marriage is compromise! There is a certain level of reasonableness that should be met in a marriage. Refusing sex, or only making love extremely rarely, is a serious problem.  

Don't be unfaithful. This is huge. Marriage is sacred, period. Being unfaithful to your spouse proves that not only do you not respect them but you are also untrustworthy. The pain it bring is in no way, shape or form worth it.

Don't lie. The truth is super important to women. If you lie to your wife you will be caught out at some stage, and then she will wonder how many other lies you have told her. Every lie makes your validity a little less and less. Eventually she 'll wonder if she can trust you at all. The truth might be painful, but it's always the best choice.

Actually listen when she talks.  For real listen, not any of this half-listening business where you're kinda listening but really watching TV.  And just interjecting a "mmhmmm" once in a while.  Not listening when someone speaks is rude and shows disrespect for the person. If you do this your wife will grow to resent talking to you, and that is not a good position to get into in your relationship. Concentrate on what she says, and respond intelligently.

Help around the house.  I think this is an area where men struggle, though I don't believe it's intentional.  It must be so hard to balance the "head of the household" role with being your wife's help-meet.  I totally get it.  But if you don't assist your wife with the household tasks, she is going to feel yucky and might even feel resentful.  It is just going to snowball into an unpleasant situation.  Help her with household tasks - and not only every now and then either. No, make it a habit to help her, and watch how her respect for you grows.  And guess what?  She's going to be like "Wow, this is amazing.  I so super love you.".  And guess who is going to look like the hero?  Yeah, you.  And who will reap the rewards of said hero?  Mm,hmmmm, you will!

Don't point out her imperfections.  Seriously, we know our imperfections.  We are our own worst critics.  Believe me!  We all have imperfections because nobody is perfect.  It sure wouldn't be nice if she pointed out yours, would it?  I bet it would hurt your feelings and might even make you angry.  Your wife surely doesn't like it when the person closest to her - her husband - is the one bringing it up.   And you remember the reaping the rewards we spoke of earlier?  Yeah, this won't so much do that.

Don't force submission. Submission can't be forced, ever. Trying to control others (including your wife) is prideful, selfish and sinful. It doesn't honor God or others. And it certainly won't make for a very happy marriage. Being controlling isn't loving at all. If your wife isn't submitting, ask yourself "am i loving my wife as Christ loved the church?". If the answer is no, then I'd say that is something you need to work on. Work on your part and don't worry about her part. Once your heart is in the right place, then the two of you can work on submission together.

Help with the littles.  Helping with the kids is something that is so so so rewarding.  From a wife's perspective, there is nothing hotter than watching your husband be an amazing involved father.  This will strengthen your relationship both with your wife and your children. An actively involved father is one way of ensuring well-balanced kids.

Don't compare her to other women.  In my heart, I can't even imagine my husband doing this.  I can't imagine the hurt and pain it would cause.  This is so sad, wrong and hurtful on so many levels. Just be kind. Kindness could be boiled down to 3 little in action. When you are operating from a true heart of kindness, you will be extra careful how you treat your spouse. You would never want to be unnecessarily harsh or hurt their feelings. We need to be sensitive to their feelings and tender with our words. Even if you need to say hard things, we need to remember to speak the truth in love.

Pursue her. Now, this one is a bit tricky. Men and women are so different. I know, right, can I get an Amen? Pursuit, to most men, means feeling desired (sex) and affirmed through respect, honor and appreciation. Most women, on the other hand, are more likely to want to be pursued through time, attention and tenderheartedness (guys, read that as "romance").   

Tell her what she means to you. Let your wife know how much she means to you. Tell her. Tell her over and over again. Write her a note to tell her and hide it in a place she'll find it. Believe me, she'll appreciate that more than you know. And she'll more than likely shed a few tears. Give her a big hug and kiss when you walk in the door after work. Just hold her in your arms. From a woman's perspective, this little act of kindness can wash away the negative things that happened during the day and change the tone of the evening. And I betcha this would also be a good step towards getting that smokin' hot marriage we all want :)