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The ring is on…the ceremony is over…the guests have left. Now what?
11 Tips For Making Your Marriage Last a Lifetime:
1) Choose to forgive. Holding grudges is TOXIC to a relationship. Be the first to ask forgiveness. A strong person is not afraid to admit when they are wrong.
2) Choose love. Don’t let small irritations cause you to forget all the wonderful qualities your spouse has that made you fall in love with them in the first place. Make a list of their good qualities and focus on those.
3) Be a servant to one another. Treat your spouse with the same kindness and graciousness that you would treat a guest in your home. Let your home be a haven of peace for you and your spouse.
4) Live within your means. Debt brings anxiety and kills marriages. Sit down together and make a budget. Vow to live within the constraints of your budget.
5) Make time for one another. Keep your relationship fresh and alive by having date nights once a week or once a month. Set your cell phone aside, or better yet, turn it off and focus all your attention on your spouse.
6) Be supportive and encouraging. The world is full of people who want to tear us down. If your spouse works outside the home, they probably deal with negative people all day long. Let them know that you will always be there for them with words of encouragement and love.
7) Commit to one another for life. Determine never to consider divorce as an option.
8) Share similar goals. Talk about your dreams for the future. Work on them together. You can’t reach those goals if you are pulling in opposite directions.
9) Share a hobby. Shared memories are the best. Find something you both enjoy doing and make time to do it.
10) Pray together. I can’t think of anything else that has meant more to keeping our marriage strong. It is hard to be angry at someone when you are praying together.
11) Put God first in your marriage. Faith is the glue that has held us together. When our love for one another has waned, our love for God has commanded us to love one another. God has never failed us.
Truth be told, my husband, Dan Morrison, has taught me these lessons over the 35 years of our marriage. Growing up I was blessed to learn love, self-sacrifice and devotion watching my mother care for my disabled sibling. I knew love. My parents were married for over 64 years. I understood faithfulness and commitment. What I didn’t understand was unconditional love and forgiveness. My father (a wonderful, but flawed human being) was a perfectionist for whom my siblings and I could never do anything right. He had trouble admitting when he was wrong and asking forgiveness. His standards were so high, none of us could ever hope to attain them, and neither could he. He was harder on himself than anyone else. Critical words do much damage to tender spirits. It took many years of God working on my heart and mind, and Dan continually speaking love and encouragement in my heart, to crack my shell. I am here to attest that God can change hearts and minds. We have a strong marriage today because God has worked on both our hearts and given us more love for one another every day. Don’t give up!