Going the Distance (Tips and Afterthoughts)
With Kippy & Joyce Barrett
Whether you’re single, flirting, married for one year or married for forty years, there are timeless and grounded principles to incorporate into your marriage now or into your marriage in the future.
Being raised in a home where abuse was prevalent, and where mothers and fathers did not stay together is not a definite indicator for how your present or future marriage and family dynamics will be. God loves to birth a new normal and bring a full, life-giving dynamic to any situation. You could be the first in your family to start a new legacy that will carry through the generations to come.
Marriage is an amazing and holy relationship, but it will ebb and flow. Finances might change, hard times might follow you, fights will happen. So what will keep us grounded during the more challenging times of our marriages? God, personal disciplines, and community. It takes two to get married, but three to maintain it. If God is the cornerstone in marriage, and we look to Him first during the times when we're unsure then how could we go wrong? If God is the cornerstone in marriage, and we're diligently seeking Him with our whole hearts and minds then we will catch His rhythms and flow from there. If God is the cornerstone in marriage, and we're setting ourselves in a community of believers where He is their cornerstone as well, then we have added support when things go bump in the night. The banana off the bunch gets peeled.
Raising kids is another holy calling; savor the moments. It takes sacrifice and commitment. It takes vision! Know where you want your kids to be in the future, what lessons and mindsets you want them to have, and then plan accordingly.
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Keeping it Fresh
Make time for one another! Whether it's five minutes every day, a weekly date night, or pizza and your favorite TV show after the kids go to bed, commit to carving out time for one another no matter what.
Stay in communication. Don't just check it off the list, but truly listen and ask questions about how the other is doing. If something is bugging you, speak!
Keep it light, and laugh! If you are walking around your house tense and bound up, then everyone else in your house will too. Keep it easy; find ways to laugh with one another. Proverbs tells us that a cheerful heart is good medicine! Laughing together will break down our defenses and ignite our homes with joy!
5. Tips for Husbands
It might be hard for you to communicate; do it anyway. Nurture communication. Stay away from “you” statements: “You did this!” And instead begin your thoughts with “I” instead. When we start pointing to the other person, defenses go up and we've stopped playing on the same team. “I” statements welcome a conversation instead of a confrontation.
6. Tips for Wives
Remind yourself why you fell in love. Before the kids, before he even became your husband, what drew you to him? What was it about him that made you excited to simply be with him?
Like your husband! There's a difference between like and love. Make sure you like and love him. Love is the deep commitment to him, liking him makes everything else enjoyable!