Top 10 List For Newlyweds 

As my wife and I prepared to attend a double wedding, I was given the task to sign the cards.  As I thought about our wedding day and our first two years of marriage, I wanted to give the couples something that they could use and to which they could refer as a reference.  So I came up with a Top 10 list of important items for newlyweds to remember that could strengthen their marriage.


So, here it is: Top 10 Things For Newlyweds To Remember:

10 You can’t say “I love you” enough

9. Kiss your spouse often, especially in the morning and at night.

8 No matter how busy you get, never stop having dates

7 “Don’t let the sun go down in your anger”

6 Husbands want to be respected

5. Wives want to be loved 

4 Mutual sacrifice is the key to marriage. Care more about your “Woness” than about your individual selves

3. Remember 1 Corinthians 13: Love is patient, Love is kind, Love never fails

2. Wives, should look to their husband to lead and husbands should lead by following Christ

1. Always Keep Jesus at the center of your marriage. Ecclesiastes 4:12

Do you have anything to add to this list?

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Forgetting What’s Behind-Staining Ahead 

If I haven’t made anything clear in my posts, I hope I have been clear about the fact that marriage isn’t easy. Any relationship takes work. In a marriage relationship, where two people are together so much, this is especially true.  
The thing about the perfect institution of marriage is that two very imperfect people join to be “won.” Imperfect people have a past, they have baggage, and they continue to stumble. I know that both Lisa and I fall very short of perfection and I’m sure there are times she would like nothing better dented hit me over the head with a frying pan. 

But in order for fellowship with God to continue, our earthly relationships also have to be in order. This is especially true in the marital relationship. Although not a text about marriage, in Philippians 3:13-14, Paul writes about knowing that he has not attained perfection, he “strains forward” forgetting what’s behind. “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  

In the same way, Lisa and I must press forward, leaving past hurts, arguments and disappointments behind and straining forward to maintain our “woness.” This is definitely work. It takes determination and strength, but the payoff is great!

Love Is The Way

Marriage is not easy. It takes work, it takes sacrifice, it takes mutual submission and it takes understanding. Most importantly, marriage takes a solid foundation. 
In our marriage the love of Christ provides the necessary foundation for us to function as “won.” This is a foundation based on sacrificial love modeled after our Savior’s love for us. Not that we have attained a perfect marriage, since we are both imperfect, but this is the love for which we strive.


1 Corinthians 13:7-8a describes the love we hope to attain daily.    

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” This is my favorite part of this “love chapter” because, in my mind at least, it describes the “love work” involved in a marriage. We bear, believe, hope and endure.  

In this manner, love never ends. And this is the way of love. 

5 Steps To Being Able To Forgive Your Spouse 

In my last post I described the importance of forgiving your spouse. Now I would like to list five ways in which someone can come to the point where they are for giving their spouse. First let me be clear, in cases of infidelity or physical abuse forgiveness should come later. Trust is a whole different topic. But while the spouse is working and hopefully praying through this, he or she may want to remove themselves from the abusive situation and obtain spiritual council.
But if you’re holding on to a hurt and you just cannot forgive your spouse, you may want to consider five ways to be able to get to that point:

1. Consider the probability that your spouse may not know exactly what is troubling you or what’s been done to offend you. 

 Not telling your spouse also prevents him or her from apologizing. In other words, if you want your spouse to repent give them a chance.

2. Pray for clarity. 

If there has been a continuous offense that has been pointed out previously without an apology extended, the spouse really needs to make his or her feelings known. If however, you’re stewing over an offense that occurred several months ago, then you need to pray that God would give you clarity and peace of mind. This may give you an aerial view of the situation instead of a telescope view. In turn, forgiveness may come easier.

3. Instead of focusing on past hurts focus on the reasons you fell in love 

Changing your thought perspective may actually prevent you from slipping into bitterness. Accentuate the positive and think less about the negatives. This does not mean that your feelings don’t have to be communicated however. But if you’re just having problems getting over something that has already been discussed, changing your mindset, of which you have total control is an effective tool.

4. Pray that God gives you strength to forgive.

The importance of forgiveness was discussed in my last post. The most important reason to forgive your spouse is the fact that God has forgiven us. Your “woness” is much more important than holding on to old grudges. 

5. Read and meditate on 1 Corinthians 13
Instead of stewing on the past hurt or wondering why you did not receive the kind of apology that you wanted, it may help to focus on Paul’s word in 1 Corinthians 13:4-6.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” 

I hope this helps a couple having problems in this area.  
 

5 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong With Kids- #5: Intimacy 

The ripping and running of life with kids can leave husband and wife dazed and disconnected. Not only does the couple not find ways to surprise each other, serve each other, or have date nights, they also don’t work at intimacy

Well, it’s true every marriage needs intimacy. Intimacy can range from sharing our deepest thoughts and fears with our spouse to where one is extremely vulnerable, to the physical expression of a couple’s love. True romance requires time, patience and creativity. This however, is not always possible with small kids around. But that does not mean that a husband and wife should take a pass in intimacy.  

Time and creativity may have to take a back seat to spontaneity and opportunity. In other words, make the most of the small window of time and opportunity you have. Sometimes this may require planning, which isn’t romantic at all, but it is much better than forsaking this important aspect of “woness.”   

As I’ve stated in a previous post  https://twobecomingwon.com/2016/03/20/signs-that-your-marriage-is-in-danger-part-four/, Scripture alludes to the importance of intimacy: 1 Corinthians 7:5, “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

So, another excellent way to keep your marriage strong with kids is to not forsake intimacy. It is truly important for “woness.”

How do you make marriage intimacy a priority?

5 Ways To Keep Your Marriage Strong With Kids- #4 Re-connects

As I have stated in previous posts, and as any family has experienced, busy schedules can sometimes lead to a cycle of work, taking kids to activities, dinner, putting them to bed and starting all over again the next day. It is very easy to disconnect in this merry-go round. So why not find 20-30 minutes to reconnect while your at your children activities?
This is was extremely important in my marriage since we all of our extended family lived out of state.

I will admit, our kids are 12 years apart so we didn’t have two kids that needed to go in two different directions. However, both of our kids has friends who we had to occasionally pick up and drop off. And during the soccer years of our oldest, we had a 2 year old to deal with as well. Furthermore, since our daughter was 10, she had a demanding competition cheer schedule. My point is that it can be challenging no matter how many kids you have.
We decided to make “re-connects” a priority. We would go to these activities together and escape for a quick cup of coffee or chat in the car. Yes, you will miss out on socializing with other adults but your “woness” is the priority. This took effort in our part in terms of work schedules but it was well worth it.

Please feel free to share how you Re-Connected with your spouse.

Signs That Your Marriage Is in Danger- Part Three

The third sign that a marriage may be in danger is if couples invest more in their kids than in their marriage. Soccer, football, cheerleading, gymnastics. These are all good things. But if mother or father are spending more time in these activities than in maintaining their marriage, that relationship will suffer. It can be challenging to keep connected in the midst of these activities but couples must find a way. Not only will it make the marriage stronger, it will also be a model for the kids to see that their parents value their marriage.    
Sometimes this may even mean forsaking some activities. I know that’s not a popular thing to say in a day and time where everyone thinks that their kid is the next Tiger Woods or Steph Curry, but if one less activity helps a couple remain engaged then that should be a priority.

However, there are different ways to make a marriage work in the midst of activities. It takes creativity, desire, and an understanding that two cannot become “won” without investing time, energy and love.