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?

The Day I Almost Ran

I was playing around with a rambunctious, five year old kid, tickling his sides and underarms. This energetic, fast moving boy was giggling hysterically. All of a sudden, I stepped away and froze as if I had been injected with a paralytic drug. I was motionless for what seemed an eternity and could not muster any words. As I stood in shock, I considered my options: politely smile, run for the door or just walk to another room. All these thoughts raced through my mind leading me to no specific action.  

What happened that caused me to go from playing with this kid to standing in shock? Well, I’ll try the short version. I was dating a nice, pretty lady and we wanted to spend some time together. So I went to see her at her mom’s house, which at the time was also her house. As we sat on the couch talking, in comes this kid who would not be ignored. I had met him before but never like this. He sat next to me as if to say, “look at me!”  

So I started tickling him and then it happened: this young kid, full of personality yelled “daddy! daddy!” That’s when I backed up in surprise and shock. Of course, after a few minutes I played it off but I definitely wasn’t ready for that.


To understand his reaction you’d have to know that he grew up without his biological father. His mother played both roles exceptionally well with family support. She was always and has always been a strong and determined woman. It is safe to say that after some thought and dealing with my own demons that kid stole my heart. I think I may have proposed to him first.  


After Lisa and I became “won” I adopted that rambunctious kid and he has grown into a fine, independent, young man. And I am proud of his giving heart. Thank you Robert, for accepting me in spite of my flaws. I can’t imagine life without you.

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.  
 

A Mother’s Love

A poem for my wife on Mother’s Day 
A love that knows no bounds,  A love that always goes round and round
A love that really never tires, Because this love is unique and always on fire 

In the morning or at night,  This love is always in flight

A love that is willing and ready to serve,  Because that’s what she thinks others deserve 


A love that is quiet and behind the scenes,  Because that’s the style of my Queen

A love that believes in sacrifice, Because that’s how it is in Paradise 

This kind of love can only come from a mother,  And it’s so pleasant to see when given to another 

This is one of the reasons why I love my wife, Because this kind of love exemplifies her life.

Happy Mother’s Day Lisa

How About A Re-Cap?

So I wanted to briefly recap the 5 ways to keep your marriage strong with kids because this is such an important topic. Yes, we are to love our kids while they’re being raised.But to do this to the detriment of the marriage is like building a house without a good foundation. Eventually, either while the children are small or after they’ve grown and left, that “woness” will crumble. Remember, the marriage is what sustains the kids NOT the other way around.


So here they:

1. Surprise gifts- let your spouse know that you’re thinking of him/her.

2. Acts of service- serving each other is a great way to keep connected

3. Date night- this is VERY important. This helps the couple remember why they became “won.”

4. Re-connects- there is a way to coexist with multiple kid activities. Stay in the car and talk or go talk over coffee.

5. Intimacy- this is another area of marriage that cannot be ignored. This can range from cuddling, deep discussions, and the physical expression of a couples love. It may have to be planned and scheduled time but this shouldn’t and can’t dissuade a couple from intimacy.

I hope this recap helps and I pray for marriages that are struggling. May God bless your “woness.”