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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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.

3 Reasons We Like Working Out

I have always been pretty athletic and interested in sports in general. I played several sports but was most fond of futbol (or soccer). 

In my latter years I have picked a previous interest: weightlifting. I have also developed an interest, through my dear wife, in CrossFit. It’s probably because as a coach, she gets to tell me what to do and how to do it.  A scenario my wife would like mirrored at home, LOL!  

But on a serious tip, there are three main reasons I enjoy working out now: One, is that working out and doing Crossfit parallels our marriage in terms of the encouragement we give one another. Just when I think I can’t go further, Lisa pushes me a little. (She probably wishes this also applied to projects around the house). The same is true when she is struggling to come up from her last squat rep. When we come across the obstacles in life, I have her back and she has mine.

  

The other reason I enjoy working out more than ever is the teamwork that it takes. I know this may sound strange but stay with me. In order for our bodies to meet the demands of exercising, we need proper nutrition. Well, I can make great scrambled eggs and a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but that will leave us in an energy deficit! Lisa on the other hand, is a GREAT cook and does our meal preps. Whereas I, do the cleaning. In other words, we each serve important function in our team or “won.” 

The third and final reason I like working out with my wife: It’s just fun hanging out with her!! 

What Does Our Marriage Communicate?

I’ve been married 19 years and I just recently thought about what our life communicates to our kids. What have I taught my son about how a woman should be treated? What have my actions reflected about my love for my wife? In turn, how has Lisa’s married life impacted our daughter?

I guess we often think about what kind of legacy we will leave our family. I wasn’t always a good role model, but as I matured in my Christian walk and as the refinement process continues, I would think that I became a better husband, leader, father and disciple. I can certainly say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have seen that growth in my wife.  

As we have both grown, Lisa and I have made it a point to impart the importance of servant leadership. As I lead my wife, I try to do so by serving her. She has done the same by serving her family faithfully and sacrificially. We have been most encouraged in our “woness” by hearing others tell us that our lives are an inspiration.     This gives us great joy. Not the kind of happiness that leads us to believe that we have reached the mountain top. But instead, a humble joy that God would choose to use such broken vessels to speak life to those hurting or those contemplating marriage.  

I think I can speak for my bride of 19 years when I say that in 2016, we would like most of all to communicate love. Not the emotion. But the verb. We would like to reflect in our lives what Jesus commanded His disciples in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

In this manner we can be sure we will leave a legacy of “won.”

Better to Do Than to Receive 

Christmas is indeed a beautiful time of the year. I know this post may be a little late…but, oh well.  The hope in anticipation of something new can be very exciting. We anticipate spending time with the ones we love, we anticipate some time off and relaxation. We look forward to Christmas parties and exchanging gifts with people we love.  
Right around this time there is a natural temptation to go all out and be frivolous as a result of being influenced by our materialistic culture.  

There is nothing wrong with expressing love with gifts. After all, some people’s love language is giving gifts. However, Christmas time has become associated with buying more and more. The true message of the Greatest gift is lost with all the hustle and bustle. Furthermore, the sharing of quality time with your spouse is a gift in and of itself.

This Christmas we took a different approach. Although we did exchange some gifts, our motto has become “have less, do more.” This started with our 3rd annual Christmas Eve ice skating outing. We not only shared falls, but laughs and created lots of memories.    

These memories in turn are how the foundation of love continually gets patched up and strengthened. Furthermore, that which is strengthened, is maintained. And that which is maintained is preserved. This is how two stay at “won.”

Celebrating 19

19thAnniversaryIt was a rainy day in July, 1996. Although this event was to be held outdoors, threats of hurricane type weather forced the occasion to be indoors. I was nervous about what was about to occur. Was this inclement weather an omen of turbulence ahead? Did I make the right decision? Was I stable enough in my career?   After all, I hadn’t really planned for any of this to happen this way. I wanted to be well established before I tied the knot. Was I truly ready to be a husband? A father?

Well, all those fears and anxieties came to a halt when I saw the doors open at the Merion Tribute House. I know we had invited guests, but all I could see was this angel, dressed in white and a smile that could’ve lit up a New York black out. Her beauty radiated with each step and came to an ever increasing crescendo as she approached me.

I thank God for that moment 19 years ago. Although I was a different man then, somewhat insecure and scared about the future, that beautiful angel has not changed at all. She still gives me strength, courage and confidence. She has also shown me patience, kindness and unconditional love. I have since then become the true man that my angel deserves.

Rob n Lisa Godspell 2014

My angel has always been the wind in my sails, the coffee in my cream, the syrup in my pancakes and the milk in my cereal. So in honor of my beautiful wife, I’d like to share some things that these 19 years have taught me about marriage: First, you can never have enough love. Although we have had our ups and downs, love has brought us back to common ground. Through love we have battled back from a few disagreements and arguments. Through love we have stuck together during difficult times that could’ve easily caused division. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13, our mantra has been “love is patient, love is kind.”

Second, through mutual submission servant leadership has been the focus of our union. Not having had a model for leading in a marriage, I had no idea what this meant much less how to start. But as I learned over the years from Scripture and godly men, the way to lead was through serving my wife. In doing so, we have humbly served each other without keeping tabs of who has done more. Love to serve and serve to love became a model for us. Serving in a Christ like manner, we have attempted to model Christ’s love to our children.

And finally, by forgiving one another we have avoided bitterness, resentment and division. As stated in Scripture, we are forgiven by forgiving. This could not be more important in a marriage. Although there have been times when I just knew “I was right,” this became less important as the two of us grew into “won.” It was only by forgoing our pride and self-satisfaction that the importance of forgiveness became clear.

So as I reflect on my 19 years of “woness,” I thank God for His grace to us. I thank my wonderful angel for her love, grace, and forgiveness. I look forward to many more years of our life together and more chocolate cake.