My wife Clarissa, is the most amazing, loving, kind-hearted women I could have ever imagined marrying. We’ve been married for over 13 years now. That amazes me. I find myself day dreaming of getting to tell someone, some day in the future, how we’re at our 15 year mark, then our 20 year mark, and then our 30 year mark. Every year that passes makes me feel more blessed because statistically we should have been divorced by now. Even among Christians, the divorce rate is high. That’s pathetic! Clarissa has never met her Dad and her Mom wasn’t a good role model. I came from a divorced family which was tough. By all accounts our marriage should have failed long ago. We’ve had some difficult times. Times where the future seemed uncertain. But we kept going. We kept our vows, our commitment for better or worse. I said I was going to use my experience from growing up in a divorced home and never let that happen to me. Clarissa said she was NOT going to model after her mom. And saying that is great but it isn’t a guarantee it won’t happen. Before you know it, you’re doing the same things you swore you would never do. It’s just human nature to default to what we know, to let our guard down, and go into auto-pilot with our relationships. Marriage takes work. A lot of work. Constant change and effort and then… more work. But when both husband and wife are working toward the same goal of unity, it makes you an unstoppable team. “And the two will become one flesh… let no one separate” the Bible says in Mark 10: 8-9 and Matthew 19: 5-6 (paraphrased). MEN, study your wife like you did when you were dating! You too ladies. Study your man. Keep what you first fell in love with always in the forefront of your mind.
How many of you still go on dates with your spouse? ALL of you I hope! It’s vital to have that one-on-one, alone time, out of the house, away from the kids, interaction where the two of you can come together and reconnect. So many parents get so busy with the hustle and bustle of life and the kids get most of the parents’ attention day in and day out and the marriage suffers. Listen; When the kids are grown and gone, who will be left in your house? Just the two of you. So nurture your relationship. The bible says our priorities are God first, then our spouse, then our children. Don’t miss that principle. It will pay you dividends in the future. Nurture your marriage. Make sure all the “gas tanks” are constantly being filled up: spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially, relationally, & personally. Do a devotional together, exercise together, discuss your finances together, have SEX regularly (you’re welcome men), and talk to one another regularly (you’re welcome ladies).
Check out the book called Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs! It’s pretty good. And if you’ve never seen the movie Fireproof with Kirk Cameron, I highly encourage you to rent it and make a date night out of it. No kids. Just the two of you! You may not be going through the same issues as the couple in the movie, but it’s still a good movie. Both of these resources have a lot of great practical advice!
Like with everything else, Clarissa and I are not perfect. We’re still trying to figure this out. But like everything else in this world, we’re never going to get everything right. But it’s in the trying together where you’ll find a deeper love and respect for each other. Make your marriage fireproof!
Proverbs 31: 10-11 – Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.” (NKJV)