Easter is on its way, and visions of Easter baskets always take me back to one of our wedding showers. We got married in April (here comes anniversary #24!), and our hostess planned a fun and impactful game. Each guest was given a slip of paper on which to write one piece of marriage advice, and then each slip was placed in a plastic egg and into a basket.
Photo Credit: She Knows
It was so much fun reading the advice aloud and seeing how each person had their own view of the recipe for a great marriage.
My devotion today focused on some great marriage advice I received years ago, and I thought I’d try to reproduce our little game by asking some friends to pass on their best marriage wisdom to you. These are women living in imperfect but happy marriages, and they represent young marrieds, two couples married over 50 years, stay-at-home-moms, a counselor and a CEO. They’re living in different ages and stages of life, but they all are living to walk closely with God and to build strong marriages. Here are their wise words:
“Your spouse is not equipped for or meant to provide the depth of intimacy you are meant to get from your relationship with Christ. In short, don’t try to drain from your spouse what you were meant to receive from God.” ~Lindsey Wingo
“Acknowledge and live every day of your married life with the knowledge that you have made a covenant commitment to your spouse before God. Whatever your differences might be on a given day, the foundation of your marriage is solid…and permanent – it’s a forever commitment to love each other!” ~Lisa Grimes
“Joy is an important element in marriage. Laughing together keeps conflict in perspective and is bonding. I’m so happy I married a man who still makes me giggle every day.” ~Me
(Case in point…this was Barry’s contribution when I told him about the blog’s purpose today…) “You can laugh with your spouse when you’re both naked, but you shouldn’t ever laugh at your spouse when you’re both naked.” ~Barry Carroll
“There are 2 things we must be intentional about as wives:
1. Learn the language of RESPECT and speak it.
2. Be INTENTIONAL about lighting the bedroom candle on a regular basis. It’s a must!” ~Tara Furman
“We are 47 & 49 with aging parents, and college/young adult children. Our maintained friendship is what connects us in these tough days. We’ve been married 27 years.” ~Jennifer Gay
“From childhood it was always my prayer that when, and if, I married, we would be a support for each other and have a home centered on Jesus. After almost 50 years, that’s still my prayer, daily. A thankful heart has also brought me to my knees over the years. I have been and still am so blessed to be married to Barry.” ~Barbara Carroll (my precious mom-in-law)
“Marry someone who brings out the best in you. After the 3 year buzz has worn off, they will continue to do so!” ~Carol Byrd
“My first year of marriage, a wise woman shared this wisdom, ‘You don’t have to share your mate’s bad mood.’ My husband Larry says happy couples are made of individuals who know how to develop personal satisfaction without selfishness.” ~Debbie Wilson
“Avery and I try to out serve the other person. This is the basic principal of putting others before yourself. It works out nice in a marriage, and it keeps you from being selfish! Also, there must be adventure in your marriage!! The reason “things” aren’t the same as they use to be, is because you aren’t doing the same “things” you use to do. Go on a date, take a walk, go parking, make a late night Krispy Kreme run, put on a pot of coffee and sit and talk! Have fun, enjoy your God given life!!” ~Rey Cooke
“I have many suggestions for a happy marriage but some probably rank higher than others! Commitment would rank right up there, along with patience & not jumping to conclusions! Humor goes a long way too!!!” ~Carol Dohm (my sweet mama)
“Pray pray pray for your man, & SHOW him how much you love & respect him!” ~Julie Cable
“I am a better wife to my husband when I have been praying for him. I have been thinking of my husband’s needs/desires, and I have asked God to move in his life and to use him for kingdom work. I want to be a help and not an obstacle in my husband’s day.” ~Brigitte Harrison
“’…be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.’ (James 1:19) When angry, refer back to the first two admonitions!” ~Janet Dohm (my wise sis-in-law)
“Buy a camper! Or, at least commit to do something together that you truly enjoy. When Scott & I bought our camper a few years ago, we were in a rut….he was doing his thing & I was doing mine, but we weren’t doing much together. Then, we started camping and we began working together toward a common goal….unplugging, relaxing, spending time together, and making memories as a family. We never imagined that something so simple would strengthen our marriage in such a powerful way!” ~Holly Ladner
I so enjoyed reading wisdom from my friends and family, and I hope it’s been fun for you too. What piece of advice resonates with you? Please join in–leave a comment, and add your piece of marriage wisdom. We’d love to learn from you!