My wonderful husband and I just celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary. It has been amazing to think that we have been blessed with these years together. But I have been living a fairy tale thanks to God’s wonderful plan to bring us together.
My husband will tell you, he knew he loved me in the first week we knew each other. It took me a little longer to openly admit that. I had written off men. I wasn’t looking for anyone. Then we met… and my future husband filled in the blank.
I know… “Explanation, please?”
Here it is: For several years I had this recurring dream. (I am talking since I was a little girl). In it, I was married to this faceless man. In the dream we had children and I could see them, but never the face of my husband.
Recurring Dream Before I met Dave
The week after I met Dave I had the dream again, but this time my husband was no longer faceless. Dave’s handsome, smiling face had filled the blank. Talk about God giving me the message.
The Dream After I met Dave
So what is the secret to success in a marriage? I really believe it comes down to remembering the promises you make on the day you say “I do”. I promised to take Dave as my husband. I pray each day for God to help me be the wife that Dave needs me to be. Notice I didn’t say I pray daily for God to make Dave the husband I need. That is on purpose. If we want our husbands to be the men we need them to be, we have to start by making sure we are holding up our end of this partnership. Am I showing him respect and honoring him? Am I submitting to him? (Ephesians 5:22-24) I know that can be a tough one for women in the 21st Century, but it is the crucial part of a successful, blessed marriage.
That is the basis for what helps make our marriage work. Dave also fills his Biblical role as my husband. He is the head of our home. He loves me as Christ loved the Church. I know that he would do anything to protect and provide for me and our children. I never have to doubt that, never.
Building from that foundation – what about the practical ways we make our marriage work? I am feeling led to share some of these ideas because I have been hearing about marriages that are crumbling and hearts that are breaking. We get so busy we can take the blessings of marriage for granted. The devil loves to see the beautiful gift from God – marriage – destroyed.
I realize we can’t go back in time to the moment when your heart first skipped a beat at seeing him. But remember the promise of “I Do” implies some effort/action on your part.
Purpose to be aware of him. I try to remember when I walk into a room where Dave is to think – There is the man of my dreams. I seek him out, I try to catch his eye and give him a special smile that is only for him. It may sound “shmoopy” to quote a Seinfeld moment… but it works. I sometimes even start to feel overcome with a wave of love for this man who loves me so much. Try it.
Here comes the Touchy Feely part. When you are walking by your husband… reach out and touch him. Brush his arm, give him a little hug, let your hand rest on his for a moment. A little PDA is definitely called for in a healthy marriage. Think about it. When you first started dating you couldn’t wait to hold his hand. This PDA should be an overflow of the personal affection that you share privately. I am not going to go into details here. But let’s just say that intimacy is a vital part of a healthy marriage. So make it a priority.
What about the little things? I am not bragging here, just repeating what Dave has said to me. He considers himself a lucky man. You see he married a woman who is all about dedicating weekends to football every fall. (College on Saturdays, NFL on Sundays). I even will fix the snacks for the NCAA Basketball. While I like to watch these sports with him. I also see this as a time when I am focusing on what he enjoys and showing interest in it.
He likes to drive Race Cars
Dates are important. I am not talking about remembering our anniversary – although that is crucial. I am talking about going out with your husband – without the kids. Sometimes we include some of our other friends.
Catching a Concert With Friends
But it is also vital to have time just for the two of you. And it doesn’t always have to be out on the town. Get the kids fed and in bed early, get yourself looking pretty… and enjoy a candlelight dinner at home. Even if it is hamburger helper, the added touches that show you put some thought into it speak volumes. They shout, “I Love You.”
Cheerleading 101 Don’t worry you won’t have to do any back flips and pom poms are optional. I am talking about you being your husband’s biggest cheerleader. Remember – God has called him to lead your home, provide for you, and protect you – even to the point of putting his life on the line for you (Ephesians 5:25-31). So it is no wonder that our fellas can feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. That is why we are to be their biggest source of encouragement. We should never tear down our men. It is easy to do, especially when challenges come. But remember the reason you said “I do.” I have a quick tongue – it can get me into big trouble. But I pray Colossians 4:6 so I know how to speak before I even open my mouth. I never want to be the source of pain for Dave. He is the most amazing, patient, helpful, honest person I have in my life.
THE True Secret for a Successful Marriage: God. I am wrapping this up with THE true source for success in your marriage. Even if you are struggling, if there is hurt and pain – this is the way to find healing. Put God at the center of your marriage. He must be the head of the union. If you and your husband are each focused First on God, then it will become easier to focus on each other. You see – God created marriage. He said it is not good for man to be alone. He created a helpmate for him. They leave their families and join together as one. Since God created marriage, He is the only One Who can perfect it.
To Have and To Hold From This Day Forward – I Do