She asked if we could meet for coffee.
Clearly, something was on her mind.
She’s a wonderful young lady and full of the hopes and dreams that come with youth.
She wants a beautiful marriage.
Yet she’d also been around long enough to know that a strong, loving marriage isn’t a guarantee.
So we sat down in a quiet cafe and she asked me outright:
What does it take to build a lovely marriage? What advice could I give? What would keep the two of them loving each other in the years to come?
And I thought about the things I wish I would have known from the beginning – those things that really matter at the end of the day. Some are big and some are small, but they all add up over the years to a strong, loving marriage.
Here’s what I want to share with her and any others looking for that kind of love . . . .
25 Tips I Want to Share with Younger Wives
1. Hold hands whenever you can. We do and always have. We’ll clasp hands when sitting next to each other on the couch, while we’re driving along in the car, and when we’re out walking. A simple connecting that goes a long way.
2. Pray for him every day. Faithfully. What better gift than to offer up a prayer for him? Ask God to bless him, protect him, and work in his life.
3. Look for the many ways to love on him. Small gifts and thoughtful gestures. Those little things that say, I love you and I’m thinking of you.
4. Make friends with people who’ll encourage your marriage. Surround yourself with those who will support and pray for you both as you grow together.
5. And avoid those who pull against you. If they were “friends”, I’d ditch them altogether. (Real friends are going to cheer you both on). It’s harder with extended family members, but I’d dodge those as much as possible too.
6. Go to the Word of God for the best marriage counseling. You can get good advice from others, but there’s no replacing the loving, powerful Truth to be found in Scripture.
7. Cultivate your friendship. Marriage isn’t merely a business deal.
8. Never give up on each other. People go through difficult seasons and we get to persevere through them. Don’t let go.
9. Confess your sins to one another. Doesn’t help to smooth it over; instead repent and ask forgiveness. (Jas. 5:16)
10. And then forgive freely. (Col. 3:13)
11. Be patient with him. Love is long-suffering, remember? (I Cor. 13:4)
12. Show him respect. It’s in the Bible. And it’s what he needs (Col. 3:18).
13. Leave off with the complaining. It only drags the both of you down (Phil. 2:14).
14. Focus on those things which are true, pure, and lovely. (Phil. 4:8)
15. Speak kindly to him. Gracious words are sweet to the soul (Prov. 16:24).
16. Let the little irritations go. Is it really worth bothering about? Probably not.
17. Keep the home fires burning. Intimacy is still important. Yes, even long after the honeymoon.
18. Stand by your man. You’ll probably find loyalty toward the top of his list.
19. Make loving him your priority. Over your job, your friends, your extended family. Even over your children.
20. Give him – and yourself – room to grow. I know that we’re not done growing yet and I’m guessing you two aren’t either.
21. Express appreciation for the man that he is. Be an encouraging voice in that otherwise thankless world he lives in.
22. Protect your marriage. Value your relationship for the treasure that it really is.
23. Never leave off with kissing. No matter how old you grow. My husband’s 80-year-old parents still kiss each other goodbye – on the lips!
24. Decide you’re going to stick together. With God’s help, you’re going to stay together throughout the years. (Mark 10:9)
25. Put on love. Above all things. (Col. 3:14)
May you be blessed with a truly beautiful marriage!