In a few weeks, John and I will celebrate 47 years of marriage. It seems to have gone by way too fast, but with five married kids and 21 grandchildren, we haven’t had much time to notice the pace. We are simply thankful.
Today we are most grateful for our sweet companionship. No, our marriage isn’t perfect. We still fight and we still have to forgive—frequently. But the years of pressing together through challenges and blessings have produced a stronger blend of oneness.
Recently I jotted down eight ingredients that have helped me as a wife to grow in my marriage.
8 Ingredients for a Lasting Marriage
1. Recognize that no man can love you as much as you want to be loved. Only God can. Run to Him first. Spend time in His word and in prayer. It will relieve the pressure on your marriage.
2. Have a few close girlfriends with whom you can share your heart. These should be women who are for your marriage, always pushing you to Christ and toward your husband.
3. Refuse the temptation to “emotionally withdraw.” And you will be tempted—many times. Recognize it, resist it, and instead, do whatever it takes to grow closer to one another.
4. Pray daily for your husband—for God to bless him, for him to know how much God loves him, for his professional needs, and for God to give him some Christian guy friends.
5. Make time with him a priority. Put him before the kids. Establish a regular date night and keep it.
6. Hit the “delete button” on your mental list of the things he does wrong. Instead, ask God to remind you of one trait you appreciate in him every day and tell your husband about it. This is your daily marriage vitamin.
7. Do fun, silly, new things together and nurture laughter.
8. Be quick to ask forgiveness and to forgive, even if you don’t feel like it or want to. Healing takes time but the healing process begins with forgiveness.
Marriage is a gift. Your husband is a gift. And with God at the center of your union, you can grow closer as the years increase.
Susan Alexander Yates is a mom to five children (including a set of twins) and grandmother to 21 (including a set of quadruplets!). Susan and her husband John have been married 51 years. Susan has written 16 books and speaks on the subjects of marriage, parenting, faith, and women’s issues. Susan’s favorite time of the year is June when all her kids and grandkids are together for a week of “cousins and family camp” in the foothills of the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia.