Do you have an ordinary marriage? Or an extraordinary marriage?
What’s the difference between the two?
Just a bit extra… for an extraordinary marriage.
We can all have an extraordinary marriage – really!
It just takes a bit of extra:
There’s an extra dose of HOPE in an extraordinary marriage.
An extraordinary marriage has a hope for the future, with some extra vision planning and goal setting to get there! You planned your wedding day, right? An extraordinary marriage needs some planning too!
Faith in God. There’s a heaping helping of faith included in an extraordinary marriage.
Believing that the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth has all things in His control and you and your spouse are not alone in your marriage. God is part of the equation of an extraordinary marriage.
Consider: If you grow deeper in Christ as an individual, it will also impact your spouse.
Come on, now. You know this!
From ETSY – Lucky Tusk
Love is not rocket science and, contrary to popular opinion, it’s not a feeling. To LOVE is a decision.
Just look at all the decisions possible to make from 1Corinthians 13: patience, kindness, generousness (no envy), humbleness (no boasting or pride or self-seeking), courteous, protection, trusting, truthfulness and more!
An extraordinary marriage has purposeful prayer.
Prayer isn’t hit or miss – rather, you and your spouse have a shared prayer experience in your extraordinary marriage. You pray together. You pray for each other. Your prayer life will make a difference in more than your own lives.
An extraordinary marriage grows stronger and closer when a husband and wife pray together. Rob and I have been experiencing this growth. It’s never too early to begin to pray together, or too late to rejuvenate your activity of praying together. Begin now.
What needs to happen in your marriage relationship – today – that will make a difference?
An extraordinary marriage needs action. Thinking, talking and planning are good, but until a husband and wife take action, there’s nothing to build on. This action to build an extraordinary marriage isn’t usually about the big gestures. It’s small, consistent actions over time to address the “growth opportunities” in your marriage.
Do you need to reach out to :
- find freedom by forgiving. There’s a free ebook on this site that is quite insightful.
- learn to apologize. Read this to find out what Rob and I experienced when we did an assessment.
- touch each other. Yes, I’m talking about sex. Listen to this podcast by Christian wives. Some physical, emotional and mental issues in intimacy take time to address. The ladies on this podcast write about low libido, sexual healing, and many more needs found in a marriage relationship. You’ll find links to their sites to hone in on the action needed for your marriage. Another resource we recommend is The Marriage Bed.
- clean up some messes. Get organized. Just remember that neatness is not about control. It takes baby steps to clean up and become organized. This lady’s ideas made a difference in our lives.
- have positive financial habits. Rob and I will be going through this program this year.
- understand your spouse’s Love Language. (There are five.) Use this free online tool to understand. The quiz takes just moments, but the practical application of the ideas will impact everyone around you.
- develop deeper communication – use questions to know each other – here are some resources.
- fun – are you feeling like your relationship is just about work or duty? Want to have more fun together? Reflect a bit using this resource. and/or Try these ideas.
What action needs to happen in your marriage to go from ordinary – to extraordinary?
Extraordinary doesn’t just happen.
Now you have an extraordinary marriage.
Nope – it doesn’t happen that way.
(You know this!)
Going from ordinary to more than ordinary is not a destination with an X on the map.
(Choose just one of these extra ingredients. Focus on it for a little bit. You don’t have to do it all right now!)
Extraordinary looks different in every season of marriage.
When you’re in the season of little children running around, an extraordinary marriage looks very different from an open-nest marriage!
Regardless of the season… these five ingredients are a part of an extraordinary marriage!
What would you give your spouse, if you could? Maybe your gifts – for an anniversary or any other occasion – are anniversary gifts you can’t buy.
I found this poem in a children’s book and it expressed so beautifully all those gifts we’d like to give to those we love. I wanted to add it to the series of “Encouraging Words For Your Anniversary”:
So much that I would give you
hovers out of my poor giving.
Song within your heart forever,
faith to end all doubt,
and laughter, warm and gold,
when you begin to grow too serious.
And always near,
the good companionship of trees and birds;
and always, for your beauty-loving ear,
music when you have need of it
and words that pleasure you and rest you, softly spoken.
Unnumbered good days, peace of a starry night,
and love from dawn to dawn that’s an unbroken deep certainty in you…
I have no right to dream of it — but never doubt
I should give you such presents, if I could.
This poem is by Elaine V. Emans titled, “For a Birthday”. When I researched, I couldn’t find a biography but would love to know more about her… Here’s the book in which I found the poem:
Anniversary Gifts You Can’t Buy
Two phrases from the above poem that caught at my heart were:
“faith to end all doubt.” and
“love from dawn to dawn that’s an unbroken deep certainty in you.”
The ability to believe in Christ’s priceless and beautiful gift of eternal life can’t be wrapped up like a gift, but we can ask our loving Heavenly Father to influence those we love to know how much He loves all of us. And we can live this faith, and share love in a Christ-like way with our spouse as an example.
What would be on your list of anniversary gifts you can’t buy?
In addition to all those mentioned in the poem above, I’d add:
- deep, rejuvenating sleep
- healthy food when you’re hungry
- loyal friends
- hope for the future
- pause to notice everything to give thanks over – Thanksliving!
What would you add to the list? Leave a comment…
Here are some other things to say for your anniversary – click the phrase to read more:
Vision first. Then goals. Many couples use the beginning of a calendar year, or an anniversary as a stopping point to reflect and create goals. But sometimes goals by themselves cause more strife than they’re worth. How do you know if your goals are working for you? Consider…
If you have goals as a couple, are they difficult to complete, or are you feeling divided or at odds with your spouse over these goals?
Maybe setting out a vision first would be a good idea…
Vision: a statement that holds your hopes and dreams.
Imagine your vision as a point on the horizon. The direction you’re traveling to get to that vision is the mission, and all the goals along the way are propelling your mission. And your values as husband and wife are the signposts or rumble strips keeping you on the road. Read HERE about values.
Some might suggest that you need a family vision – but Rob and I would argue that you and your spouse lead your family – so it’s really a vision that is spelled out by the two of you.
But first… the vision.
A unified vision is powerful for a husband a wife.
Ask these questions when defining your vision as husband and wife…
- Why are we doing what we’re doing and involved in what we’re scheduled in?
- How are we making a positive difference in the lives of others?
- Who will benefit, now and in the future?
- What do we want to get out of this? (ask regarding all those items you’re involved in.)
- What does real success look like, and what does it feel like?
Pray. Ask God to lead your thoughts and desires around these questions. God knows what’s best for the two of you – ask Him!
When you’ve set the vision, then you have something solid to build goals around and encourage each other in.
Keep the hope for that better vision front and center.
Build your goals around the vision and keep your progress in check with your shared values.
Where there is no vision, the people perish…
~ Proverbs 29:18 KJV
A Thankful Life Thanksliving 2018. Encourage your spouse to live thankful with 365 days of noticing all the blessings the Lord provides in your life. As husband and wife, Rob and I are going to focus on being thankful – in all circumstances during 2018. THANKFUL will become our OneWord365. Thankful Life. Thanksliving.
I’ve been focusing on being thankful or grateful for the last months of the old year. We wrote a post on Lead Like Jesus about our thoughts on the words “thankful” vs “grateful” at Thanksgiving, and then the discussion between us continued. Two particular books left a significant impression and are shaping our ideas…
“365 Thank Yous ~ A Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed my Life” by John Kralik
and the “Gratitude Diaries – How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life” by Janice Kaplin
To practice this art of being thankful THANKSLIVING – we are planning on sending a thank you note (either via snail mail or an e-card) every day of 2018. It’s a real challenge because I (Lori) am not good at things that are on-going. Rob’s going to encourage me. 😉 (That’s what John Kraliks book is about.) As the year progresses I’ll let you know the other things we will be doing for a thankful life THANKSLIVING.
To commemorate our year of living a thankful life THANKSLIVING – here’s a poem that expresses very well what 2018 could look like for Rob and me:
Thankful life. The art of thanksgiving… or thanksliving.
The Art of Thanksgiving
by Wilferd A. Peterson
The art of thanksgiving is thanksliving. It is gratitude in action. It is applying Albert Schweitzer’s philosophy: ‘In gratitude for your own good fortune you must render in return some sacrifice of your life for other life.’
It is thanking God for the gift of life
by living it triumphantly.
It is thanking God for your talents and abilities
by accepting them as obligations to be invested for the common good.
It is thanking God for all that men and women have done for you
by doing things for others.
It is thanking God for opportunities
by accepting them as a challenge to achievement.
It is thanking God for happiness
by striving to make others happy.
It is thanking God for beauty
by helping to make the world more beautiful.
It is thanking God for inspiration
by trying to be an inspiration to others.
It is thanking God for health and strength
by the care and reverence you show your body.
It is thanking God for the creative ideas that enrich life
by adding your own creative contributions to human progress.
It is thanking God for each new day
by living it to the fullest.
It is thanking God
by giving hands, arms, legs, and voice to your thankful spirit.
It is adding to your prayers of thanksgiving acts of thanksliving.
Join us! Thankful Life Thanksliving.
Want to live a thankful life Thanksliving this year – regardless of your circumstances? Janice Kaplan, author of the Gratitude Diaries divided her year into areas in which to be thankful, including her marriage, food, money, things, health and more.
What would you focus on first in your life as husband and wife if you were going to be living a thankful life – THANKSLIVING?
Hannah’s YEAR of Thanksliving! <- She did little “thank you notes” each day and put them in a container.
Crystal’s Blessings Jar – she’s using it to make note of all the blessings in her life.