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:
We make it all work – together!
With God’s help and grace, of course.
Alone – without God – it’s a hit or miss thing.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
God doesn’t give up on us. We are given grace over and over and over and over… He loves us and we love Him. He has called us. We seek His purpose for our lives.
God brought the two of you together.
Oh, we know that it’s not all good stuff in your life. We know you’re struggling. Rob and I are too! Some parts of our lives have a lot of room for improvement. A lot!
But, we can’t give up.
We need to make it all work.
Husbands and wives need to work together to make it all work.
Write the stories of God’s goodness on your hearts.
Remind each other of all the times God has been gracious to you. Tell the stories so your children and friends know how God has shown up in your lives. Write those stories down.
The post, “Encouraging Your Spouse in a Time of Disappointment” is part of our story as husband and wife. I wrote it at an intense moment in our life, then, two years later I went back and added what happened after those intense three days. Someday I will be completely candid and write the whole story to show God’s goodness. He’s still working out the final chapters, so I have to wait to tell you. But Rob and I aren’t giving up. I’m here for Rob. Here’s here for me. We are together. And through God’s grace, we are able to find a way to make it all work – together. We’re not giving up.
What about you?
Don’t give up!
Make a pledge to your spouse that you won’t give up. With God’s grace and love, He will provide what’s necessary to make it all work so you can say,
“Our marriage is great because we care enough to find a way to make it all work – together!“
We make it all work – together – is the 4th in 10 posts!
These are a series of posts for your anniversary, or anytime! Rob and I seek to encourage husbands and wives to lead meaningful lives. Celebrating milestones along the way is one part of a meaningful life. Here are the other posts (Just click on the pictures).
Here are some other things to say for your anniversary – click the phrase to read more:
Happy Anniversary – You come first! Could you say your spouse gets your best without her or him snorting or guffawing with derision?
Does your spouse have the best of you – before any other human being? Before the children? Just consider – children grow up and go to live their own lives. You and your spouse started together and before you know it, it’ll be just the two of you again. And that’s a good thing. Really!
What about grandchildren? Could your spouse say that he or she comes before the grandchildren in your heart? That’s a hard question in our life right now. 😉 That grandboy has us wrapped around his little finger!
Is your spouse more important than work commitments? Yes, I know we all need to earn enough for the necessities of life, however, work can become an addiction. An obsessed spouse can’t give their best.
“Just let me…” At times the work which can take preference has nothing to do with earning money. Work could be cleaning, or crafting, or computer time. It’s all justifiable. But does work (in whatever form) take precedence over time with your spouse? Just asking…
Leftover or the Best?
What happens when you give your time to other things before your spouse? The leftovers aren’t worth much. Your spouse gets much less than your best.
Although it isn’t always practical for your spouse to have your first attention – it is good to give your spouse your best!
You Come First
How do you show your spouse that he or she comes first before any other human? Maybe it can’t be with your time if this is an overwhelming season. But let’s do some brainstorming here…
Move toward each other – You Come First!
It took years for me to understand I have a Christian obligation to continually move toward my wife. I thought that as long as I didn’t attack my wife or say cruel things to her, I was a “nice” husband, but the opposite of biblical love isn’t hate, it’s apathy. To stop moving toward our spouse is to stop loving him or her. It’s holding back from the very purpose of marriage.
from Gary Thomas’ book, “Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?”
Just so we understand each other, Rob and I feel that God as the center of your life is key to a successful marriage, and for every other part of life. When we talk about putting your spouse before any other human being, we also want to encourage you to center all your life around God. Let Him and His Son be your focus like the sun is the center of the universe. Worship God together. After all, He gave you your spouse to love!
This is the third of ten ideas on what to say – and do – to make your anniversary special.
Click the picture to read the accompanying post!
Click the picture below to read the post with all the ideas!