Hello! I thought you’d like to hear about encouragement from a man’s perspective, so I’ve invited Robert, my husband, to be my co-contributor here at Encourage Your Spouse. (Learn more at our “About Us” page.) Robert is passionate about values – and how they can make a difference in all parts of life, especially marriage. In this post, he explains the value of strength, and how it can make a difference in a marriage…

“Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”

That’s a powerful statement, applicable to marriages. It’s especially important to newly married couples. A newly married couple looking at another couple married 30 years might think,

“Wow, look how they work together, it’s like they know each other’s thoughts. We’ll never have that.

Or more likely, the newly married man or woman considers what their spouse is NOT doing, the way the older married couple might seem to automatically just respond or do things for each other.

This is dangerous thinking.

Why? Because it ignores the process of building strength into a marriage.

The Value of Strength

Strength might not be the first value you select for your marriage. But it likely is one of the more desired ones.

Strength can be defined as strong and sure; lastingness or permanence; having or wielding force or authority.

This value is more of a desirable end-state or goal, versus a desirable mode of behavior (to reach this end-state). In other words, most people would prefer to focus on being happy versus focusing on building strength into their marriage.

But imagine if every married couple began with the objective of building strength into their marriage.

The conscious and deliberate actions a husband and wife would incorporate into their daily life would have a compounding effect – over time. Such thoughtful and considered behavior would eventually create something of tremendous permanence and force.

Just as an athlete builds up strength over time, married couples can do the same.

7 Ways to Build Strength in Your Marriage

Building Strength into a Marriage

An obvious place to start building strength into a marriage is at the beginning. But it doesn’t really matter how long you have been married.

To build strength – start now.

Here are 7 ways to build strength into your marriage:

  1. Define your “why”. Creating a shared vision and defining what a meaningful life means to both parties is the best way to build strength.
  2. Be consistent in showing your love. Love is not earned. It is given freely. You can change how you demonstrate your love, but consistent effort here has a long-lasting effect.
  3. Respect your spouse. Being courteous is one thing. But when you proclaim honest admiration for your spouse, then you are showing how much you care. Also, when you demonstrate self-restraint, you are showing your spouse that their needs matter.
  4. Use intensity to your advantage. Every marriage has intense moments. While at times these might appear to strain the relationship, you can turn them into a positive impact by sharing your experiences with others – together. These create healthy stories of success.
  5. Be willing to adapt. If something is harmful to your marriage (or has the potential to be) then remove it. This is not about sacrifice. It’s about demonstrating that you are willing to do whatever it takes to protect your marriage.
  6. Keep the excitement alive. Push away predictability and boredom by occasionally surprising your spouse with something new. And remember, it needs to be about them and not you.
  7. Incorporate times of rest. This is not about being away from each other. Rather, allow time for renewal and rejuvenation of the things you love together. Just as the silent notes in music can create a powerful impact, so too can the quiet moments in a marriage create a lasting impact.

Strength is a desirable value to build into a marriage.

Not only does strength create lasting value for a married couple, but it also provides great value to their children, their community, and even their country.

In what other ways can you build strength into your marriage?

Robert Ferguson is a speaker, author and consultant with a passion for values. He and Lori are on an adventure – touring North America with their F150 and fifth wheel. Read more about Robert on the “About Us” page.