Marriage today and tomorrow. What does your marriage look like today? And more importantly, what will it look like tomorrow? And the day after that, and after that, and in the next decade or four…
Your marriage today and tomorrow. Who cares?
Some may believe that a marriage only matters to two people. The husband and wife. I don’t agree. A marriage relationship matters to many more people than the two who make a vow.
That’s one reason I welcomed the opportunity to read “Your Marriage Today and Tomorrow” by Crawford and Karen Loritts. A complimentary copy of the book was provided for me to read by the publisher.
A husband and wife team co-authored this book, and it delves into the idea that a marriage has an impact on future generations. Marriage – today and tomorrow.
I’m happy to say that this couple followed through in how they wrote about what intrigued me in the description. It’s a thought-provoking and discussion instigating book.
My suggestion is that “Your Marriage Today and Tomorrow” is for couples married more than a few years. Not that newlyweds couldn’t glean valuable insights – it’s just that I feel couples who are wading through the weeds might appreciate the long-term thinking behind what the Loritts provide. It makes the reader focus on the big picture.
Rob and I have celebrated our 34th year of marriage. So many times I found myself nodding in agreement at places in the book where it pertained to how our marriage could impact those around us, including our adult children and grandchildren. I even read parts of it to Rob’s dad while we were visiting. He was nodding also.
Your marriage matters to future generations.
Once you’re past the newness of the first few years of marriage, every couple settles into real life. Ah yes. “Real Life” multiplies those personal, less-than-perfect habits.
“A commitment to marriage means a commitment to change.”
“Karen and I stopped pretending that we were more than we are and less needy than the other person.”
To combat our personal habits which could annoy each other and be a negative for future generations learning from watching us, the Loritts suggest pursuing three habits to “reflect God’s purpose and mission for this and future generations.”:
- to continue to pursue Christlikeness individually and as a couple
- consistently focus on character and integrity
- face the reality of our humanity with a willingness to forgive
Practicing these three habits impacts your marriage today and tomorrow.
Chapters 5 and 6 cover the “gifts” every husband and wife need. Again, the ideas in these chapters center around working on our character as partners in life.
The gifts a husband needs from his wife are respect, support, encouragement, loyalty, and confidentiality. The gifts a wife needs from her husband are unconditional love, understanding, provision, protection, trust, and leadership. Biblical references support every gift. It would be interesting to read through these two chapters with your spouse and discuss each gift as it pertains to your marriage.
There are questions and concepts at the end of every chapter – talk about these ideas with your spouse and see where it leads you.
Throughout the book are examples and stories from Crawford and Karen’s personal marriage journey. Also included are their adult children’s views. I imagine some of these personal stories will resonate with you and your spouse. Not all of us come from ideal backgrounds in marriage and being Christ-like.
Karen and Crawford Loritts have been married more than 47 years, with 4 married children and 11 grandchildren. Crawford is a senior pastor in Roswell, Georgia and they’re also the co-authors of another book, “Developing Character in Your Child”.
The Great Handoff
“The Great Handoff” is the title of the last chapter in the book, “Your Marriage Today…And Tomorrow: Making Your Relationship Matter Now and for Generations to Come”. It sums up the Loritts’ belief that marriage is a mission.
“How we face our differences and work through them will, to a large degree, determine the condition of what we place in the hands of the future generations.”
Every marriage impacts the future.
How will your marriage impact others? Read this book and consider the ideas!
If you’re interested in other marriage books, check out this review or this one.
Your vehicle do more? Yes! Your vehicle can do more than take you from Point A —> to —> Point B. Your car or truck can do more than be a line item on your budget or another item to clean.
That thing you drive can become a blessing for you and your spouse and others.
Making your vehicle do more!
Rob and I have come to the realization that a vehicle can be much more than a box on four wheels.
Right now our truck is part of our home… we’ll often refer to our time sitting in our “recliners”, looking out the picture window at the world going by, with a mischevious smile and a wink…
You see, we live in our 5th wheel, which is 282 square feet The truck has become another part of our home as it carries the extras like folding chairs, three different cushions (don’t ask), always a Bible, and extra technology chords. It has a few snacks tucked away, extra work gloves if Rob needs to pitch in and help someone, a blanket or two, two extra pairs of shoes (again, don’t ask) and a few other home-like essentials.
And I take along a few non-essentials, too. In my door is a collection of shells to remind me that the ocean is never too far away.
Now, don’t think the truck is disorganized or “junky” It is very organized because Rob is in charge! He’s the neat one in our relationship, so everything has its space and place. He even wrote a post about being neat as a value – about neatness as caring or control.
You can make your vehicle do more than take you down the road…
Yes, our truck is more than part of our home… it’s become a place of refuge. It’s become a blessing for us.
Here are 3 of many ways your vehicle (like ours) can do more and be more…
A vehicle can be a place to pray in private and together.
You know that you can pray anywhere, right? But sometimes we need to take ourselves out of the ordinary, and retreat to a quiet spot. Our truck is that quiet spot.
I like to park the truck by flowing water to talk to my Heavenly Father. A park with a pond or lake or river or even beside a fountain in a shopping mall has been a spot for me to retreat from the world for a bit. I have my phone with me and can spend time in the Echo app where I record prayer requests from others.
When Rob and I are together we pray before we start driving. We pray for who we going to see, and for the way to get there. We pray for the day. We pray for each other. The truck has become our launching pad of prayer before taking a step into our life.
Do you ever go away to pray in your vehicle? Have you tried the ECHO prayer app? (it’s free)
Your vehicle can be a place to learn and grow.
Podcasts have become a favorite way for me to learn new things. The range and breadth of podcasts available seem to be like the number of different people we meet – limitless! Some of my favorite podcasts are to do with writing and online business, faith, and of course, marriage. 😉 Robert has a podcast he does with other speakers, so of course, I listen to that one too!
And books. The library is one of our most favorite places to visit, so we always have a book or ten on the go. I keep a book with me all the time so I have something to read when I’m waiting. With the sun streaming through the windows, or the rain gently tapping on the roof, the vehicle can be a lovely spot to read, learn and grow. Right now I’m reading all the books I can find on gratitude/thankfulness.
When we’re traveling, I even read out loud to Rob from a book that interests both of us.
Do you have podcasts you like to listen to in your vehicle? (Leave a comment, I’m always looking for more interesting things to learn about.)
Your vehicle can be a place for a quiet, intimate conversation with your spouse.
Rob and I have had some deeply important conversations in our truck – life-altering conversations. We’ve also laughed a lot in our truck. When we mentor couples we suggest they use their vehicle while it’s parked in their driveway as a get-away spot if the weather isn’t “outdoor” friendly.
Have a container filled with conversation starters as an easy and free way to get to know each other (again). Lori and Paul over at The Generous Wife have a set of 365 conversation starters that are wonderful if you and your spouse find it difficult to think of things to talk about. (It’s OK – lots of couples find themselves in this spot every so often.)
Have you had any good conversations in your vehicle with your spouse? Sometimes men prefer a side-by-side conversation so a vehicle can be a perfect spot to explore ideas and thoughts.
Because we have a pickup truck, the truck bed is also a great spot to use – star-gazing, reading, and waiting for a train to pass by with the grandboy!
In what other ways do you use your vehicle?
In what other ways do you use your vehicle, other than the obvious way to get from point A to point B?
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