Today’s post has become a disease to our society and especially personal to me, as I watch close friends of mine who have either ended or are seeking to end their marriages, destroying 2 individuals, their kids, their families, their businesses and their communities and future generations in the process.
Fellas, I’m directing today’s energy right at us. What are we as men doing to help sustain our marriage and our families? What are we doing to fight off the sexual immorality and lust, and all the temptations we have to be selfish? Are we thinking only about ourselves and our desires that conflict with us being able to realize and experience a successful relationship with our spouses?
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh [Genesis 2:24]
When we made the choice to devote the rest of our lives to becoming one flesh, there wasn’t any fine print on that vow that said:
Marriage is not gonna work out all the time and if I’m selfish and feeling like I wanna go find another woman and not work on this marriage anymore, that’s fine, God will forgive me and waive my vows in this particular instance. Requirement for me staying in this marriage will vary based on my wife’s attitude and willingness to have sex with me whenever I want. Estimated time commitment in this marriage is limited to when I have time left, after work, hanging with the boys and watching enough NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, or any other sporting event I feel is warranted to occupy my time ahead of my spending time with my wife and attempting to make my marriage work. My marriage can surely end if I find me someone cuter, smarter, or who is more willing to participate in my manly activities that my wife does not want to take part in. My wife is limited to anything I deem is off limits or I will simply file a divorce. See your local divorcee for more advice and details on how to destroy your life.
The bible says in Proverbs 18:22 “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.”
Guys, did you realize that God shows you favor by way of your wife. One of the common problems for all men is that we always think the grass is greener on the other side, and it’s not. The Grass is greener where you water it!
So many spouses think ‘this isn’t the best person for me’. Well let’s see what the statistics say about this common thought that we allow to destroy lives:
According to research data on the divorce rate in America:
The divorce rate in America for first marriages is 41%
The divorce rate in America for second marriages is 60%
The divorce rate in America for third marriages is 73%
Guys, it doesn’t get better with the 2nd or 3rd wife. In fact, it’s going to get lots worse. You’re going to be prone to thinking you can always start over! So instead of quitting on the first, why not work at it a little more? You’re more likely to keep her, than you are to keep any other!
There’s so much to be said about things you shouldn’t do that will cause you to go down the wrong path that can lead to divorce. I could write tons of blog posts on what NOT to do. But I won’t. Instead I’ll tell you the things that work for Kristin and I that help me to sustain our marriage and keep a happy wife:
1. COMMUNICATION – good or bad, we talk everyday! Guys, we men are horrible at listening. Learn to listen. It’s my worst possible trait, but I truly commit to asking “Honey, how was your day?” and just shut up and listen. We all know women can talk and love to talk. But you pick up nuggets of info that help you both stay in a loop and stay connected. If you’re mad about something, don’t keep it bottled in, talk about it… but talk civilized. Nothing is worse that getting yelled at about something and immediately, you’re on the defensive. Speak as you would like to be spoken to by your spouse. We rarely ever go to bed on an argument and because we talk so much, we honestly rarely argue! Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t perfect, not every talk ends with us feeling all warm and fuzzy, but we both get our thoughts out on the table, leaving no room for assumptions. And the assumptions that boil up inside and manifest themselves over time are what can be deadly when they come out! So keep talking to each other regularly, no matter what.
I remember when Kristin was training last year for her 60 mile breast cancer walk. We’d walk for hours, literally 3 – 4 hours at a time and we’d just talk the whole time. At first we wondered, what the heck can we talk about for that time, but we did fine for months. We became even closer because of it. So just remember to talk together as much as you can and as often as you can!
2. BALANCE – Many guys think their wives should always cook, clean, iron, and do all the other domestic chores, plus take care of kids, us and home. Grow up! We’re living in 2010. If you want to maintain a happy home and keep her around for a long time, learn to cook her a meal she enjoys once in a while. It’s not rocket science, jump on stumbleupon.com and select food, you’ll see some insane recipes to some mighty delicious stuff. You’ll have your wife talking about you for weeks to all her friends and family!! Learn to wash the clothes for you and her and the kids once in a while. If nothing else, you’ll appreciate the energy and time that goes into that chore. Lastly, take the kids for no reason and every once in a while, invite her to have a night out with her girls, without you. Guys, these are tips that will surely keep her sane and happy! And it will add the balance that you both need to continue growing as individuals.
3. COURT HER OFTEN – Anyone wants to call my house and ask my wife how many times a day I tell her I love her? Lol. It’s probably something she honestly gets sick of. But I tell her a bunch of times every day that I do. Before the baby was born, we’d often commit one day or event each week to Kristin and Stephen time. Meaning, we had a DATE NIGHT. You should try that if you don’t presently. We had Kristin’s brother babysit twice in the past month for us to continue on, so don’t make it an excuse with kids. We’ve done it twice in the past month with a 7 week old! You can still get out! It’s important.
I could choose to go on and will likely follow up with many posts to this. But let’s remember that our marriage vows are to be there in good times and bad, in sickness and health. The day we accepted those vows for better or worse we didn’t say ‘til DIVORCE we part’…. NO, we said, til death do we part. This being said, please don’t go killing your wife! lol. Love your wife, support your wife, encourage your wife, listen to your wife, speak to your wife, date your wife, challenge your wife’s growth. Lastly, pray for your wife daily! And on occasion, don’t be afraid to ask her to pray for you too. I love to hear my wife pray over me. It’s the most awesome thing in the world to me.
Married folk, keep fighting. Don’t give in to divorce. Please keep me prayed up too, that my own relationship stays true to what I have been able to live out above. God bless you guys.
Mr. Hart, this is an excellent post and shows exceptional insight from a relatively young husband and father, your peers or any husband of any age will do well to take your words to heart (No pun intended). I am a little further down the pike from you and I have witnessed first hand the destruction that can come from one selfish and careless act. All wives can read and adapt this to themselves as well. If more people would turn inward to there mates instead of outward less families would suffer from the destruction,
Thanks Alecia for your kind words. I’m hoping to even influence a couple of these peers of mine to work a little harder at making sure their marriages work! If we can keep even one couple married, then we could save a family’s generation…
Wow! I absolutely love this post! THANKS!!!
Thank you Jamila 🙂 Happy you love it, and thanks for your twitter love… I’m not good at twitter with the responses yet.
Wow! absolutely true. Maybe you should also consider marriage counselling as I think couples need to also hear this before they marry.
Good point Grandma Vee, I agree. Lots of folks do need to hear this before they take their vows.
Taken from my Song of Solomon study guide (Tommy Nelson).
The 17 “Nevers” of Communicating with Your Spouse:
1. Never raise your voice in your home.
2. Never publicly embarrass your mate.
3. Never quarrel before the children.
4. Never use the kids to win an argument.
5. Never talk about your spouse outside of your marriage.
6. Never use sex to win.
7. Never touch in anger.
8. Never call names.
9. Never get historical and call into account a wrong suffered.
10. Never stomp out.
11. Never freeze your mate.
12. Never use the in-laws.
13. Never reason in the face of pain.
14. Never let the sun go down on your wrath and give the devil an opportunity.
15. Never reverse an argument.
16. Never fail to listen to your mate.
17. Never harden yourself towards your spouse.
Every never is a valid one here Stef, very true and powerful points in each of these here…
Stef Im guilty here. I had to check myself a couple of times. Its a great checklist. Again we are not perfect so every day its a work in progress. Thanks for this.
Thank you for carrying on the fervor and passion for Married for Life. You bring Sarah and I real joy to hear you shouting this from the rooftops and you can rest assured that you, Kristin and the little addition are all in our prayers. Keep it humble, my friend as pride comes before a fall – we are ALL struggling to be great husbands and fathers, but we all also fall short daily…
Much love and keep the fire burning!!! (In YOUR fireplace and nowhere else!) 🙂
Bless you brother,
Thank you Will for the love. You and Sarah blessed Kristin and I, and I’m just attempting to pay it forward ya know 🙂 God bless.
Wow! I hope it influences your peers…I have a couple that need to read this also! They treat marriage as a supermarket… sampling the goods and if they don’t like it,make a return for another brand!!
Honey as long as you are aware of what the devil is capable of doing on a daily basis and cover your family every single day and never leave a loophole for him to get through and mess with yor marriage. God will honor your request and keep you covered. Im proud of you.
Each and every day its a work in progress.