- Quickly seek help whenever you need it: We’ve been in marriage counseling 5 times. We’ve done Living Waters (a relational and sexual inner healing program). We receive regular spiritual direction, and over the years, we’ve splatted our stuff to our friends who’ve been kind enough to mediate. It takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to enable healthy marriages.
- Pray Together, Daily if you can: About 7 years into our marriage, after a particularly heinous fight, Scott proposed that we pray every morning when the first person awoke for a minute each, asking God to give our spouse a great day, and then close with the Lord’s prayer. 2 minutes of prayer. Pathetic, right? But what felt pathetic to us wasn’t pathetic to God. We trace an upward trajectory starting with our 2 minute prayer practice.
- Just do it! (Make love regularly): Marital sex is a spiritual discipline, so keep it the same way you’d keep the Sabbath. Because when we go too long without physical connection, our spouse’s body becomes a stranger, and it becomes embarrassing or difficult to be truly naked with them.
- Give the gift of good communication: Give your words as a gift, and receive your spouse’s words as a gift as well. Set apart times to talk and relate to one another—regular date nights, weekends away with no kids, writing letters. Make it a priority to spend time communicating with your spouse.
- Forgive and reconcile: Forgiveness is the essence of any successful marriage or relationship because the one thing we know about every marriage is that you have 2 imperfect people who will hurt one another, even when they don’t want to. For those who follow Jesus, we’re commanded to forgive. But forgiveness is not reconciliation. With reconciliation it takes two to tango. Reconciliation involves healing and restoring a broken relationship, often to a better and healthier place than it was before. Reconciliation takes the 5 “R”s—recognizing wrongdoing, risking relationship, repenting, relearning the attitudes of Christ, and restitution.
Wedded Bliss. . . And Misses. 19 Years and Counting