On March 12, 2013, Justin & Megan of “Do Not Disturb” blog put out a challenge to other marriage bloggers to write down and post what they do to keep their marriages strong. I think it was a fantastic challenge, and a great way for me to slowly ease back into writing on our blog after an almost 4 month hiatus.
Just as a quick refresher: Tiffani and I have been together since December 1985, and married since August 1987 (almost 26 years). But only in the last 10 years or so have we begun to truly understand the meaning behind the terms “one-flesh marriage”, “covenant marriage”, and other variants of those phrases. I look back today and think, “wow, what a selfish idiot I was for so long! Why didn’t anyone ever tell me it could be SO different??”
Justin & Megan, I gotta say to you guys… thumbs up! This is a great challenge and I believe many marriages will be blessed by the outpouring of great posts from many blog ministries!
So what do we, the SongSix3 couple do to keep our marriage strong?
We do Forgiveness – This is an absolute MUST in any marriage. We both mess up often, so we need to know that we have the safety of the other’s forgiveness just waiting for us when stuff inevitably happens. God’s Word demonstrates that Christ was the ONLY perfect one ever to have walked the earth. With that knowledge, it stands to reason that the rest of us are going to need forgiving on a regular basis.
We do Communication – This one is so simple, but apparently SO difficult for many couples! One of the many pathways to intimacy in your marriage is to communicate with each other, honestly and openly. We kept so many things secret in our hearts for so long, that the enemy gained many footholds into our marriage. In our past, we committed heinous sins against each other that had we only learned to truly communicate sooner, would likely never have happened. Our marriage covenant (the one in our hearts) now includes the statement “NO secrets – except for birthday presents!”
We do Ministry – I am the worship leader/lead guitarist in our local Calvary Chapel fellowship, and I look forward to the times when I get to rotate in my dear wife as one of the vocalists. There are also times when just she and I get to sing, accompanied by my acoustic guitar. I LOVE to worship God with Tiffani at my side! I feel that it draws us together in so many ways. We also do marriage ministry together. Here on this blog, Twitter & Facebook, and also face to face with those we know from within our local fellowship. Ministering to others helps us to keep our hearts in the right place, and to keep each other uplifted in prayer.
We do Intimacy – Some of you may simply equate this word with “sex”, but let me tell you… it is SO MUCH MORE than that! Sure, we used to believe that sex was just a physical act that couples do with each other. Now we know better. We are talking here about the full-package deal – emotional, physical, and spiritual. I have learned to connect with Tiffani on an emotional level WAY beyond what I once thought possible. We talk, we play games, we laugh, we pray, we connect OUTSIDE the bedroom – long before we connect INSIDE the bedroom. Tiffani has learned that God created her husband to WANT her physically, and that God also created her to enjoy that connection – physically. We (together) have learned that since God CREATED the sexual union, He has NO problem with it! He wants us to ENJOY each other in the most special of ways! And in the spirit of humor, I simply must quote what our friend Julie Sibert said on her blog, Intimacy In Marriage, on her “We Do” list… it seriously made me laugh when she said of herself and her hubby… “We do each other.” Yep! I definitely agree with that one! (Thanks for the laugh, Julie!)
We do Prayer – Yes, we pray together. This one is difficult for most couples to get going with, but is so desperately needed within the bonds of a Godly marriage. If you haven’t yet read my post entitled “Do You Pray With Your Wife?” then I would encourage you to do so as soon as you’re able. This post tells of the struggles we had in getting started, and how we finally managed to get things going. Do we manage to pray together every single day? Sadly, the answer is no… and I won’t make any excuses here – I take responsibility for praying with Tiffani. If it doesn’t happen, it’s on my shoulders.
We do Fellowship – We LOVE to fellowship with other Godly couples! Proverbs 27:17 says “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Just getting together and hanging out with like-minded people encourages & uplifts our spirits. Getting the opportunity to speak into another couples’ life & marriage is great, and often they are able to speak life into our own as well.
We do Fun & Games – Tiffani and I like to play games together… all sorts of games. Board games, card games, iPad games, Xbox games… you name it! We have fun, and we try to leave the heavily competitive spirit out. We just enjoy the fun together of the game itself. Whoever wins – wins!
We do Food – We love to eat, and we love to cook special meals for each other. We also very much enjoy going out to a few favorite restaurants together, but we just don’t get to do it often enough. Something we learned from our friends, Chip & Cherry of MarriedSpice.com, was that when going out to a restaurant, rather than sitting across the table from each other, sit side by side. Then you can snuggle, sneak kisses, and hold hands much easier. It’s also fun because the waitstaff doesn’t quite know how to take that! 😉
We do Crazy – We have four children at home between the ages of 5 and 11. We also have two children who are grown and on their own. We have two grandbabies, and another one due in the summer of 2013. Tiffani homeschools the four young ones, & runs a home business making beautiful cloth diapers, while I work as a SharePoint developer, systems admin & all-around I.T. fix-it guy all day. Together we manage a small farm with (currently) 25 egg-laying chickens, 50 birds being raised for food, and at times as many as 5 hogs running around in the fields. If you can imagine our modest little farmhouse when all the family and the grandbabies are around – it’s CRAZY! But it is US, and we thank God for every moment of it!
We do Lifetime Commitment – When we got married, and for many years after, our vows were pretty much “I do – until something bad happens.” Well, something bad DID happen… actually MANY bad things happened. And those things are what God used to get our attention onto Him where it belonged. Today, we stand FIRMLY on a three-way covenant between ourselves and God. We have banned the D-word (divorce) from our vocabulary. Marriage for us truly IS “til death do we part.”
This has been a fun challenge, and I really appreciate all the other posts I’ve seen by other blogs. As I find them, I will link them below so you can be blessed by them as well.
Thank you so much for reading, and I pray you are blessed in your marriage!
This post was linked to Sheila Gregoire’s Wifey Wednesday Link-Up, and The Happy Wives Club Marriage Mondays! Please visit their great sites too!