Marriage 101

I enjoy a wonderful life with my husband. Not a day goes by that I’m not mindful of the blessing our marriage is. Perhaps it’s my first, failed marriage that makes me appreciate the gift I have today. (You can read more about that in a previous post, The Best Worst Thing.) 

I was single for about 15 years before finally remarrying. God used those years. I built a career, traveled, made lifelong friends, and grew up. Meeting and marrying Jeff was well worth the wait.  I was so blessed to learn from one of the finest marriage gurus, Jimmy Evans. He was writing his first marriage book and teaching us from his notes in Wednesday evening services when I was newly divorced. I well remember sitting in the congregation, soaking up every word.  Check out his books here. To watch him teach or get on his mailing list, check out  MarriageToday

We recently celebrated our anniversary and I started thinking about what makes our marriage work. It’s become obvious I enjoy lists, so here’s one more. 😃 

Julie’s Marriage Tips:

  1. Marry a good forgiver. 
  2. And be an even better forgiver. 
  3. Realize your spouse is not  your source of happiness.  You are responsible for your own happiness. 
  4. Hang out. Play. Have fun. 
  5. Put his happiness above your own. 
  6. Say thank you. A lot. 
  7. Pray. Pray for your marriage. Pray for your spouse. Pray for your own attitudes and issues. 
  8. Celebrate. Of course, you’ll celebrate holidays and birthdays, but try celebrating “little” things like surviving Monday, losing a pound, etc. 
  9. Create rituals and traditions just for you two. 
  10. Watch your thoughts. You married him for a reason. When he does something you’re not crazy about, remind yourself of the great things he’s done. Dwell on, meditate on, his good qualities. 
  11. Know his love language and know your own. 
  12. Listen. Don’t advise or criticize. Listen
  13. Have his back. 
  14. Remember you’re a team now. Team Clarke was something my wise husband promoted from day 1. 
  15. Laugh. 

Feel free to share your relationship tips in the comments. As always, I wish you MUCH joy!