Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Colossians 3:19
In his book Making Life Rich Without Any Money,Phil Callaway tells of an elderly couple celebrating their 50thanniversary. When the cake was cut, it seemed only fitting that the husband comment on those wonderful years together. He looked tenderly at his wife and tried to express himself.
Lifting his glass in a toast to the woman who had been his bride a half-century before, he began, "My dear wife, after 50 years I've found you tried and true." Everyone smiled except the wife who struggled with her hearing. Cupping her hand behind her better ear she said, "Eh?" This time her husband repeated himself quite loudly, "After 50 years I've found you tried and true!" With a gleam in her eye which was less than angelic she shot back, "Well, let me tell you something--after 50 years I'm tired of you, too!"
A lot of couples--if they were honest with each other--would have to admit that it didn't take a half-century to grow tired of each other. Interested in keeping your marriage from wearing thin? Then put into practice the following ten guidelines:
Guideline #1: Put the other first. Knowing that each of you belongs to the other and you both belong to the Lord takes away the selfish, "Me first!" mentality out of a marriage, which causes it to wear out about as fast as anything.
Guideline #2: Don't insist on winning every round. You married to complete each other, choosing someone much different from you. Don't insist on making the other into a mirror image of yourself. You don't have to fight to the finish every time you disagree.
Guideline #3: Keep some excitement in your marriage. Periodically break the routine by doing something different. Go somewhere you haven't been before. Eat at a different restaurant. Bring home a surprise. It's OK to be unpredictable when your broken routine brings joy or surprise to the one you love.
Guideline #4: Give each other some space. Snuggling is great but sometimes a person needs space to breathe. If you don't like sports, let him take in a ball game while you shop.
Guideline #5: Never look back. This also means you turn loose of the past, including your mistakes and failures along with those of your husband or wife. You can't drive looking in the rear-view mirror of your car. Neither can your marriage succeed when you think much about the past.
Guideline #6: Enjoy the present while you plan for the future. Take advantage of the moment to pause for a cup of coffee, a walk in the early morning, a few moments of uninterrupted leisure; but keep something on your calendar which you can both look forward to doing.
Guideline #7: Verbalize your love every day. Yes, she knows you love her. You told her that when you got married, but reaffirm that, expressing affection and care every day. It fills up that love tank within her heart. Yours, too.
Guideline #8: Forgive quickly. Don't expect the perfection in your mate you don't have, yourself. Gunny sacking, or remembering the faults and failures of your mate, is dangerous business. Life is too short, too precious to hold on to bitterness.
Guideline #9: Compliment quickly. Tell her she is the most beautiful woman in the world, that if you could do it all over again, you would only marry more quickly. You can do more to encourage your mate than anyone in the world.
Guideline #10: Communicate freely and completely. Charles Dickens, the English author whose own marriage was far from ideal, wrote, "Never close your lips to the one to whom you have opened your heart."
Question: Have you grown tired of the person you married? Then go to work on your relationship, putting into practice these 10 guidelines which will make a big, big difference. I know. I've tried them.
Resource reading: Colossians 3: 12-17