Date your Mate

Just because you got married does NOT give you a reason to stop dating. img_9231-2A healthy marriage takes work. A lot of work. You have to keep the love alive. Here are a few of my tips to keep your marriage a happy, healthy one that lasts.

1. NEVER STOP DATING. Every week we have a date night. Usually it falls on Wednesday night. My munchkins attend Switch at Life.Church on Wednesday evening so we take advantage of the time. I look forward to this little stolen time with Steve every week. I think he gets excited about it too. Sometime during the day he will send me a text that says “Can I take you to dinner tonight?” He never assumes that we are going out. He still asks me out on a date. Dress up for that date. When you were younger and started this courtship I assume you got dressed up when you were going out with your man. I know I did! I would wear what I thought flattered my figure best, put on my makeup and fix my hair. I wanted to look my best to impress him. I still do. I want him to see that he is still worth the effort. EVERYDAY. My mother always told me “If you don’t get up and get dressed for your man someone else GLADLY will.” Just do it.

2. Worship together. Nothing makes my heart happier than singing, praising and worshipping God together. We hold hands during the message, taking it all in together.

3. Love your kids, but love your husband more. Steve was with me before the kids came along and he will be with me after they have left the nest. Just because I became a mom doesn’t mean I stopped being a wife. Take care of your WHOLE family…not just your kids.

4. Communicate with each other. Sometimes things can get a little tough. Talk to each other in love. Don’t yell at each other. Don’t hold things in until you explode. That is not healthy for either one of you! You start to resent your spouse and they may not even have a clue that you are upset. Let it out…but in a healthy way.

5. Leave the past where it belongs…in the PAST. If it isn’t pleasant or enhances your marriage, leave it behind. Don’t bring up old arguments, mistakes or hurtful things. Words can do serious damage. Forgive and forget and move on!

6.Respect each other. Build each other up DAILY. If there is something that you love about your husband, let him know. Send him a little text just to let him know he is on your mind. I know we all have busy lives. It only takes a minute or two to send a quick “I love you” or a little picture of a pleasant memory.

7. Pray for each other. Don’t pray that God will change your spouse to be just the way YOU think he should be. Pray that God will grow your love for each other. Pray that God will give him strength, discernment, guidance, favor in the eyes of his coworkers, employees, boss, customers etc. Thank God for all your man means to you. Thank God for your marriage. If there is something that you think you just can’t tolerate ask God to change your heart. Ask God to bless your marriage and grow your relationship. Just pray.

8.Take a trip together. LEAVE the kids at home. They will survive without you. Go away for a week, weekend or even just a day trip. Explore your state together. That time spent in the car together can be delightful. Talk. Hold hands. Take a trip down memory lane. Sometimes it is nice just to sit quietly together without even talking. Just be together.

9.Spend time together as a family. Your kids will feel more secure if they see that strong bond between their parents. Set an example of marriage for their future. They need to see you be affectionate with each other. Don’t be afraid to kiss in front of your kids. They will get over it when they are young and will appreciate it when they get older.

10. Kiss EVERYDAY. Just because you can. And it’s fun.

11. Never give up. We live in a throw away world. If it is broken or old we want to throw it away or get the newest model. DON’T throw away your marriage. WORK on it when things get tough. No one lives a fairy tale. When things get tough, don’t talk to your girlfriends. Chances are, they will just tell you what you want to hear to make you feel better. Talk to God. See #7. =)

No, my marriage is not perfect, but I love my husband more now than I did when we were younger. My love and respect for him grows stronger every year that we are together. He truly is the love of my life and I can’t wait to sit in a rocking chair on a front porch and talk about all the good old days. Tell your man you love him, each and every day.