Being married is a job, and an adventure, and sometimes a chore. I have to be invested in the relationship. If I make purposeful choices for the marriage and follow these 10 marriage commandments then I will create a foundation for life.
My husband and I met on a youth trip to the World’s Fair in 1982. I thought he was adorable, but I knew he was shy. Over the next several years, I found ways to be close to him even though I was in middle school and he was in high school.
Ultimately, I had to join the diving team he was on so that I could spend even more time with him and only then did I land that first date that I had been working for since that first meeting three years prior.
We have now been married for over two decades, but I still believe that I have to invest in him with the same determination I did for those three years (and the years following when we dated). It is not just about him, but also about investing in being the best me I can be.
I have learned that following some Marriage Commandments helps me stay on track.
10 Marriage Commandments
- Make a point to be affectionate.
When we are going places – to church, to run errands, or on a long trip – I am purposeful in my action to put my hand on my husband’s shoulder or neck. When we are walking together, we both reach out to hold hands. The affection – even small signs – connect us.
- Do unto your spouse as you would have your spouse do unto you.
This Golden Rule translates perfectly into a marriage situation. It’s not about what my husband has done lately, but about treating him as I would want to be treated.
- Make time to talk.
Talking is NOT yelling or arguing or “discussing.” Talking is a conversation – back and forth communication. When I make time to talk with my husband then I make room for understanding where he is and where he wants to go so I can position myself to walk along beside him.
- The couple that plays together stays together.
Playing is more than doing things together or at the same time. It is about joy and laughter and fun. Playing together joins our hearts in a unique way. My husband and I still wrestle and dance and tease each other like we did when we were first dating – and it makes me smile to know we can still play together in this way.
- Be invested in the insurance of honesty.
If I ever find myself in the position of saying, “but don’t tell my husband,” then I know I am in a bad position. If I can’t tell him then there is either a problem with what I am doing or there is a hitch in our relationship. Either way, I need to smooth things out before I try to move on.
- Be the best you.
I don’t look like the women in the magazines – and I never have. My husband loves me anyway. I can still be the best me that I can be. I should get ready for my husband in the same way I would get ready to go to town – get dressed, fix my hair, and put my lips on (apply lipstick or lip gloss). My husband is worth even more than the folks at the grocery store!
- Find your financial footing.
One of the top reasons for divorce is a disagreement over finances. Don’t let the money become a thorn in the side of the marriage. Make a budget. Stick to the budget. Work together.
- Be content where you are.
I don’t have to like where I am, but if I can be content where I am then I will be able to find the positive in the moment even while I’m working for the better. Contentment is about finding the good in the now no matter what the circumstance may declare.
- Do NOT try to fix the other.
No matter how much you want to or how right you may be, you still can’t fix someone else. Instead, focus on getting things right in your own journey and it will change your world.
I make a point to pray for my husband. We make a point to pray as a family. The only place we are lacking is making a point to pray together as a couple. Prayer will never return to you void.
Even with simple guidelines to keep me on track, marriage still requires effort. I have to be married on purpose – each and every day. But if I am in this on purpose and know that it is for a purpose then I can create a solid foundation for my married life.
What are your top secrets for a successful marriage? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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