Amanda’s Shower Advice
Dear (Clayton &) Amanda –
“What marriage advice would you share?”
I always think this is a weird question because it reduces the most important relationship down to a quick response…
I don’t like to give such a thin answer to such a weighty subject. Marriage is our most layered and complex of relationships and it most clearly reflects the intimacy and the unique community that the Triune God enjoys. Having said that we know that there are healthy components that build any relationship and the Bible talks about the importance of the marital relationship because of its impact on so many others and because of the way it reflects the Godhead.
Here is my quick list of important marriage tips:
- Put God first
- Always kiss good night, good morning and goodbye
- Touch or be close while fighting and never go to bed mad.
- Resolution is more important than winning – be the first to apologize, reconcile and make peace (2 Cor. 5:21)
- Make sacred spaces where certain subjects are not allowed.
- Laugh often.
- Keep secrets for each other and not from each other
- Pray without ceasing.
- Never stop dating
- Have friends as a couple and keep your other friendships too.
- Be grateful and express it regularly
- Challenge each other
- Expect the best of each other – your partner is not your enemy.
But now I would like to say that it all boils down to aprons, marshmallows and clown noses.
- Never discuss sensitive subjects when hungry or tired. And eat marshmallows (or something similar) to improve communication. What’s the one thing you can’t possibly do with a mouthful of marshmallows? Talk. Communication is more about listening than talking. We have 2 ears and one mouth. Practice active listening. Communicate!
- When arguing or having a disagreement, plan on wearing a clown nose or nothing at all! The fight will be short as you will be laughing or distracted! Forgive!
- An apron is a visual reminder to serve each other. When you get married you make the decision that out of everyone on the planet your spouse is the one you would serve all the days of your life. Never forget that you will be happiest when each other is happy and holy. Serve!
One of my favorite quotes from the movie “Shall We Dance”:
What is marriage for? We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.
Know that many are praying for you, rooting for you, celebrating with you and loving you.
Choose each other daily. Keep short accounts. Serve with abandon.