The Forever Kind of Love Is An Every Day Kind of Love
February is the month of love. Everywhere you turn is another reminder to tell the one you love how important they are. But what are we doing every other day of the year? In the daily grind of motherhood, it is easy to go through seasons where we put our marriage on the back burner thinking that we will give it more attention later.
Unfortunately, later can be too late. Ladies, if you want a marriage that stands the test of time, you need to tend to it day in and day out. Big moments and big gestures are great, but it is the little moments that add up over the long haul into a love that lasts. It may sound like a cliché, but it is a reality…too many couples find themselves at the empty nest with an empty marriage. I am new to the empty nest and I can tell you that it is a giant adjustment even if you have done the hard work to have your marriage ready.
I have asked my friend Jamie Bailey to give us moms some insight on making our marriages strong. Jamie and her husband Chris own First Care Christian Counseling. They work with couples to help them build great marriages and here is some insight Jamie has on marriage.
Let’s hear what she has to say…
Hi there, Mommas! You may have heard that marriage is the union between two good forgivers, and there couldn’t be anything truer. For starters, it’s important to know that as you journey through marriage, neither you nor your husband will do it well consistently. A marriage without grace and forgiveness will certainly not be a happy one. As you journey together, be sure to allow your spouse to make mistakes and also allow yourself to make them.
In our private practice we frequently tell our couples that the spats and the times of disconnection in their relationships do not matter near as much as how they handle them does. All couples are going to hit bumps in the road, especially when children are involved. There will be seasons of extreme busyness, seasons of chaos, and seasons of trials. Don’t let these times alarm or discourage you, unfortunately they are part of the package of marriage. Instead, allow them to serve as a red flag that tells you it’s time to reconnect again. Lean into the struggles that come up instead of away from them. They’re there for a reason, they’re letting you know you’re getting off track. It’s the couples that lean away from their problems and avoid them, that inevitably end up in our office, usually a lot later than we would prefer.
Here’s a great tip to be sure to stay connected to your spouse and to make sure that you remain safe places for each other. If you do that, then when the trials do come, they fall into your lap as a connected couple with a habit of communication. Problems are not near as scary when you know you can face them as a team. We like to call this tip the Golden Four. Here’s how it goes; there are 4 times a day that require 4 minutes each, that will help you stay connected as a couple. These are the times where you pause, just the two of you and make an undivided connection.
As soon as you wake up. Take the time for the morning bad breath smooch, the long hug, or discuss the plans for the day.
When you depart.Whenever you leave one another be sure to give the proper goodbyes and the well wishes to have a good day. As cheesy as it is, it’s great time to tell your spouse you’ll miss them. We all love to be missed!
When you reconnect again.Take the moment when one or both of you have been gone all day to say hello to each other first. Another great opportunity for a kiss and an embrace. Perhaps ask more specific questions about each other’s day, instead of the generic “how was your day?”. This connection time is so great for your kids to bear witness to. It provides them such safety knowing their parents are connected.
Lastly, when you go to bed.Don’t go to bed without connection. Chat about the day, do a little more hugging and kissing, take time to pray together, and allow time for personal stressors to come out and support one another.
If you make any change in your marriage, the Golden Four is a great place to start. Let your spouse know they are important to you and that they are valued. Be willing to sacrifice those small moments of your valuable time for one another. Let February be a month where love is an everyday kind of love, a love that is seen in action and deed more than it just remains a feeling. There is no greater kind of love than sacrificial love, and there is no greater investment than the investment in your marriage.
What great advise! As a parent coach, I love that Jamie mentioned the added benefit these tips bring to our children. A healthy marriage helps a child feel confident and secure and they have a model for their own relationships. Putting the Golden Four into action in our homes will also be a great way to build a forever kind of love every day of the year.