It may seem like a odd concept, that there can be four keys to a successful marriage. For those who’ve been married any length of time, you know that marriage takes time to manage and make work. Any friendship is hard work. But marriage takes the cake. This is the person you live with day in and day out.
I remember the first moment I met my wife. We were in our mutual friend’s wedding and I was her escort down the aisle. Little did I know that I would marry her three years later. These have been the best years of my life.
There have been ups and there have been downs. The one thing I can say for certain, Kari is my best-friend.
How do you make marriage work? What is the secret sauce? I want to give you four keys to help make your marriage successful.
1. Marriage requires time spent together:
I read once that men should not date their wives. Once you’re married, no more dates. But my question is, how do you get to know your spouse without spending quality time together? Just as friendships require allotted time together to be successful, the same is true for your marriage.
Marriage takes time and all to often couples don’t make the other a priority. But you have to make the effort to pursue your spouse. You can’t sit idly by and do what you want. It requires time and commitment. Something a lot of people ignore. But it is worth it in the end, because you’ve found a best-friend in your spouse.
2. Communication is a must:
There’s a saying; what comes around goes around. In today’s society texting and social media are all the rave. But there’s something missing in good old-fashioned face-to-face communication. It is key to survival in marriage. We’ve all seen on television the dumb guy who sits on the couch and does stupid things all day long. While the wife has all the brains and logic.
Why do we see this? It’s because we tend to believe the lies of television that communication isn’t necessary. The guy does his stupid thing, the wife gets upset and he apologizes. The wife does something stupid, the guy gets upset or even, the wife gets upset and he apologizes.
Communication is the number one overlooked area of marriage. Married life is all about being social with each other. It is also about making sure we’re understanding what the other’s trying to say.
Don’t guess. If you don’t understand, ask your spouse. Poor communication is the reason most fights happen. That wouldn’t happen if the other listened to what was being said.
Speak from your heart. Let them know you’re interested in what they’re trying to communicate.
3. Marriage is shared through all life experiences:
This is where the rubber hits the road. This is where those vows come back to mind. ”For better or worse.” This is not just a sentence that is repeated during the marriage ceremony. This is something that is to be lived out.
Before Kari and I married in 2012, I had to tell her the hardest thing I’ve ever told anyone. I was in foreclosure. Talk about eating humble pie.
We weren’t even married yet and already we were going through a tough time. Part of me was thinking that she’d be better off walking away. I was a mess; both emotionally and financially.
This was not something I wanted to bring into marriage. Yet, she stood by me. We made it through – and to top it all off, God answered our prayers and restored what the enemy stole. We found a beautiful home that was better than what I lost.
It shouldn’t matter what happens in marriage. We stick together. There should be a hard-set glue that holds us in each other’s arms for comfort and rejoicing. This is where a lot of people walk away from their spouse. They can’t handle the hardships.
If we allow our life to be molded by the Master’s hands – we will succeed in life and marriage.
4. Demonstrate your love:
For guys this is a tough one to do. As a general rule, men are not emotional. They keep their feelings inside. We have to be tough and not look weak. For women the opposite is true. They are balls of emotion. I’m not saying they blubber everywhere. I’m saying most women wear their emotions on their sleeve.
It’s up to us as men to demonstrate our love. If we hold our emotions in check, sometimes we’ll go through life without ever saying I love you. I’ve heard some older men say, I told her once I loved her and if I change my mind, I’ll let her know.
“A happy wife for a happy life.”
– Jason Sisam
Yet, it takes the little things to show our love and appreciation for our spouse. I’ll go out from time to time and buy my wife a bouquet of flowers – just because. She’ll go out of her way to give me a bag of gummy bears. (I love gummy bears.) Or whisper sweet talk in her ear. Clean-up after yourself. Put your spouses needs before your own.
Ultimately be there for your spouse for everything. It doesn’t take much to show our love.
So, does it seem odd that there’s only four secret keys to a successful marriage? I don’t. These are what I practice everyday. I encourage you. Take the time to invest into your marriage. You’ll be amazed at what the return will be. The return is, as my father-in-law would say, “a happy wife for a happy life.”