by Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.
Your spouse is not (just) your significant other
When I speak of my wife to other people, I often refer to her as “my wife.” Even to friends and family who know her personally. Yes, she has a name. However, there is one person in this entire world that can call her “my wife.” That person is me.
When you are married you have a special relationship that goes beyond anything or anyone. She should not be your #1, but a close #2 (before you jump to conclusions and think I’m contradicting myself, please read the post to that link).
This relationship is not one to be taken lightly, there is no ‘upgrading’, or just changing my mind. She is more than a significant other, as I’ve had many of those in the past. She is my wife, for life. This mindset sets the table for much of our relationship.
If your spouse is not your best friend, why not?
The bible teaches us that when we marry we become one. You can get no closer than that. That means your spouse is the one you share your most intimate thoughts, concerns, and experiences. Friendship is a building block for strong marriages.
If you have adopted the mindset that this relationship, your marriage, is for life, then why not spend it with someone you actually like and want to spend time with? Relationships develop over time. Time talking, time doing things, time disagreeing, time solving problems, and time experiencing life. Intentionally devote time to your best friend.
Staying in love is all about action
You may have heard the quote, “love is an action word.” That is true, and that is how you stay in love. You take actions that show you love your spouse. Learn his/her love language, and speak it, often. Make sure God is the head of your marriage.
Expect challenges and commit to “growing” through them together. Add some domestic sexy to your marriage. One of the best things you can do is to find things that you enjoy and do them, just you and your spouse. Date your spouse regularly.
Protect the time with your spouse
I have been guilty of allowing things to take the time that should be spent with my wife. These things have been our kid’s activities, work, and the game on TV, to name a few. This realization scared me. I began to think how life would be in the future when these same “distractions” are no longer around. If we haven’t been dating, and spending alone time all these years, why would we do it later?
I envisioned me sitting in one room, her in another, and both of us doing nothing. That scared the mess out of me! It encouraged me to protect our time, like nothing else. It is crucial! I encourage you to do the same. Do not let anything, except God, come between you and your spouse’s time.
Staying married is not enough
I applaud those who’ve refused to let divorce anywhere in their marriage. It is no easy thing today, where more marriages end in divorce than end like the wedding vows say, “til death do you part.” But there is more to it than that. Be intentional about spending time, getting to know one another, and growing a life-long best friend relationship. That is the way to not just stay in your marriage, but to stay in Love!