Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘valentine’s day’

Marriage Heart Health

Do you have a five star marriage?

People want to stay at the best hotels and resorts when they travel. These hotels earn a five star rating because they consistently deliver excellent service, provide great amenities, and offer that special touch of class like little chocolates on your pillow. They go the extra mile. People instead settle for a two or three star establishment because of proximity, cost, and time. We often settle for less instead of striving for the very best.

This is also true in marriage. We can have a great relationship with quality time together, kind words toward each other, and sacrificial acts of service. But too often we settle for a mediocre marriage with little strength, support, or commitment.

How can we flip the switch?

Couples need to honestly evaluate the relationship with their spouse. Are your expectations being met? When expectations are not met, we are disappointed. Disappointment often carries with it frustration, anger, and isolation. If our reality is less than what we expected, then the reality equals a disappointed spouse. Share expectations with each other so that you are both on the same page and can work toward mutual goals.

Couples need to focus on each other. I can tell when my wife is upset, stressed out, or angry. Most of us know that look or phrase from a spouse. There is a cue that reveals his or her inner thoughts. That is a signal to ask questions, share an encouraging word, help around the house, fix a problem, take the kids for a walk, or just listen. Don’t ignore the cues and signals that your spouse sends you. Take notice. Respond and act to support each other.

Couples need time together. Husbands and wives are great at making time to discuss problems, schedule school events, and play taxi service for the kids. While this is important, couples also need to spend quality time together. They need to get away, go on a date, and make time for their one true love. Don’t lose the fire and energy that brought you to the altar in the first place.

February 7-14 is National Marriage Week. Use that time to evaluate your marriage and strengthen your relationship. Check out their resource page at http://www.nationalmarriageweekusa.org and discover how a few simple steps can improve any marriage.

No matter where your marriage is today, you can build a stronger relationship that will last for the rest of your life. Make a five star marriage part of your life today.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

marriage dance

You can ask anyone about marriage and the answer will almost always be the same.  I want a good, strong, happy marriage.  No one stands at the altar and says, “I’ll give you the best five years of my life.”

Polls and surveys share the same information on marriage.  The vast majority of people desire happy, lasting marriages, whether rich or poor, male or female, and regardless of cultural background.

The big secret about marriage is that it works.  Yes, I said it, marriage works.  While out-of-wedlock birth rates are high and divorce rates are higher, marriage works.  Look at the last thirty years of research; married couples are happier, live longer, and build greater financial security.  Children with married parents perform better in school, have better physical health, have lower rates of suicide, and experience fewer cases of child abuse.  Click here for new research on “Why Marriage Matters: Thirty Conclusions from Social Science.”

Deep down, everyone wishes they could have a rewarding lifelong commitment with their spouse.  But in the midst of challenges, we forget how marriage can benefit our personal lives.  We are losing our determination and the skills to keep marriages healthy and strong.

February 7-14, 2013 is National Marriage Week.  This time is set aside to focus on the institution of marriage and strengthen it at a national level.  This is a collaborative effort that encourages groups to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture.  The website offers several marriage resources, event guides, reading lists, and videos on how to build a satisfying marriage.

As we approach Valentine’s Day, let us focus on the skills that can strengthen our relationships and keep our marriages intact.  Here are a couple of goals or reminders for a healthy marriage:

  • make time for each other (fun, friendship, romance)
  • work as a team (instead of me vs. you)
  • talk without fighting

Remember why you fell in love and think how hard you worked to maintain your romance.  After marriage, we normally encounter a period of time when couples spend less time on their relationship due to kids, careers, and other factors.  Take time to reconnect, go on a date, and rekindle the romance in your marriage.  Use National Marriage Week as a way to strengthen your marriage and focus on the one you love.

Read Full Post »

No one can deny that Valentine’s Day is almost here.  You can glance at the calendar, hear a commercial on the radio, or you could just walk through any store for a reminder.  The chocolates, Valentine Day cards, cupid figurines, plush animals, and fragrances are everywhere.

I am often conflicted by Valentine’s Day and the message that it sends.  Perhaps you are in the same boat.

A part of me wants to believe that it is a great reminder for couples to show love and affection toward each other.  Husbands and wives will separate themselves from busy schedules and spend time to reconnect as a couple.  Soldiers and spouses will find a way to share their love and devotion even though they are several time zones apart.  Or that our society will look at the calendar and try to improve the day by practicing compassion to family, friends, and neighbors.

The other part of me feels that love is much more than flowers and a box of chocolates.  Unfortunately, the commercial nature of February 14th does more to cheapen true love than to enhance it.  Do our actions and expectations say that mandatory gifts equal affection?  If so, then we turn love into some kind of transaction or mathematical formula.

Love is certainly bigger than Valentine’s Day.  Love is larger than one day on the calendar.  In fact, it is best found in the Bible.

Jesus loved the rich young ruler even though he walked away in disappointment.  Jesus loved the woman at the well.  A lady so ostracized, she wasn’t allowed to gather water in the cool of the day.  Jesus loved tax collectors, cheats, and swindlers.  He loved children, lepers, and blind men.  In short, Jesus loved the unlovable.  He showed compassion to people who didn’t “deserve” His attention.  He demonstrated a perfect love where no gifts or dinners were required.  This love cannot be bought, only accepted as a free gift of grace.

No matter how you view Valentine’s Day, let us remember that love is much more than flowers and a box of chocolates.  Let us also remember how perfect love has been demonstrated by our Lord Jesus.  May His example guide us to show the perfect love of heaven here on earth.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: