Encouragement for Love

My husband and I have been married 30+ years.  We have survived having 5 children, losing 1 child, adding children and grandchildren to our family, losing parents, losing friends, losing family, financial droughts, financial windfalls, owning our own business for the past 25+ years– we have survived life.
As an older woman, I am instructed by scripture to encourage younger women to love their husbands and their children.  Since I love to encourage, and give advice, 🙂  I have complied a few pieces of advice for you, in your marriage.

  1. Spend time together on a regular and consistent basis.  My husband and I both have a need and desire to spend time alone with each other.  We both made this a priority.  When my husband would come home and say, “Let’s go out to dinner tonight?”, I would say, “Great!  I’ll see if Joan can watch the kids?”  (Joan is a made up name. :))   Joan could have been one of our neighborhood’s teenage girls, or one of the college students involved with Cru, or one of our friends that we were exchanging time with—by watching their children.   The point is, that we made time to be with each other, and we had a group of people we trusted to be with our kids to call on, when our kids were young.  We also made it a priority with our finances to spend money on our dates.  We didn’t have much money at times—so we would need to get creative—the point wasn’t the money spent—the point was the time spent.

Recently, my husband and I went on a date.  It was a dinner date.  I have been going through a really difficult time lately.  Over dinner, I got a chance to share my heart with my husband and tell him the things I was concerned about.  We made eye contact.  I saw the compassion in his eyes for me.  I saw his concern for me.  I heard his wisdom for me, as he leaned over the table, held my hand and told me to have faith, keep believing God, even when things look so dark.  Then he gave me his perspective—his hope.  Things did not seem so dark after that.  I had strength—the strength of knowing I was not facing these trials alone.   It was as if my husband took my hand, and then put my hand in God’s hand, and I was pulled up, and put on solid ground.
This is the benefit of finding time to be alone, to talk, to share one’s heart. 
This is the story from my perspective, but I know from my husband’s perspective, he also shares his concerns with me, and I listen to him, I respect him, I admire him.  These are deep needs my husband has, and I take care to meet these needs.
Some couples spend this time alone with each other, every day.   They tell the children—”this is mommy and daddy’s time.  Go play quietly in your rooms.” (They put the baby in a play pen with toys), and they spend 15-20 minutes alone talking.   We did not do this consistently—but I bring it up, as I know some families that did do this.

  1.  The other thing my husband and I have done, is we take a day or two every year to go away by ourselves.  Our children stay with trusted family or friends, and we go to a fun destination.   When we do this, I feel like a bride again, without the responsibilities of children.  (We still have children at home—so even now, I feel that freedom of being on our own.)

The last time we went away from home, we went to Frankenmuth, MI.  It is a town in Michigan founded by German immigrants in the 1800’s.  It is a little like going to a Bavarian village in Europe—and we loved it.  We strolled down the streets, hand in hand, admiring the flowers and the picturesque village.   Later, we had a picnic by the river—and we talked and kissed and connected.

  1.  Probably the most important thing we do as a couple in spending time with each other—is pray.  We pray everyday together.  Sometimes as we share a concern with each other, one of us will say, “Let’s pray.”  We will then start talking with our Lord, bringing our concerns to Him.  

When we were married, we had the verse from Ecclesiastes 4:9-13 read at our wedding,
 “Two are better than one, for they have a good return for their labor.  For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.  But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.  Furthermore, if two lie down together, they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him.  A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” 

The cord of three strands is God, and then each of us.
God is the reason, our marriage has survived.  God has given us His strength and we have taken it.  At times one of us will be stronger, and will take the other’s hand, and put it into God’s hand.  God pulls us up and puts us on solid ground.  He gives us His grace, love and faith—to keep walking in this life.  I don’t say that lightly.  I don’t say that tritely.  Life is very, very hard.   Hold unto each other, dear children—love each other!!  Forgive each other!!   Keep your hearts soft for each other.  I am pulling for you and praying for you!!
May You Be Encouraged!!

6 thoughts on “Encouragement for Love

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