Privileges of a thriving marriage
Nobody likes rules. Let me say this another way. Nobody likes to be told what to do.
Furthermore, nobody wants to be following a set of rules feeling like they have to live life a certain way.
Do you agree?
Well, over the years of people observation, counseling, coaching, and studying various personalities, I’ve learned that though we’re all different, yet we all have a few things in common.
One thing we all have in common is the dreary idea of feeling bound to different sets of rules – for sure - not what we want in life.
On the other hand I’ve also learned that just like in any company that does not have standards, rules and regulations will crumble at its foundation, so do these same principles apply to the family and the marriage unit.
We live in a society that’s very independent and self-sufficient. Nothing wrong with being an independent individual, but when independence steps in, interdependence steps out.
In other words, it’s easier for a married couple to have everything separated like separate checking accounts, separate toothpastes, a his and hers sinks, toilets, showers, closets, cars, and much more, than it is to share them.
Typically, because we rather enjoy life in our terms – our way.
For example, I like the way I squeeze the toothpaste than the way my wife squeezes hers.
I like the way I keep my car than the way she keeps hers, and vice-versa.
Are you following me?
There was a time, not long ago, when couples HAD to work together in the field.
Mostly, the husband would work the field while the wife took care of cleaning and preparing the produce and fruit for canning or freezing, starting fires, cooking and bathing children.
Not to mention tending the garden and taking care of the dog and other things.
It was hectic. Our grandparents lived this way.
But one thing I noticed about that generation that I learned to appreciate (even though I wouldn’t want to necessarily live that lifestyle either) is that the couple not only had to get along, they also had to learn to get along and learn to work together. That is, if they wanted unity and peace in the family.
They had a standard to follow. They had a mission. They had a vision and goals to attain.
They had purpose and they had a set of rules that most of society had in order to stick to their high standards of life. And it was normal.
To jump outside of those standards would make anyone a different kind of person.
Somehow, times have changed. Today there are very little to no standards to live by in terms of developing a strong marriage or a thriving family. It’s different.
Whether good or bad – I’m not trying to come down hard on society, by any means, yet, it was different then – and it’s very different today.
"A marriage without a standard is bound to fail, but a marriage with high standards, will thrive in life." - Alex Colon Tweet This
When I got married, I knew there would be some rules or perimeters that I’d have to adhere to if I wanted my marriage to succeed. For some reason and some notes I took along the way, I just knew that would be the case.
In fact, I knew that in our very marital vows would be a standard set that would require a set of rules in order to fulfill my promise.
After all, aren’t promises followed by rules as a result of a foundation settled by a certain standard? Just a thought.
Anyway, here are the rules I knew I’d be following for our marriage to be successful: The rules were to…
Be faithful to her as long as we both shall live, ‘til death do us part.
Provide for her and meet her needs.
Protect her with my life.
Be committed to her for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.
Oh yeah, and forsaking all others. (Is that one still being used today in our society? Just wondering)
This was a set standard for me, for us, and for most everyone I knew. I was ready. I could do this. No sweat. After all, I knew how to be committed, loving, and faithful, be a good provider and protector. That’s part of my nature. So I’m good and ready.
But after I got married I soon discovered that there are other rules I didn’t know about. They sort of caught me by surprise. They probably caught you by surprise too.
Rather quickly these other rules have since been clearly established:
1. I am to keep my closet clean.
2. I’m not to make fun of her in a cutting way. (she doesn’t like that kind of teasing)
3. The toilet seat is to remain down at all times.
4. I am to always have an opinion when asked about two dresses that to an untrained male eye appear to be identical.
5. I am to pay compliments – more often.
6. I was not to EVER say she’s gaining weight, when she is.
7. Listening to her and watching Football at the same time is tantamount to an emotional affair.
8. Never say “never.”
9. Never say “always.”
10. Never say… well, never mind.
If I saw our relationship as a bunch of rules I had to keep, I would quickly become bitter and miserable.
I would likely rebel and break the rules when she wasn’t paying attention. You know, like most people want to do.
But I’m passionately in love with my wife, I am committed, faithful, provider and protector – just as I covenanted in our wedding day, which translates into a desire to please her.
So I find that cleaning my closet, putting the lid down on the toilet, or other such extravagant acts aren’t’ cumbersome but actually quite satisfying.
When the relationship on the inside is genuine and selflessly intended, the outside will follow.
When the relationship, with your spouse, on the inside is genuine and selflessly intended, the outside will follow. Tweet This
If those rules weren’t enough I had to learn, KNOW WELL and Implement two more rules that super empower all the others.
Actually these are the 2 Main Rules Often Ignored In a Marriage.
These two rules are what makes a marriage when practiced or breaks a marriage when ignored.
Here they are:
1. Pay attention to my wife.
In other words, this translates in practical ways that are often overlooked. To be honest, with my crazy mind always busy, and on to the next thing, I still (after 28 years of marriage) continue to learn.
Paying attention translates into noticing her hair, her outfit, her nails, her mood, and even her voice when she calls me. You know what I mean?
2. Notice my wife.
Noticing our spouse is not just a casual look or a polite “good morning” greeting. It’s noticing her hard work, her cleanliness, her care for you, her love for you and others. Her hard working skills, abilities, and even tenderness.
These are just some of the practical ways we can pay attention and notice our spouses. I say spouses because the same is true for husbands.
Just because us guys are different in many ways doesn’t mean that we don’t need the same or similar attention as our wives do.
The thing is, the approach or the “tactic” (which eventually becomes a part of your lifestyle) may be different.
These two rules fall under the category of the two, yet most powerful “rules” given to us by Jesus himself: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. The second one is like it – Love your neighbor (or spouse) as yourself. (Matthew 22:37)
I’ve learned that keeping, following and practicing these “rules” is part of what has made our marriage and countless others strong, safe, steady, and significant.
I wonder, what other rules would you say are important to be lived by in a successful marriage? Share them below.
By the way, I call them rules, but they’re rather privileges. It’s a privilege to be blessed with such a wife as I have been. I’m sure you feel the say about your spouse.
As a result, we’ve learned a few things that we wanted to share with you and this why I put together this free course to help you take your marriage to much higher level of not only commitment, but also productivity and passion for your marriage and your family – with a little perspective – 4 simple ways to lead your family with vision.
Oh – don’t forget to share below other rules or privileges you think are important in a marriage?