Posts Tagged ‘effort’

Love Tip

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Love Tip: It’s easy to focus on what your spouse “should” or could do for you, but when was the last time you asked yourself what you should or could do for your spouse?

LT5

Love Tip

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Love Tip: What if you put as much effort into winning your spouse’s heart as you did into winning that argument?

LT4

Meet Me in the Middle: Effort

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

 

Photo courtesy of Jessica Lorren Photography

 

If you haven’t figured it out yet, relationships require a lot of work and effort. The differences between men and women require that extra effort to make the relationship that much more successful. While it can be frustrating, when we are willing to put in that effort to understand, appreciate, and then compromise with the differences between the two of us, it makes for a pretty amazing team and life together.

When I look around me, I see negative images portrayed of marriage and our spouses. The woman only ever nags the husband to death. The husband is the bonehead who doesn’t do anything for the wife. Marriage is this sick joke we have all been duped into and will remain miserable and stuck with one person for the rest of our lives. Marriage isn’t viewed in its true light. It is given a bad reputation, and I think that’s partly because we haven’t figured out how to deal with those basic gender differences that exist between men and women.

Men have their strengths. Women have their strengths. We also both have our shortcomings, and not only do we need to understand that, but we need to sometimes go against our natural tendencies to meet the needs of our spouse. While a woman may want to “nag” their husband because he just can’t seem to remember his responsibilities, maybe instead the woman makes a concerted effort to thank him when he does something right and then gently remind him when he forgets. While a man might want to tune their wife out when she is talking to him about things, maybe instead he turns off the TV, looks her in the eyes, and really listens to her. Men want and need to be respected while women want and need to be loved. Little efforts make big differences in the marriage.

Allowing yourself to get more and more bitter and callous toward your spouse because he or she is different than you does no good for anyone. Embrace and celebrate those differences and do your best to work with them. Beating your spouse up verbally or emotionally for being as they were created to be is pointless and will only lead to more anger, resentment, and relational strain. Instead, lovingly work with your spouse to communicate your needs and to understand theirs. Work to figure out how your puzzle pieces fit together, and you will be happy you did.

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Grow Together, Not Apart: Love Tip

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Time can tear a marriage apart. It can fizzle that sizzle you once felt. It can put distance between the two of you with each passing day. Or it can bring you together, fan that flame, and bridge the gaps. That requires hard work on your part though. It requires setting goals for your marriage, maintaining it, choosing it, and some playing & praying.

This weekend, take some time to really think about these 3 categories in your marriage. Especially if you are struggling right now, what is lacking in your marriage? Figure out what is lacking and then sit down to figure out how to change that. If you have no goals for your marriage, make some. If you haven’t been maintaining your marriage, start communicating with your spouse, get some books on marriage, go to a seminar, start going to a counselor or therapist. If you aren’t choosing to make your marriage the best it can be, make a new choice to start. If you aren’t playing or praying, start.  If you find that one or more of these areas are lacking, go back and read that article I wrote on it and pick some of the suggestions I mention to get started in building that area up in your marriage.

Marriage is what you make of it. Sure your spouse may not always be putting in the same effort, life may throw you some curve balls, or maybe you just aren’t feeling the way you once did. Flat out, if you want your marriage to thrive and be amazing, you have got to show up, commit, choose, and work at making it that each and every single day! Now go get ’em!

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Grow Together, Not Apart: Play & Pray

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

When you first start dating someone, you are so intentional about the relationship. You make every effort to always look your best, say the right things, like what they like, learn everything you can about them, spend as much time together as possible, and impress them. During those dating years, you go above and beyond for your relationship as does the other person, which is why you are on cloud nine, madly in love.

As time goes on though we get comfortable and stop trying so hard. The intentionality and effort go out the window as time goes on and life gets crazy, and then we wonder why our relationship isn’t what it once was. You get out of it what you put into it, and unfortunately as time goes on, we often put in a whole lot less to our marriage. If we want to keep things lively, fresh, and exciting though, we have to maintain that intentionality and spirit of always working hard for our spouse & relationship.

One way to keep things alive and exciting is to play together. I have said it many times, but it’s true. Playing together elicits laughter, fun, memories, and friendship. Playing together is a way to connect in a way that strengthens the friendship and foundation of you marriage. Doing fun things together keeps you from getting bogged down by life and the stresses that come with it. Laughter is like medicine and can just melt the stress away. There’s nothing like a good laugh. Maybe it’s been so long since you have laughed or played together that you wouldn’t know where to start. Get back to when you were laughing and playing…what were you doing then? Do those things again. What did you do when you dated? Do those things again. Playing together is one of the best things you can do to keep your marriage thriving!

Another great way to maintain that marital strength is to pray. Pray together, pray for yourself, pray for your marriage, pray for your life, pray for your goals, pray for anything & everything. Prayer is such an intimate thing to share with your spouse, and it’s a wonderful time to keep in perspective who is really in control…God. There is no doubt in my mind, the glue in our marriage is God, and we include Him as much as possible. Try praying to the one who created & designed marriage for the ability to have the best marriage possible.

Marriages cannot survive let alone thrive on autopilot. They need constant tender love and care. It’s a daily thing. It’s an intentional thing. Don’t let time tear your marriage apart; grow together!

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Grow Together, Not Apart: Choose

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Growing together rather than apart through time takes one basic thing…a choice. If you want your marriage to thrive, then you have to make the choice to put in the work and stick to the commitment each and every day. Love and commitment are a choice that require daily, constant effort.

Many people seem to think that love is out of our control and that we fall in and out of love with people without any ability to do much about it. The truth is that we choose to love someone and stay committed to them. If you are talking about a feeling though, well yeah, we aren’t terribly in control of feeling in love at all times. Love isn’t a feeling though. Love is an action. It’s an action and choice we have to make every day of our married lives. Think about it this way, if you choose not to go into work every day then you have a job alright, but not for long. Your marriage will last as long as you show up every day. And the harder you work at it, the better it will be.

We each have a choice in maintaining our marriage through the years. It’s a choice to stay committed to our vows, the covenant of marriage, and to our spouse. It’s a choice to love our spouse when we don’t feel like it. It’s a choice to see the good in our spouse and focus on that. It’s a choice to work hard at being the best spouse possible and making our marriage the best it can be. It’s a choice to educate yourself and learn to continue to grow as an individual and as a couple. It’s a choice to respect and admire your spouse. It’s a choice to never give up.

Marriage and love aren’t some fleeting emotions that are out of our control. They are a precious gift we have been given that we must choose to care for and tend to every day no matter what. It doesn’t matter what it is in this life, if you want something to be the best it can be, then the hard work has to go into it. It goes back to “you reap what you sow.” Your marriage can be thriving if you are willing to make that choice every day to commit to it, love your spouse, affirm your spouse, respect your spouse, grow as a person and couple, do what it takes to make your marriage a priority, and always put your best effort into it.

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Grow Together, Not Apart: Goals

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

It’s natural that over time, some of the sizzle of the marriage can fade. Life has a way of dragging us in every direction except in the direction of our spouse (and family). Naturally if you are spending more time on other things and less time with one another, the connection between the two of you can start to diminish over time. Time and time again you hear of couples who say they just “grew apart” or “fell out of love.” Time can definitely do that to a marriage, which is why it’s up to you to keep that from happening. Grow together, not apart!

Having an amazing, happy, and fulfilling marriage is a full time job. It’s a choice you make each and every day over and over again. It requires work, effort, commitment, love, forgiveness, self control, and a who lot more. Love in a marriage doesn’t always feel good or stay blazing strong either. Things aren’t just always going to be wonderful and happy. Every couple has its issues, problems, fights, and frustrations. The difference between a successful marriage and one that is falling apart isn’t that the successful one doesn’t have problems. The difference is the successful marriage has two people doing their best to deal with the problems and remain committed to the covenant they entered into.

One of the first steps in growing together rather than apart is to set goals. Sit down together and figure out what you want your marriage to look like, what you want in your life together, what you individually are hoping to accomplish, etc. Establish goals for your marriage; it gets you looking in the the same direction for your future. It also helps give you a tentative game plan to work toward together, which can keep you focused and on course. Teammates need each other to get the win, and marriages are very similar. So many couples make plans and set goals when they are dating or when they first get married but then just forget about them, don’t check in on where you are at, or don’t make new ones. If you want your marriage to stay fresh, you have to keep it fresh. You can’t just expect the newness, fun, excitement, and energy of your initial entry into marriage to last forever on its own. You have to do the work and put forth the effort to maintain those things throughout the life of your marriage, and setting goals is a great way to start.

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