Loving Your Spouse
Finding ways to show love to our spouse extravagantly is important to
the health of our marriages and is also Christ-like. In Ephesians 5:1 in
The Message, it says, "Observe how Christ loved us. His love is not
cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from
us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that." Are you
showing your spouse love in this way?
That is our challenge to you. Think about it. What if you started dating
your spouse again? How wonderful would it be to get the sparkle back in
their eye (as well as yours) like before you married, when you and your
spouse would see each other? Part of the reason that happened is because
you put the effort and time into romancing each other. Now is time to do
it again. You fell in love with each other by romancing this
person—doesn't it make sense that by making them a priority in your life
again you'd re-spark the romance? THAT would be an example of loving
each other extravagantly!
What about bringing back the days where you show each other common
courtesies and politeness? Just because you live together it doesn't
mean that you can't be polite, even for the little things again—like you
did before you married.
Are you courteous with strangers? Why should you be less so with the
person you claim to love above every other human being –your spouse? How
extravagant and yet sensible would that be? After-all, your spouse
didn't outgrow the need to be appreciated or want any less to be thought
of as important in your eyes and priorities. Could you be forgetting
Hopefully this is a wake-up call for those of you that need it. Don't
let strangers treat your spouse with more courtesy and appreciation than
you do. If you do – it might eventually lead to either a "dead" marriage
or at best a lethargic, tired one! And is that what God calls us to
have? The answer is a certain "NO"!
You certainly don't want to be accused of having a marriage lived out
like it says in Philippians 2:21 where, "Everyone looks out for his own
interests, not those of Jesus Christ." Our marriages should so reflect
the love of God that when others see how we treat each other they want
to know our "secret" because they'll want a marriage as healthy as ours.
When you tell them that it's because of the love of God that you
extravagantly lavish on each other, it very well may spur them on to
want to know your God. How much that would delight
the heart of God!
So we challenge you to:
• Be intentional in showing your love for your spouse as a priority by
showering them with affection—even spontaneous in performing random acts
of romance! Surprise them! (This may be especially difficult for those
with children because they can take up a lot of energy and time. But ask
the Lord to show you how and when you can do this and you'd be surprised
how this can happen. By being INTENTIONAL and alert in looking for
opportunities it will happen and you may even find it to be fun—like it
used to be before you married each other.)
• Treat your spouse in respectful ways (as "unto the Lord"). Keep in
mind that it's a mind-set as well as an action.
• Commit, "Random acts of kindness" upon your spouse. Look for ways to
make them feel special by doing things for them that would mean a lot to
• Be a partner who displays thanks-LIVING everyday by saying and showing
your appreciation to them for even the little things (things you think
should be expected). Instead of noticing their faults, look for
something the do right and praise them for it. That is extravagant love!
We pray this is a challenge, but also a blessing to your marriage. Love
Dating Your Spouse
If you want to add life to your marriage, perhaps even save its life,
you’d better do whatever it takes to bring romance and dating back into
the picture. There’s no quick fix. But if you’re willing to make the
proper investments, you’ll find great rewards. So – in the face of all
the excuses, let’s take a look at some important ways
you will benefit from dating your spouse.
Dating Strengthens Your Relationship: Relationships are strengthened
through time spent together, honest communication, and positive
memories. Dating provides all of these. Dating builds up marriages and
helps solidify their foundations. Enduring relationships aren’t
constructed out of fleeting emotions and occasional passion. They’re
solidly built on quality time spent together, each partner investing in
Dating Enriches Life: Life was given to us by our Creator to be lived to
its fullest. He gave us a great playground we affectionately call
“Earth” to use and enjoy while we have the opportunity. Setting time
aside to enjoy one another is not only pleasing to God but enriches the
quality of our lives. You are bound to be a much better husband or wife
when you invest time in your marriage, giving it higher priority than
such things as the television set or the office or different activities.
Dating Creates Positive Memories: Memories recall significant
expressions of the past. Quality relationships are rich in positive
memories. Since our world does a good job of dispensing negative
experiences, it’s up to us to do an even better job of providing
positive recollections. I love to hear older couples share stories of
their early dating events. While such rememberings are fun to hear,
imagine how much more enjoyable they were to experience. My wife and I
are sure to have disappointing episodes and some regretful moments. But
one of our goals is to make sure that our positive memories outweigh our
Dating Models Marriage for Your Children: A long-term benefit of dating
your spouse is the model you set in place for your children. One of the
best ways we can demonstrate love to our children is by expressing
affection to our mates. When children see their parents placing priority
on dating and romance, they’ll carry that expectation into their own
relationships. Children need to see quality, loving relationships in a
world where those aren’t the norm. Your dating can relieve a tremendous
amount of pressure from your children and set an example they’ll never
Seeing the Big Picture: Two construction workers were busy working on a
huge brick- laying project. A passerby was curious about the future of
the building. She stopped the workers and asked, “Just what is it you’re
building?” The first worker told her he was simply laying bricks trying
to finish a construction project. When she asked the second worker the
same question he stood and proudly explained to her he was helping to
build a great cathedral. He was able to see the big picture, and was
excited about the outcome. He viewed his job as a worthy task.
As you think about your own marriage situation you might want to answer
that same question, “What are you building? I hope you’ll be proud and
say, “I’m building a great marriage, day by day, year by year, brick by
Ideas for Oneness
This month, we’re going to feature some things that Cindy Easley
(whose husband Michael is the president of Moody Bible Institute), had
to say to wives on the subject of “oneness” at a
In this message we’re going to give you 3 quotes from Cindy Easley’s
talk. After each quote I (Cindy Wright) will comment further on the
subject—which will have [brackets] surrounding it. Next month we’ll
feature several different quotes about a husband’s responsibilities for
oneness that my husband, Steve Wright will comment on. Here’s what Cindy
Easley had to say to wives:
Be creative. Take the romantic lead. Teach your husband what is
romantic. You are not usurping your husband's leadership by teaching him
how to be romantic. If you love candles, get out the candles. One night
when we first moved to Virginia—we had moved from Texas and we didn't
have a fireplace in Texas, there was no need—but in Virginia we had a
fireplace. One day I said, "Do you know what I think would be really
romantic?" to Michael, and he said, "What?" And I said it would be
really romantic to have a fire in the fireplace and just to be able to
turn off all the noise in the house, put on some romantic music at night
when the kids are in bed, wouldn't that be romantic? That's what we had
at our house that night. He set it all up, and it was wonderful. And it
didn't bother me at all that I had to plant, not so subtly, the idea. It
worked, I thought, very well.
[This is a touchy subject because women want men to anticipate their
every romantic need. But most men aren’t “wired” that way—some men are,
but that appears to be rare. (Some men may have gone through a romantic
period before marriage, when temporary brain chemicals –which studies
have shown to be present—were altering their minds, but later they
“lost” that sense of romanticism.) Women can think it’s because of
another excuse, but we need to quit being fault-finders and instead work
with the way things really ARE. If your husband is “clueless” as to what
you need then demonstrate the grace to respectfully “help” them. There’s
nothing wrong with doing that. We don’t lead fairy tale lives. This is
the real world and if our husband’s need help, then do so by the grace
of God. Quit complaining and start initiating, if that’s what it takes.]
Many people feel they struggle when they communicate. Add to that the
trouble should a difficult or tough situation arise and the results can
be disastrous. Here are some principles of effective communication,
"when it has to be said":
1. Choose your words carefully.
Stay away from trigger words.
"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is
wise." Proverbs 10:19
2. Don't speak during a moment of frustration.
Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying, "Remember not only to say
the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to
leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."
It's not the time, when emotions are heated, to speak.
3. Be very clear on what you expect.
U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had this to say about
effective communication: "Be sincere; be brief; be seated."
Be as specific as you can about a behavior or a lack of result.
4. Say it once and only once.
Otherwise, you become a nag.
"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will
eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21
5. Focus on a behavior rather than an attitude or an emotion.
By focusing on a behavior, you bring badly-needed clarity to your
communication - because you separate yourself for the moment from your
feelings - and are more likely to get the result you desire.
6. There's no guarantee on their reaction, so you need to be
People don't change unless they intentionally want
7. Don't close a door to intimacy.
In the rules for Christian households listed in Colossians 3:18-21,
Uninterrupted intimate communication within the family is inferred.
8. Don't take away their dignity.
Truly, respect is a two-way street in a marriage - or, really, any
"A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of
understanding holds his tongue." Proverbs 11:12
You can love someone and still not have
him or her any affection whatsoever...
Can you believe that? It's true. Affection is the show of love in
daily actions that allow your spouse to have a tangible understanding.
Affection is the conduit that allows your love for someone to show.
You can love your spouse, but if you don't show it - in kindness, in
hugs and kisses, in doing things for them without them having to ask -
in your daily behavior, you may as well not be in love with them! It's
kind of the same thing I was talking about before. I had good intentions
of helping Donna warm up, but if my intentions didn't match my
action...what good was it?
You can intend to clean the shutters. But if you don't they will still
You can intend to comfort your husband or wife. But if you don't
actually do it, they will still be uncomforted.
You can intend to tell your wife you love her every single day. But if
you don't she may not hear it enough.
It's an easy concept to grasp in theory, isn't it? But to master it is
difficult. Try to remember this as you go through your day: Your actions
show the love you intend for your spouse. As a result, your behavior
will speak of the love you have for your spouse.
Try it. Next time you have a chance, just do that "something" that your
spouse has always reminded you to do - and do so without the reminder.
After they are done asking you what is wrong, you'll see what I mean.
Your Marriage Attitude Can Increase Your Marriage
An Attitude Indicator tells an airplane pilot how the
plane is tilted in flight. If the plane is tilted upward, then the
attitude is pointed up. If the plane is tilted downward then it follows
that the attitude is pointed down. Imagine, for a moment, if the
attitude indicator on an airplane didn't work...you might have a real
problem on your hands. And, like a plane attitude indicator is important
for telling the pilot which way to turn the plane-up when needed, down
when needed-your attitude regarding your marriage is a good barometer of
what you should do in your marriage as well.
A change in attitude can do wonders for your marriage. If your attitude
is positive in marriage, many other things will follow suit. If your
attitude is negative, then likewise, things will probably go poorly.
Now that may seem fairly obvious to the casual observer, but you'd be
surprised what a simple action like changing your attitude will change
the outcome of your marital relationship!
So, how exactly does someone change their attitude to get to positive
outcomes? Follow the next four steps to gain some insight that might
help you see how to do just that.
1) Learn when it is time to change your attitude
Be realistic about how you handle things and understand that others
don't control your behavior. When you become self aware about your
reactions and actions, you have begun the process of a developing
2) Stop blaming your spouse for your attitude
Did you know that blaming others for your attitude actually gives them
power over you? Think about it. Complaining about the fact that such and
such person is responsible for how you act is saying that person
controls how you do things...By not blaming your spouse for your
attitude you do two things: You stop making them responsible for you
feeling bad and second, you stop putting a burden on them that really
belongs to you.
3) Change your way of thinking
Here's an idea to allow you to change your way of thinking...keep an
attitude journal! Write down what you tell yourself about various
situations to see the connection between your thoughts and your
behavior. Write down when and how you deal with your spouse.
4) Change your behavior
You can change your way of thinking but if you don't follow through it
doesn't mean a whole lot. But, when you put your new way of thinking
into action then you are making a difference. Here's an idea: speak an
encouraging word to every person (including your spouse) you see today!
I bet by the end of the day you will notice that your attitude "feels" a
Whether you are flying a plane or living your Christian life with your
spouse, it is important to keep your attitude positive. You must be
aware of your behavior and act positively in order to make a real
difference in your relationship.