Ann Landers said, “If you have love in your life it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you don’t have it, no matter what else there is, it’s not enough.” I agree with that, but what is love? Do you automatically think of the stuff of romance novels and movies? That’s what love should be like, right? Boy meets girl and they live happily ever afterward. Love is so much more than that. God’s love, marriage, children, friendship, romance. Why are so many women still looking for love?
Maybe you’re a single woman that’s feeling passed over or inferior because you’ve never joined the ranks of the couples? Are you struggling because you’re divorced? Have you been led to believe that God doesn’t love you anymore or you’re a second-class citizen? Broken marriages are devastating, but divorce is not the unpardonable sin. There is a great need for a clear biblical understanding of divorce — when it’s sinful and when it’s not.
Perhaps you had a good marriage, but are now a widow. The average woman today will outlive her husband fourteen years! Even sadder is the woman who is in an abusive, unhappy marriage. Maybe you feel stuck or even afraid for your safety. I want you to know there is hope. Maybe you’ve never found true love because you have some misconceptions about love and you’ve bought in to the lies of our society.
Well, first you need to know that true joy and contentment doesn’t come from externals. Happiness certainly doesn’t come through another person. Sure, I understand the desire for close relationships and a life partner. That’s a good thing. But do you understand the real meaning of love?
Well, that’s it for now. But here’s a little something extra. These are my personal tips on how to have a happy marriage. I’ve been married for over 40 years, and this relationship is going to go the distance. Maybe you can find a helpful tidbit or two.
Shirley’s Secrets for a Successful Marriage
- Good communication is still the key. Take the time to have meaningful conversations everyday. Turn off the TV and focus on your spouse. Look into his eyes and talk about your day, the grandkids, or your dreams. Just talk.
- Reach out and touch someone — your husband. Even when sex is absent, intimacy can happen with meaningful conversation, hugs, back rubs, or snuggling in bed. There is great comfort and healing in the power of touch… and do make time for sex.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Living together can lead to nit-picking, nagging, and fault-finding. If you fall into this bad habit, JUST STOP IT! Look at the big picture. Reduce stress. Give up control and always balance criticism with positive reinforcement.
- Give each other space. Each partner needs time away. Find common interests and hobbies, but also do your own thing. Even in retirement, don’t become co-dependent. It’s okay to have your own friends and activities.
- Keep God central. Pray for your husband and pray together as a couple. Attend church together. Find ministry or service you can share.
Well, there’s nothing profound here, but it’s all very important. Can you share a couple of your own tips or some sound advice? We’d all like to hear what you’ve learned. God bless.