4 Marriage Sparks for 2018
By Fin Sheridan
One of the things that keeps wowing me about marriage is just how permanent it is. That sounds obvious but I keep looking at my wife and realising that there’s not going to be a day where we aren’t married. You can’t turn marriage off. I’m married to her, and she’s married to me, and that’s just the way it is.
We rented a room from a couple that have been married 30 years this year! 30 years! I can’t even comprehend how long that is. They’re regularly asked what they’ve learnt over that time. I heard one of them say recently that “Love is not a sprint but a long distance commitment.”
“Love is not a sprint but a long distance commitment.”
That’s really good advice. Marriage is an anti-institution against our quick, immediate, disposable culture. It takes patience and deep commitment. Change doesn’t happen quickly. Marriage is all day, every day.
However, there are always things that we (both men and women) can do to inject some freshness into our marriages. Like pulling up the blinds to let the sun shine into a room, or opening a window to give some air, there are countless minor adjustments that can have major effects in our marriages – and a new year is a great chance to implement them. Here are just 4 but we’d love to hear your suggestions too!
- Take care of the little things. Men, this isn’t just aimed at you but it’s a great one for you to start with. If the bin is full, empty it. Don’t just put your plate near the dishwasher, put it in the dishwasher. There’s going to be something that comes to mind right now that your husband or wife has to always ask you. Make 2018 the year that they never have to mention it again.
- Put the phone down. When I was single, I was so sure that I didn’t want to have a marriage where we had our mobile phones in the bedroom. Then I got married and realised how difficult that is. The pull of “one more social media check” or funny cat videos means that the last minutes of our days are often spent looking at someone else’s life rather than living our own. Put your phones down and talk to one another.
- Do something spiritual together. Maybe it’s a Bible reading plan that you both read. Maybe you just try to pray together more – or at all! Maybe it’s a Christian book that you both read at the same time. Maybe you just commit to sharing a bit more about your relationship with God. There’s countless ‘maybes’ but make this a ‘definitely’ in 2018.
- “_____ Faster.” I don’t know what your ____ is. Perhaps you need to forgive faster. Maybe you need to apologise faster. Do you need to say “yes” faster or be quicker to show affection and love? Whatever it is, try and do it faster this year.