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Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Indispensable Truth About Great Marriages

When you were a kid did you ever dream of doing something great?

I did. I wanted to be the president of the United States. And a filthy rich farmer. Walking on the moon or Mars was on the list. And establishing charities to help people.

We are told that greatness is within each of us and that all we need to do is try. I'm older now but I still believe this to be true.

But as I reflect on my life thus far, what I have accomplished, and what I think I'm going to yet accomplish none of those things (except maybe a charity or two if I happen into some money) are still on the list. I don't really want to even do those things anymore.

On the list of things I've accomplished are earning a bachelor's and a master's degree, getting married, fathering five awesome sons, and serving in my church.

Want to guess what the common denominator is between these things? They're things I'm passionate about. I love education. My wife and our sons are at the center of my life. Serving others and serving in church are part of who I am.

Passion. The key ingredient, the indispensable truth is that I'm only successful at things I'm passionate about. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) said, "Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion."

I have a great marriage and a great family and a great life. That's because I am passionate about my wife, my family, and my life.

Passion leads us to make sacrifices. Passion gives us the courage and motivation to keep going even when it's difficult. Passion provides strength and resolve to persevere. Passion provides vision of what can be.

The indispensable truth about every great marriage is that both the husband and the wife are passionate about their marriage. They have a vision of what they want their marriage to be, they have the strength and courage to make it through the difficult times, they make sacrifices for each other and for their marriage.

Nothing great is accomplished without passion. If you want a great marriage, be passionate it.



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Monday, April 20, 2015

The Heretofore Unpublished 3 Secrets to a Perfect Marriage

I have a perfect marriage. I'm not bragging just sharing a fact.

I can't take all of the credit for that, in fact, I can only take about half of the credit. The rest of the credit goes to my amazing and wonderful wife.

First, recognize that you aren't perfect. I make mistakes, plenty of them. On a daily, no, an hourly basis. I say the wrong things, think unkind things, and forget things daily.

Second, remember that your spouse is perfect. Your spouse will make mistakes daily, no, probably hourly. They will say the wrong things, think unkind things, and forget things everyday. Take all of that into account and commit yourself to remembering that your spouse is perfect anyway.

Third, your marriage will not be perfect. If you and your spouse are both imperfect how could the two of you create a perfect marriage? You couldn't. But what if your spouse is perfect? And what if you are perfect? Boom. A perfect marriage is now within reach. Just assume that your spouse is perfect and act accordingly.

Recognize your weaknesses and work on them. Overlook and forgive your spouse's weaknesses and move on. Do this together and your perfect marriage is within reach. Better yet, you're reaching for it and it suddenly zooms into your hand. Keep this "perfect" perspective and it'll stay there.

I have a perfect marriage. I'm not bragging, simply sharing a fact. And you can have a perfect marriage too.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

10 Approaches to Proving You Love Your Husband

A question I get asked from time to time is "what are the most important things I need to do to have an awesome marriage?"

This is a great question and there are a lot of possible answers but my response is "the small and simple things."

Why are the small and simple things the most important? Think of concrete. If I were to now ask you to think of some adjectives to describe concrete most people would use the word solid or strong.

And concrete is both, it is solid and strong. 

One of the things I learned about concrete, and really amazes me, when I did construction is that concrete is a mixture of pebbles, sand, cement, and water. Mix the ingredients in the right quantities and quickly it will harden until you have created a new strong and solid object.

Skyscrapers, bridges, mansions, and monuments are constructed on top of concrete. It's strong enough and solid enough to support them.

What's cool is that the cement is what holds it all together. The pebbles and sand are strong but will not hold together when weight is put on them. But mix the pebbles and sand with cement and water (the water activates the cement) and it will hold the pebbles and the sand together.

I hear people say all the time that all a marriage needs is love. If you love each other enough then you'll be okay. It doesn't matter how much cement you have, if you don't mix it with pebbles and sand it'll never hold anything up.

Love is the same way. Love holds together the small and simple actions and expressions of care and concern that we carry out. Love is the cement, the small and simple actions are the pebbles and sand. You need both.

So here are ten small and simple ways you can show your husband that you love him:
  1. Stare at him lovingly with an attitude of thankfulness that he is your husband and with a hint of lustfulness
  2. Pray holding his hand, touching his arm or leg, or hugging
  3. Send him a text message expressing gratitude for one thing that he did the previous day
  4. Leave a note on his pillow describing one of his good qualities and why you love that about him
  5. Buy him his favorite candy bar
  6. Do something on his "to do" list so that he doesn't have to
  7. Email him a picture of one of your favorite memories together 
  8. Spend time with him doing something that he enjoys doing
  9. Praise him in front of other people
  10. Simply tell him. Say "I love you."
Just like the little rocks in concrete are held together by cement, these small and simple things are held together by love.

Pebbles + cement = rock solid concrete. Small and simple things + love = rock solid marriage.

It really is this simple. Go and do something small and simple for your spouse today.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Marriage is Awesome

I'm tired of hearing how difficult marriage is. I am just fed up with it.

Sure it can be hard sometimes but is it really THAT bad?

How hard is it to have a partner to share everything with? Anytime you need someone to talk to they are there. When you're tempted to buy that new toy that you know you can't afford you have someone to bring you back to your senses.

When you are married you live with your best friend. You work with your best friend. It's a sleepover every night. What's so difficult about that?

You can make obscure references to a television series that you watched from a decade ago and there's someone that gets it and might even laugh.

Those really corny jokes you think of...you share those with your spouse and maybe even get a laugh. Be grateful because no one else is going to.

It's really difficult to be able to share household responsibilities with someone. I certainly wish I had to do them all myself (said with sarcasm).

On Friday night when you want to go do something you have a date. You don't need to go through your black book or your contacts and keep asking until you find someone to go out with. You have a special somebody, forever.

What's so hard about not having to finish a sentence because your spouse knows what you're going to say? Or not even having to say anything because they know you so well they know what you're thinking?

Marriage doesn't make life harder. Marriage makes life easier, about a billion times easier. I would take marriage over the single life any day and every day of every week.

Marriage is awesome.

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