Way to Strengthen Your Marriage
By: Hillary Cole
I attended a couple’s marriage event at our church a couple weeks ago and came away with an easy way to strengthen your marriage! It was so simple I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before!
For those that have been together or married for awhile, we know it’s easy to fall into a rut with your husband. Being married is an amazing journey to take with that person you love more than anyone in this world, but we can all attest that it’s not the “same” as when you first began your courtship.
In the beginning, it was all about dressing up, showing only your best traits, thoughtful gifts, and lots of gum and brushing teeth.
Now that my husband and I have been married nearly 12 years, it’s a lot of snowman pajama bottoms, “pick out your own gift” birthdays, and holding your breath while kissing!
And I’m actually okay with that. Because what we have now is so much more real and genuine and I know we are in it for the long haul.
But what isn’t okay is forgetting the awesome person you married and just why you love him so much!
So here is what my husband and I both started doing following that marriage session at church.
We created a “Why I Love You” jar for each other. It wasn’t fancy – just a mason jar with our initials on it. It’s not like I was going to ask my husband to go all arts and crafts on me.
And each day, or sometimes a few times a day, we jot down reasons that we love each other. We don’t share them with each other, or even tell when we are adding notes. We just write it down, fold it up, drop it in and move on.
Here are some of the things I wrote down for my husband:
I love you because no matter how tired you are from work, you are never too tired to play tickle monster with the girls.
I love you because I know that if I’m worried about something, I don’t need to ask you to pray about it…because you already have.
I love you because you always take out the trash on pick up day.
I love that after 12 years of marriage, you still want to be fit and eat healthy so you can be your best version.
I love that you make me laugh nearly every day…like laugh out loud laugh.
I love that you are dedicated to your job and that it provides us with enough that I can stay home with the girls.
I love that you still think I’m the prettiest girl in the world, especially on the days I don’t feel very pretty.
I love that you love your Mom and Dad so much.
I love that you love my Mom and Dad so much.
I love you because you’re handy and can do most every home improvement project I can dream up.
You see, none of these are earth-shattering or extremely deep thoughts. They are just notations of the simple, every day things that Bryan does that show his love for me and reinforce my love for him.
Now here’s the twist – when we are having a rough day with each other or arguing, we don’t read what we wrote about each other….we read what we wrote about our spouse!
You see, when I’m frustrated Bryan didn’t listen to me AGAIN about when the girls’ doctor appointment was, I pull out my little slip that says “I love you because I know that if I’m worried about something, I don’t need to ask you to pray about it…because you already have.”
And I’m reminded that Bryan is a wonderful husband who isn’t perfect all the time but is when it comes to the things that really matter.
Because it’s easy to think that it would be great to find someone who pays a little more attention or who listens better or who surprises you with little gifts.
But I have come to find that the kisses after a stinky dinner are a lot better than the toothpaste-y ones we had 12 years ago…because they come from a place of great love and admiration for each other.