Monday, September 12, 2011

Marriage Monday: Keep the Spark Alive!

Hi Friends!! Welcome to Marriage Monday!

My friend Julie from Come Have A Peace shares Marriage encouragement every Monday, and I'm pleased to join in the fun today!

Today I'm wondering...

How do you keep the spark alive in a marriage??

I was reflecting on this question a lot over the weekend as we celebrated the wedding of John's brother Jim to Gwen (my new sister-in-law ~ woo hoo!)

The wedding ceremony was beautiful ! Not to mention, the wedding party consisted of a handsome best man and a gang of adorable kids ~ also known as mine! :)

The outdoor reception was absolutely breathtaking! It was held at Gwen's family's cottage located on Lake Michigan,
overlooking the sandy beach - complete with fireworks over the lake at the end of the night -breathtaking!

Jim and Gwen are clearly head over heels in love, and I pray God would bless them with a lifetime of joy!

On our drive home from the reception, I was thinking....what would be the Top 5 things I would share with a newly married couple about "Keeping the Spark Alive" in a marriage.

Not that I'm a marriage expert, but after 11 years of marriage with my husband (and still head over heels with my man too!) ~ here are my thoughts...

1. Make time for each other every day.

John and I try to have 15 minutes of "face time" (I call it "honey time") where we just chat...about our days, our feelings, etc.. The kids know mom and dad need their "honey time". If we are too busy to connect 1:1, we are too busy and something must go from our schedule!

2. Look for ways to love/serve him. Put his needs first.

Even in the midst of a crazy full house with 4 kids and a loud dog, I ask God to give me eyes to see how I can serve John. I try and make his favorite meals. Have his favorite little goodies in the house. Pray for him. Ask about his day at work (and really listen). Take the kids on bike rides so he can relax. Carve out time so he can "putz" out in the yard. Pay attention to his "love language" and keep his bucket filled. Put his needs above my own.

3. Greet him each day with a hug and a kiss.

This has not been easy ~ especially when we had 3 kids in diapers! But I strive each day to be out of my gym clothes, lipstick on, and ready to greet John with a hug and a kiss when he gets home from work. :) It helps set the tone of our night. (I have to race my dog to see who reaches John first, but I'm pretty fast these days!)

4. Date each other, and remember to take "mini moons".

I'll be honest, it takes a lot of work and scheduling to get away with John, but it is worth it! Having time together, just the two of us, helps keep the sparks alive in our marriage!

5. Laugh together!

I love laughing with my John. One example...he likes to make funny faces when I try to take our picture together. What a jokester ~ but he makes me crack up every time! Laughter is good medicine! (And I always warn him, "this one's going on the blog!)

What about for you?? How do you keep your marriage sparks alive?? I'd love to hear from you!!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*. Have a wonderful, joy-filled day!!

P.S. Andy Stanley shared a great teaching at Willowcreek called "Staying in Love" if you'd like to explore this further. You can watch it here.

P.S.S. Thanks for 11 years, honey. :) Looking forward to many more years together.....


Anonymous said...

What a great post. Only been married six years, but still head over heels in love too - I would say we basically do the same things you two do! Love the pics!!!

Melody said...

We are doing i-marriage by Andy Stanley right now in our sunday school class and it's great.
We try hard to keep a date night on the calendar but find ourselves catching up over dinner while we hush the kids.....I'm not happy with this style of family time around the dinner table...I think we need to do the 15 face time idea you shared.
The wedding looked beautiful...what a gorgeous bride she was! And ya'll all looked so nice and fancy schmancy.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

We got away this weekend for the first time in way too long and I was reminded how important that time is. Time without worrying about kids, schedules or to-do lists, just time to invest in each other.

Looks like you had a great time at the wedding :)

Unknown said...

Love, love, love this post, Cindy!

I love the joy and exuberance that you bring to life, girl.

Amelia said...

I absolutely LOVE the fun photo of the 2 of you! We get out on dates when we can, but we're big on stay-at-home dates with Redbox rentals! And I try to greet him with lipstick on and my hair combed and not in sweat pants too!

Keena said...

What a great post. We have a hobby that we share together. Plus, if he's not working we are basically together all the time. We will go to the bank together, the grocery store, etc. AND, we talk a lot. He delivers pizza and he will call me 20 times a day sometimes while he is out on a run. There are some more things I'd like to see done, but I will work on that step by step. We will be celebrating our 5 yr anniversary in Nov. Take care and God Bless.

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