Before I got married, I attended an event at someone’s house. He was older than me and already married, and all his friends were as well. It was a nice party. I enjoyed speaking with people there, and was especially struck by one man. During the meal blessing he chimed in with, “And let’s give thanks for our wives, because where would we be without them fellas? Am I right!?”
Ten years later, this is still with me and has profoundly impacted my outlook on marriage. This man appreciated his wife enough to publicly declare it and invite others to do the same.
Not only is this a great way to love your spouse, but it also shows us that successfully loving them really has more to do with being than it does with doing.
If you have to go through a checklist intentionally each and every day in order to love your spouse and be successful in your relationship, by all means do it. However, if one cultivates within themselves a lifestyle or mode of being in love with their spouse, the fruits of their marriage will be greater.
On the flip side, in order to build up the lifestyle of dedicating yourself to the other, and getting to the point where loving your spouse is natural and not calculated, steps might need to be taken. Therefore, a checklist would be handy to help one arrive at that place of spousal love.
But first, let’s look at the qualities shared by all those husbands and wives who live out their love for their spouses daily. If we want to imitate these people in loving our own spouses, we need to cultivate similar qualities.
Don’t get me wrong. We 100% love through our actions.
But to ensure these actions are a constant part of our married life we need to be grateful, in-tune, committed, and open.
- Grateful. Focus on the positive and have an appreciation for the good in life, but most importantly, the good in the relationship.
- In-tune. Be aware of your spouse’s mood, likes and dislikes, how to cheer them up, and how to help them cope with stress, pain, and sadness. It may take time to get to this point, but paying close attention is the best way to start.
- Committed. Life is hard, even with a battle partner by your side. But knowing your partner is ride-or-die with you in whatever you face makes the journey easier to endure. Be that support for your spouse, always. Even when you don’t agree, always look for a way to support them.
- Open. So much time can be wasted on feeling frustrated when our spouses do not respond or act the way we want them to. We forget that while we make up a force of married love together, they are still a free human being. We cannot control our spouses or expect them to immediately change their bad habits because it bothers us. We must be open to what they want, how they think, how they feel, and how they love.
Think of these qualities or characteristics as the fruits of the hard work that one does daily to love his or her spouse.
Like an apple tree eventually brings about ripe, juicy apples for its growers to enjoy after they prepare the soil, plant the tree, and do other work needed to help it grow, so too does one’s life bear these attitudes after a husband or wife takes the following steps to cultivate these qualities:
- Count your blessings received from and through your spouse. What are the positive attributes and gifts you notice about your spouse? Keep a running list and review often.
- Pay attention to your spouse. Every Sunday, dedicate some time to thinking about them and what they like, dislike, their goals, how they respond to certain circumstances, etc. How can you get to know them even better?
- Always be a team. When talking with family, friends, or coworkers, we don’t want to put down our husbands and wives by discussing flaws or problems. We need to be a united force and build each other up. It’s okay to speak with trusted advisors or therapists to help us navigate through issues, but we don’t want to throw our spouse under the bus simply to relieve our stress. Doing so can weaken the marital bond more than one realizes. Husbands and wives need to be united to take on and make it through life’s struggles.
- Purposely lose arguments. That’s right. Not everything is life-threatening or too important. Giving in to what your spouse wants to watch, where they want to eat, or how your family will spend their time and money is really good for a marriage, and better than the satisfaction you may feel in getting what you want. This helps us to be open to the wants and needs of our spouse, but also helps us to be less selfish.
We would love the hear if these tips were helpful and how you have strived to love your spouse, and what helps you to do it more. Leave a comment below and please share this blog with anyone you think might enjoy these tips as well.
Thanks for joining us as work to climb together to the heights of humanity!