Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Friday, June 17, 2011

How To Make Your Marriage Last - part 2

So let me continue what I began in my last post about helping your marriage last until death do you part.  It's not easy, there are no simple recipes but there are a few principles that can help.

Brag about your spouse to others. No, don't make things up. But be sure to speak well about your mate to your friends, relatives, neighbors and associates.  I regularly hear about people who tell jokes, gripe and make fun of their husband or wife to others. And now and then when you both agree there's a funny story to be told about the other that's fine.

But our speech about our spouse needs to affirm and build up the other person even when they don't hear our comments. I'm pretty sure that many people say negative things about their spouse so that they themselves won't look so bad. That's a crummy excuse and our resulting words end up hurting the other person and destroying trust. Speak words of life and tell the world about all the great things your mate is and does.

Keep learning more about intimacy of body, soul and spirit. I've spoken on this in other posts so go to the index and click on "intimacy"  for more. However, intimacy of soul and spirit takes much more intentionality and practice than the physical part.  The interesting and important thing is that all three areas complement one another. As we develop all three we help all three.

Serve others together.  One of the best ways to develop intimacy and grow your relationship is to serve, do projects and help others together. Working as a couple helps you bond and gives you something special to talk about later. And if you become involved in an endeavor that is ongoing it becomes both of your passions and you enjoy it together.  Serving especially helps you grow stronger even in the middle of struggles.

It shouldn't take the place of working on your problems, but serving can help growth to speed up.

Don't allow your relationships with your kids to become more important than yours.  Our kids are important and should be one of the loves of our lives. Ours are. I would take a bullet for either of them, their spouses or our grandkids. I couldn't be prouder of them all.

But we've tried to both teach and model for them that our marriage and their marriage is always more important than their parenting. We're to love, protect and provide for our children but one day we're to set them free to live, lead and love on their own. And during that whole process we're to model what a healthy marriage is all about. And healthy marriages don't live vicariously through their offspring.

Healthy spouses keep loving each other, working at their relationship and thereby teaching their kids to do the same.

So do you want to keep your marriage for a lifetime?  I would guess you do.  It's work, it's not easy, but it's worth it. Happy anniversary . . . whenever it is.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.


  1. I wrote a post recently about how our kids relationships should not be miore important than our spouses, etc. It was not well received. Mostly by those very women how it applied to. (unfortunately my blog is down if you wanted to read) should be back later this week.

  2. This is a really wonderful post. I especially like your section on "bragging about your spouse." I agree: little things hurt! It's not the outright emotional outbursts that bring me down (those I can respond to!) but rather little jokes, snide comments and other snippets of negativity. I think they really chip away at a person's self-confidence. And, it's hard to notice them and I'm personally trying to catch myself at it all the time. I work for an online marriage counseling program that has a worksheet to help you notice and then stop this toxic language. It's been really helpful.

  3. Thanks Naomi for the encouraging words. Glad to know the post was helpful. I wish more spouses could understand how many better ways there are to say things.

  4. Thanks for your response Kyle. I'd like to read your blog. Let me know when it's available again.