Well, it would only make sense to follow up the list of my Top 10 Wedding advice by sharing with you my Top 10 marriage advice. And eventually, I should go back and share my list of dating advice.
Minhee and I have been married for nearly 14 years and we’ve learned so much. I also promise to share our “biggest mistakes.” Anyway, I’m not Dr. Phil or Dr. Gottman but here’s my Top 10 Marriage advice or rather, my 9 advice and a request for you to contribute:
- In dating and courtship and in the decision to life together, you’re ultimately agreeing to certain expectations. Not expectations of perfection but expectations of who, what, where, when, and why. Marriage – not in a contractual way but in a covenant way is an honoring of those expectations…
- Which is why it’s so important that you marry the “right” person and continue “being” the right person.
- Say this again and again. “I’m not perfect and my spouse isn’t perfect.”
- If you have unrealistic expectations, you’re bound for so much disappointment. I’m not saying that we should expect mediocre marriages but we need to be realistic. This is another way of accentuating the importance of Grace.
- Intimacy is the key and encompasses everything. On my list that makes up the grid of intimacy: Physical, Spiritual, Emotional, Social & Relational, Conversational, Moral, Recreational, Intellectual, Financial (Stewardship), and [what would you add]
4. Talk & Sex
Everything in #3 are important but two of the more vital ones (because there’s no middle ground) are:
- Intimacy via Conversation, Talking, and Listening
- Intimacy via Physical Touch & Sex
- Talk a lot and have a lot of intimate sex!
5. Learn to fight well
- This is so important. Everyone disagrees and fights. And couples that say they don’t also wrestle with lying. So, if you disagree & fight … you have to learn to fight fairly and constructively.
- This is a separate list I’ll share in another post. But so important. Oh, so important…
6. Be a church
- Don’t fall into the myth that Christians that marry together equate a Christian and God-honoring marriage. Two Christians that marry together usually equate to two Christians that marry together. It doesn’t guarantee anything so a couple needs to be intentional and purposeful.
- One metaphor I like to share is that a married couple become a church in their own way. Two have gathered together and a husband and wife should see one another as mutual pastors with the privilege of exhorting one another in prayer, Scriptures, service, sacrifice, etc.
- Pastor one another.
- Worship together.
7. Make decisions together
- Trust me: Everyone wants to have their voice heard.
8. Keep dreaming, conspiring, and visioning
- Don’t let your conversations be ONLY reduced to, “So, what do we need to get at Costco this week.”
- Everybody wants to be part of something bigger.
9. Bless one another
- Do you know what blesses your spouse?
- And if so, are you blessing your spouse?
- Believe me: When you bless your spouse, blessings will be returned.
- Build a culture of blessing.
10. What would you add as #10? What advice would you give about building a thriving marriage?
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.