This year, Robby and I celebrated our Sixth Wedding Anniversary! (Hand-clap, please.) Before we were married, our friends and family shared some sage advice with us. We added that to what we had picked up along the way and, before we knew it, we had several great rules to live by.
In honor of our sixth anniversary, I’d like to share with you our top six rules for a rock-solid marriage. Some of these can also be applied to relationships with friends and family, so keep reading, even if you’re not married.
1. Pick ‘em Right
Robby and I had great peace when we got married because we knew God wanted us to be together. We started our marriage on rock-solid ground because we promised to keep God at the center of our relationship.
Before you say I Do, make sure he’s right for you! How? Pray earnestly and with an open heart. If He tells you to walk away, then do it, knowing that His plans for you are good. (See Jeremiah 29:11.)
A rock-solid relationship has to be built on God, the one true Rock. (See Deuteronomy 32:2.) God has to be the focus of each of your lives in order for your marriage to succeed.
Marry the one you find the least annoying to be around. – Jeremy E.
2. Treat ’em Right
It’s so hard to find time to just be together, but Robby and I have learned to make it work. We don’t always answer the phone when it rings or get the dishes washed after dinner. Sometimes, we have to go out to eat to ensure we’re not distracted by the demands at home. But we do whatever it takes to carve out quality time for one another.
Your spouse is the one person on earth who has vowed to love and cherish you above all others. Don’t take that for granted.
If you’re having real marital problems, sort them out before they get too big to heal. If you’re just starting out, then treat each other with love and respect, and you’ll avoid a lot of heartache.
Just be decent to each other. – Jeremy E.
3. Watch Your Mouth
Robby is the quiet one in our relationship, and I’m more of a hothead. I’ve had to learn to guard my mouth—especially when I’m emotional or tired—so I don’t say something callous or hurtful.
The Bible says the tongue has the power of life and death, for good and evil. (See Proverbs 18:21.) Make sure the words you speak into your marriage are a blessing and not a curse. Tell the truth, but say it in love. Avoid yelling or saying ugly or demeaning things. You can’t just say, “I didn’t really mean that,” and make it go away.
Also—and this is extremely important—never, ever, ever, say “divorce.” Once you say the D word, it becomes an option. Once it’s an option, it’s much more likely to occur.
Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth. – Unknown
4. Give Him Space
Robby and I are both analytical, and we need time to process our thoughts. After hanging out with friends or family, or spending time in town, we like to go to separate corners of the house to “piddle” (that’s “work on house stuff” for those of you not from the South). Sometimes, we’ll just veg in front of the TV. That allows us to be close to one another physically without draining each other mentally.
Give your spouse the space he needs. When you have room to breathe, you’ll enjoy your time together even more.
It’s a good thing that you have different hobbies, so you’re not always on top of one another. – Jeff M.
5. Mystery Alive!
Robby and I agreed early in our relationship to keep the “mystery alive.” That means we don’t do anything really gross in front of the other person, including belching, passing gas, going to the bathroom, spitting, or picking our teeth. (I still can’t understand why some people do this stuff in front of their spouse. How do they go from gross to intimate? I don’t get it.)
If you want a strong relationship, keep the gross stuff to yourself as much as possible. This isn’t about being fake but about being courteous. You’ll respect each other more, and it’ll be easier to be romantic on a daily basis.
Mystery alive! – Me
6. When in Doubt
I can honestly say I’ve never doubted Robby’s faithfulness. I know he loves me and would never do anything to hurt our relationship. In the few instances when I couldn’t reach him by phone, or he came home later than usual, it never crossed my mind that he was doing something inappropriate.
A strong marriage is built on trust. That means you should always give each other the benefit of the doubt. When he’s late and he hasn’t called yet, or when he doesn’t text you back right away, don’t assume that he’s out doing something wrong. If you really trust him, then you trust his actions when he’s not around you.
Happy couples give each other the benefit of the doubt. – Topic of several studies, books, and articles.
What are some rules you live by in your marriage? Please share them here to encourage others. Thanks!