Christian Marriage Essentials

Essentials for a Strong Christian Marriage

 An honest look at sex and working on a christian marriage

I absolutely adore my husband. I can’t even describe how wonderful I think he is… and trust me, I have tried. Although sometimes it doesn’t seem like we have this grand relationship — from an innocent bystanders perspective–  because I like to complain and he likes to whine. I know what you’re thinking, “I thought complaining and whining are the same thing?” In my opinion, no they are not because complaining is a much better negative characteristic to have. 😉

Okay, maybe I’m biased.

However at the end of the day, somehow, we always end it with way too much laughter and love.

Lots of love.

Essentials for a strong Christian marriage

Marriage takes work — especially a christian marriage– and I am sure you have heard that particular saying one hundred and a billionth times. However,  until you walk in the shoes of marriage it is extremely hard to fathom the type of work I am referring to.

This work is more than just the ridiculous fights that two people have (although that is part of it). It’s also about continuing to romance each other despite how crazy tired you are. It’s remembering details about your spouse that can help make decisions. Decisions such as meals, clothes preferences, haircut styles, how he likes his coffee, or does he even like coffee. Should I buy the new Star Trek or Star Wars ? What am I saying, obviously Star Wars!

Know the Preferences for your christian marriage

  • Does he like a spotless home? Or would he be more impressed with me fixing myself up before he gets home from work?
  • Would he rather a rather large homemade dinner and no wifey cooked meals for breakfast and lunch? Or would he rather all three meals but in a much smaller scale.
  • Would he rather I greet him with a kiss every evening? Or would he rather I keep the house quiet for a couple of minutes of relaxation?

When you know small facts like this about your spouse it becomes not only good for him, but also helpful for you. Knowing that your husband (or wife) prefers you to be fixed up nicely over a messy house takes away some of the pressure of being housewife “perfect”. We do not have to master everything! Knowing preferences let’s us know which ideas to work on and which one to set on the back burner.

Here’s the flip side: If you’re husband prefers a fixed up wife over a spotless home, this DOESN’T mean that you do not have to clean your home. That would be silly. The next episode of hoarders would be filmed at your home because it’s a snowball effect . We have to clean our homes just as the Proverbs 31 woman did. However, if we are overwhelmed, stressed, and down-right exhausted this gives us the freedom to temporarily choose sides. Remember, if you leave something on the back burner too long it will scorch.

What's your love language? Essentials for a strong, Christian marriage

Love Language Knowledge for a christian marriage

When you really dig into your spouses preferences, likes, etc. you’ll find that it’s really about their love language. AKA, how your spouse perceives love. If we do not fully understand our spouses love language then how in the world are we going to understand why they do the things they do.

For example, my husband could not understand why I did not find it comforting or get a sweet “butterfly” feeling when he would maul me with cuddles. In my opinion, it’s cute for a time but sometimes it gets to be slightly– dare I say– annoying when he tries to rub my gross feet with his gross feet.

I can be a touchy-feely person– in some situations– but it’s not my love language. However, I do feel loved when someone takes their time to really talk to me (which is how I fell in love with my husband in the first place) and that is the love language of quality time. I think Vander (my husband) was slightly shocked when he learned this and soon after things changed.

I also learned his love language. With just the previous two paragraphs I can assume you’ll guess his right away.

Yup, it’s touch.

***Sigh***

After learning this, things changed again.

I sucked it up and let him rub his gross feet on my gross feet because that’s what makes him feel loved. You know what’s even funnier? The least rated love language for my husband was quality time which if you remember from the previous paragraphs… that is my love language.

If you are curious about your love language and would like to take the Five Love Languages test, you can take it here.

But you do you see what I am saying? We were on such extreme opposites that identifying the ways we perceived love really helped our views on each other. He now understood why I sometimes push him off and I now understood why he kept sticking his feet on me which sounds pretty basic. However, when we dug deeper into the situation we realized that my husband was hurt that I would “push him away” so many times and I was hurt that all he wanted to do was cuddle when I had a bad day.

Discovering our love language helped my husband and I to see our relationship more clearly than we ever had before.

The book is absolutely great and is often used by christian marriage counselors for references. If you haven’t read it already you can check it out here.

I actually wrote more about Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages for a christian marriage in my April reading list! You can be redirected to that post HERE.

Reading List for the Month of April

Visual Reminders for a christian marriage

To keep that fire burning for your spouse, it’s important to have some sort of reminder that lists some or all the qualities you love in your spouse.

Some of the qualities I wrote down about Vander include,

  • He shelters me from stones thrown our way.
  • He carries me over the hurdles we have to jump.
  •  He tries every piece of food that I make even when he may rather eat dirt– not that my cooking is bad but like I said in the beginning, he whines. 😉
  • He provides a listening ear when I need to talk.
  • He participates in activities that I like to do even when he’d find watching paint dry more exciting.

I even had a special book made for him on Valentines Day that talks about all the different things I love about him.

I am a VERY big advocate on visual reminders whether it’s a list that has been made or a picture hanging on the wall which is why I made our weddings vows as a wall display.

Display of our marriage vows, vintage farmhouse style

Like I have stated previously, there is just something about having those visuals while in a christian marriage. I actually hand painted two signs, one for each side of our bed to help remind us of our love which was the Songs of Solomon “I have found the one whom my soul loves.” These signs are the first thing a person sees when entering our room because the eye is drawn to them which is exactly how I wanted it.

Marriage essentials as a Christian couple , I have found the one whom my soul loves Romans 8:31

This verse reminds us that our marriage is far, far more than what society depicts a marriage. Our marriage is a pact, a promise, a vow, a bond, a union — whatever you want to call it– that was made in the presence of God and many witnesses. Having this powerful bible verse on either side of our bed reminds us that our marriage will triumph because God is (obviously) for our marriage and if He is for it, who can be against it? Romans 8:31

These signs remind us that God has provided us with a uniquely designed partner and that we WILL get through whatever trial we are facing. 

So yes, I believe that visuals are important.

Including God in a christian marriage

I can not say this enough! A christian marriage is built on three, not two:  you, your spouse, and God. Also, marriage is built on three and not five hundred. This means that everyone and their aunt Sally do not have a say or an opinion as to what you should do in our out of your marriage. Doesn’t mean you can’t seek advice because God calls us to be mentored and to mentor, however, it does mean that there is no point in letting other people’s opinions of your marriage get you down. This season of life is chalk FULL of opinions as to what they think you should do.

Praying, reading the Bible, and serving should all be done together at least some point in your life. This way your hearts are beating to the same drum. Learning, growing, and studying together is a great way to get to know God on a deeper level while being on the same level with each other!

I could write a whole other post on this very topic in a christian marriage but since I have already blabbed your ear off I will continue on. Just know, without God there is no hope in a structurally sound marriage. You will be missing one out of the three pillars that holds your marriage “home” up!

 

Sweet Gestures

It doesn’t matter the love language, everyone wants to be reminded that they ar
e loved by their spouse. Sweet gestures are a great way to say to your spouse “Hey, I am thinking about you today.”

What are some sweet gestures? Well, depending on personality types this list could be HUGE. I decided to narrow the list down to a couple gestures that my husband and myself regularly do for each other.

  • Notes: love notes, “I’m thinking of you” notes, and every kind of note in-between.
  • Random text message or phone call:  We often do this to let the other person know that we miss them. This tends to be often overlooked because it may be considered tacky or an over-used form of communication but it still brings a smile to my face so we do this anyways.
  • Doing a chore that you know your spouse dislikes: My husband is such a sweetheart in this category. When he notices I am stressed, he will often take up the dishes chore or the bedtime routine for our daughter. I can’t say that I will mow the lawn for him… but I do take the garbage out when I notice he has a lot on his “duties plate”.
  •  Touch: A helping hand on their shoulder, a brush of a kiss, a reach for their hand, a late-night massage. Whatever it is that is needed, you know your spouse and what they prefer, you be the judge. Touch is a great way to say “I am thinking about you”, especially if that is their love language.
  • Small token: When you’re headed home from work and notice the tense tone in your spouses voice over the phone, stop by the store to pick up a small bouquet of flowers or maybe a Red box movie. A small token could also be making their favorite dessert or dinner. These small gifts can go a long way in the eyes of your loved one.

Essentials for a strong Christian Marriage

 

Sex in a christian marriage

Sex is not a dirty, gross “thing” despite what many “Christians” may believe or tell people.  It was created by God and is a vital part of any marriage. The hush, hush that is associate with sex is down-right ridiculous. We are teaching our children that they should be ashamed of what they do in their marriage bed with their husbands! In my opinion, instead of avoiding the uncomfortable topic all together, as parents/friends/mentors/whatever, we should speak freely (or semi-freely) with others about why God created sex and how beautiful it can be with the RIGHT person.

Why have I decided to be so free with the discussion of sex in a christian marriage?

Here’s why: our society and how it’s teaching our children to view sex.

Recently, there has been a huge hype about the book 50 Shades of Grey. If you have not heard of it, this book is nothing but sex and abuse. The book has terrible writing, a cliché outer story, and creates a very warped and perverted look on sex. However, despite the negatives, somehow this book has been extremely popular and many couples have claimed that it has reconnected them with their loved ones.

So, being hit is a sexy way to say “I love you”?

I will not let my daughter grow up in a generation where it says that hitting is a “turn on”, saying inappropriate sexual terms is sexy, and neglect and punishment is a positive element of sex.

Of course, I am not going to go into explicit detail about sex and the process BUT I will answer her questions and I will teach her about the beauty of sex because it is God made and should be cherished.

Having sex with my husband is a very emotional, delicate, and spiritual time as we reconnect with each other. Much like a flower, we open up our petals, exposing ourselves, and trusting that we will be taken care of. Sometimes we pray after as well, praying that God will bless our marriage and the sex we just had.

Even when we are exhausted, we somehow always fit sex into each week because we know that it is not only important to us, but it is important to God and it is absolutely an essential to the health and passion of our marriage.

Essentials for a strong christian marriage: our views on sex

 

But I am no expert.

All I know is that these are some of the key essentials for a christian marriage that my husband and I practice to keep our hearts burning with passion for one another, just like years ago on our wedding day. And you know what? So far, each day is a new learning experience about each other and each night we somehow fall deeper and deeper in love with each other.

What do you find is an important essential for your marriage? 

essentials for a strong christian marriage

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