Okay, so i’ve decided to get on this bandwagon challenge which started circulating on my Facebook feed a couple of days ago. I’ve actually been tagged to participate in this by several of my married friends and relatives already… but after much reflection, it is only now that I’ve chosen to “accept” this challenge and I “tag” all the married couples (and soon-to-be married couples) who stumble upon this post! – but.. you don’t need repost this and tag your friends haha.
The original mechanics of the Love Your Spouse Challenge are the following:
- Post one photo of you and your spouse everyday for 7 consecutive days
- Add a unique caption per photo
- Encourage others to join-in by tagging at least two of your friends per post (must be different people per post)
…and by doing this, you keep the celebration of love and the promotion of marriage going.
I have two comments about this challenge. First, loving your spouse doesn’t only mean posting sweet photos of you together for everyone to “like“. Second, you can keep your relationship strong and promote marriage thru the actions of loving your spouse everyday.
I’m sure posting one photo a day for your Facebook friends to see would be easy since married couples have lots of photos with their spouse.
So I’m also challenging you to do more and to try and do at least one of these 7 things for and with your spouse everyday:
1. Pray together with your spouse and pray for your spouse- Keep the Lord at the center of your marriage.
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. – Jeremiah 17:7
Prayer is powerful. Pray for everything in your marriage. When you and your spouse were married, you became “one” in the eyes of God. However, being “one” doesn’t really happen in an instant. Your differences will make you realize that being “one” takes a lot of understanding and effort.
The process of being “one” is also reaffirmed by praying together. When you pray, the both of you look to God and are drawn into unity towards God – this in turn unifies you as well.
How so? you can learn so much from one another by sharing prayer requests and listening to each other pray.
Plus, who else can be the greatest protector of your marriage than the He who designed it?
2. Show love even when it is the last thing you want to do.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.- Ephesians 4:2
This might be one of the toughest ones to practice. But believe me, show love in everything that you do for and with your spouse and you’ll really see a difference in your relationship.
Sure it’s easy to show love when everything is A-okay in your marriage.. but how about when you have a misunderstanding or a quarrel? It’s not so easy then, is it?
Showing love doesn’t mean just saying “I love you”. It is the application of an action that results from your love for your spouse. You can show love to your spouse by being respectful, considerate, caring, humble, patient, a good listener, and an encourager. These can all be practiced thru the interactions you have with your spouse.
3. Try your best not to be irritable towards your spouse.
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. —Proverbs 16:32
My husband was the one who taught me that we should always respond to one another rather than react to one another. When you respond, you think before you say or do anything. I admit, this is more a challenge for me than it is for my husband. I’m a very expressive person and sometimes I express things in a manner i don’t necessarily mean. This includes my tone of voice and my use of words.
In our marriage we saw that our misunderstandings were lessened because we practiced how to respond to one another the best way we can. I sometimes find myself taking a deep breath when I feel all emotional – it calms me down and allows me to organize my thoughts.
Extending extra patience and love towards your spouse never hurt.
4. Try and resolve any misunderstandings and quarrels as soon as you can.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry – Ephesians 4:26
For whatever reason we got irritated with each other, we make it a point to find time to talk about it. When we’ve both calmed down.. and we both find that we’re ready to talk things thru, we ask each other questions like “did i say something in a negative way?” or “did i offend you?” or even “did i hurt you with my words?” and we allow ourselves to listen to one another openly.
5. Protect your Marriage
[Love] always protects. —1 Corinthians 13:7
This is simple. Pray for your marriage always and RUN away from temptation.
Be the first protector of your marriage and those who try to break you apart will have the hardest time getting in between you both.
6. Be your spouse’s best encourager
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8
Everyone hates a nagger. Usually nagging is associated with the wife, but I believe both in the marriage must make a conscious effort to not nag their spouse. Instead of focusing on the negatives, why not focus on the positives and work on the negatives together?
I’m blessed with a husband who encourages me everyday. I know I’m not the perfect wife but he makes me feel like i am perfect for him.
7. Remember that love and marriage should be a commitment you practice everyday.
A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. —Genesis 2:24
Remember that you are married. You’re to leave your parents and cleave to your spouse. What does this mean exactly? You both stop being the responsibility of your parents, and you are to create a life with your spouse. It become you and your spouse against the world. You can start your own family, make your own rules, and decide on your own. Isn’t it exciting?
So.. stop being pressured by the opinions and advises of your parents (if they give any). You can respectfully tell them “thank you for your opinion and/or advise” but remember, that it is up to you and your spouse to decide for yourselves and the family you have together.
Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. —Ruth 1:16
Never forget why you married your spouse. You need not wait for a bad relationship bump to reminisce and remember “why”. You can always look back and choose to never forget why you made this life-long commitment.
I really do encourage you to practice at least one of these 7 everyday.. if you do, your marriage is sure to overflow with love.
To my husband, Jet, I love you always!