I have a confession to make.
I spent a few days of last week doing as little as possible for one reason: to read novels. I just want to warn you, if you have a lot of responsibilities, DON'T EVER pick up a Karen Kingsbury novel. My family survived on quick meals, diving through the laundry basket for clothes, and the fact that Mom was seen and not heard for once.
The addiction started when a friend gave me this book:
Then I used that nifty system at the library to hold the next one...and the next one. And then the next two. Then last Wednesday I picked up the next four in this series of FIFTEEN NOVELS! I finished that fourth novel last night. Hopefully tonight I'll get a little more sleep... ;)
But that's not the reason for this rambling confession. Nope, there's a real purpose here, y'all. In this novel, "Forever" which is really #10 in the series, one of the characters lists 10 secrets to a happy marriage. And as I thought about it, it's taken me years to realize some of these, but I can testify that every single one of these has helped us! While our marriage isn't perfect (which is okay with me, because we aren't perfect either), I can confidently say I am so thankful for my marriage. We celebrate 11 years next month, woohoo! Only by God's grace have we made it, and only by this wisdom has it been so good! So, here ya go:
Ten Secrets to a Happy Marriage
1. God has you here to serve one another. Love acted out is serving.
2. Women need respect and nurturing. Love your wife so she knows you'd lay your life down for her. Continue to date her and admire her. Share a hobby - find something you can do to have fun together.
3. Laugh often.
4. Be patient. Love crumbles quickly under the weight of unmet expectations.
5. Spend more time trying to fix yourself than your spouse.
6. Keep short accounts. the Bible says, "Do not let the sun go down while you are angry." Make it a habit to forgive.
7. Determine up front that divorce is not an option.
8. Learn about love languages. Not all people show love or receive it the same way. You want a back rub and your spouse wants a clean kitchen. The love languages are fairly simple: acts of service, time, physical touch, gifts, words of affirmation. Learn them. Love is better received when it's the language that person speaks.
9. Words of affirmation are a love language for all men.
10. Men are born to be leaders. He cannot lead unless she gives him the confidence to do so. If you love your husband, build him up. Confident men do not seek love outside the home.
Good stuff, right? True but not easy to live out consistently. But it pays off!!
Alright, so the pillow is calling my name, reminding me of how much I've neglected it this week. If I reserve another novel before Christmas, someone please shoot me. ;) And if you decide to pick up the series, don't say I didn't warn you. It's so good though...
I'd love to hear your thoughts...on this wisdom, on your marriage, on reading novels and neglecting everything else... ;)