I thought I better explain the whole "experiment, try new things...push the boundaries" of marriage, before you had any more bad thoughts about me. Being together 150 months, probably qualifies us to be "rookies" when it comes to marriage. Most things we learned from the amazing people around us, many we learned from messing up. But here it is, my first top 10 list, things we have learned thus far:
1. Fight well - If your marriage is "engaging", you will have misunderstandings and even fight, at times. There is a lot that can said here but don't make it personal, listen (you would not be arguing if you were not passionate about it), get to the point not just the little things that lit the fuse, don't go to bed mad, work together on a solution.
2. Guys don't always think about "aerobics in the dark", but we do have needs. Just like the ladies. Don't hold out, its a sin. Physical intimacy is important to a healthy relationship.
3. Talk - "How was your day?" "What did the kids do?" are great starters, but move deeper. Guys, a little talk goes a long way. Beyond that, everyone wants to be known. Not just to know about them, but to know them. “I don’t care”, is never the right answer.
4. It's not the end of the world - Most trouble, can be fixed. Finish together.
5. Get a TAT - Time Alone Together goes a long way to creating intimacy. That means no kids, leaving work at the office, cell phones off (the babysitter can handle a couple hours), date your friends some other time, kind of being together.
6. Come home - Steward your time at work. Get the big rocks done, so you can go home and really "be" with your family.
7. Lead well - You are in it together, but every team needs a leader. Men, they are probably just waiting on you to step up.
8. Every day is special – What did you do today to make your spouse feel like they were your most prized possession?
9. On your knees – Intimacy with God is best shared. Don’t be embarrassed, she’s already seen you naked, get naked before God.
10. You will never be the One – There are things that we will never be able to do for our spouse, that can only be done by their creator. Your spouse is not God, they will never be perfect. Stop trying to make them be perfect and love them any way. Work like it depends on you, but put your hope in God.
There’s so much more, and honestly, many of these I need to work on. If you have a few to add to the list, I would love to hear them. You never arrive. Marriage is an adventure, play hard!