It was 12 years ago today that Jennifer and I became one in marriage.   In light of our anniversary, Jennifer and I each compiled a list of 12 marital values/lessons we have each learned over 12 years of marriage (in no particular order) and thought it would be fun to share them with our family and friends.  Thank you for your support, prayers, encouragement and exhortations.

Hers:

  1. Love, seek and enjoy Christ before your husband.
  2. Enjoy and initiate God’s gift of intimacy with your husband often!
  3. Communicate! Never assume he knows what you’re thinking!
  4. Make your home a place he longs to come home to at the end of the day. (clean, restful, happy wife, obedient children)
  5. Serve him with a joyful heart, not because of what you will get in return but out of selfless love for him.
  6. Know his love language and look for ways to use that language to show him love even if it is different from your own.
  7. When there is a rift between you cling to Christ and not the enemy who wants to divide you.
  8. Always show him respect! Who can respect a man when he is not respected by his own wife?
  9. Encourage him to have “guy time”. Value his time spent with other Godly men.
  10. Have fun together, laugh and play often.
  11. It’s okay to go to bed with unresolved issues as long your love for each other is expressed and you seek to resolve the conflict in the morning.
  12. Your family is your first ministry that God has entrusted to you. Make sure you are stewarding them well before seeking out other areas to serve.

His:

  1. Keep romance alive by prioritizing at least a weekly “Date night” without the kids.
  2. Fight for each other instead of with each other by practicing empathetic listening. Listen for the heart behind your spouses differing opinions so you can humbly serve her and partner with her in life.
  3. Model and practice a balanced & healthy life.  Invest intentional quality time into my bride and family by leading them in their spiritual, intellectual, social, physical and financial needs.
  4. If she respects you, the kids will too.   This is on you not her!
  5. Work with her to make your home, family outings, and vacations filled with fun, love, laughter and great memories.
  6. Stay in church community and under godly authority.  God’s design for us is to be a part of a larger body of believers by which you gain their giftedness, vital counsel and support.
  7. Feast on God’s word.  Man cannot live by bread alone.  Neither can a marriage or family thrive with out the living word.
  8. Be diligent to find and keep an honest way to make enough money to be faithful to God, generous with others and have enough to take care of your family.
  9. Prioritize & make possible, “Girl Time” for her to rest, recoup and have fun by enjoying herself while doing girl stuff.
  10. Touch her heart and mind before you touch her body.
  11. Sync schedules, plans and priorities weekly so that you live life together and not parallel.
  12. Have Fun Together.  Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do.  Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this life that God has given you under the sun.”

-Pastor Joshua Kirstine