My favorite holiday of the year is Easter. I love it because the day represents the Resurrection of Jesus and the greatest day in history. But I also love it because of its potential for marriages. It is a day that we remember how dim things looked on Good Friday, but on Easter morning, mourning was turned into joy. I see this happen all of the time in my coaching business. Couples come to me in crisis thinking that all is loss, and then they experience the joy of new life in their marriage. As much as I love the day, I also know that Easter can be a very stressful day for families. Many times the expectations of extended family, travel, Easter gifts, big family dinners and the rush of the day can cause significant strain on the marriage. To this end, I would like to offer four strategies to help make this Easter a little easier for you and your spouse. 1) This Easter make your marriage your highest priority. In the midst of trying to make the holiday special for children or pleasing extended family, it is easy to lose the connection with your partner. Make connecting with your spouse your number one priority this Easter. Make sure they know how much you love them and how special they are to you. Modeling this connection is the greatest gift you can give your children and it sets the standard for other people’s expectations of your time and your priorities. 2) Develop an agreed upon Easter plan. Take some time now to discuss expectations of the day. What are your priorities in terms of the day? Is it spending time with family? Attending a worship service? Doing activities as a family? Agree upon the priorities and activities before the day arrives. This will eliminate stress and disappointments the day of Easter and especially the day after Easter. 3) Be comfortable saying “No”. Give yourself permission to say no for the sake of your marriage and your family. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, your spouse and your kids is the gift of not getting sucked into unhealthy family rhythms that do not serve your marriage. I know of some families who have routinely made three to four “mandatory” dinner/party stops every Easter. They hate it, but just can’t say no. Consider saying no this Easter. Chose one and tell the other three that their turn is coming. 4) Consider starting a new Easter tradition as a family. Find one activity that you might add to your day that could enhance your marriage connection and bring your family closer together this Easter. Please share these four tips with anyone who might benefit from them this Easter. I want to wish you and your family the most Blessed Easter ever! If I can ever be of any assistance to you as you strive to bring new life to your broken marriage, or make your good marriage great, please visit my site at themarriagecoach.com or call me at 314-606-4272. Until next time, keep falling more in love!
Several years ago, my Farmers insurance agent (and friend), Kyle Heywood shared an analogy on the importance of having insurance. When you have something of great value, your natural inclination is to protect it. For most of us our most expensive assets are our homes and cars. For this reason, most of us have home owner’s insurance and car insurance. The truth is, our most precious asset is our marriage. Unlike our cars and homes, our spouse is not replaceable. (Or at least they shouldn’t be.) In the same way we protect our financial assets, we must have a plan to protect our marriage. One of the elements in creating a phenomenal marriage is to have a plan in place to protect the marriage from forces that have the potential to lessen or destroy the marriage. Imagine that your marriage is a beautiful castle that is located in hostile territory. If you owned a castle in hostile territory you would most certainly build a moat around it. The moat would serve as an advance warning system and defense against invading enemies. In the same way you can build a mote around your marriage. There are many ways to build this moat and protect your marriage, but for today I want to share my top two ways.
The first way to insure your marriage against outside forces that seek to weaken your relationship is to make your marriage your number one priority. Make your spouse more important than other family members, your friends, your jobs, where you live, your home, hobbies or money. When many of us were married we included the phrase, “Forsaking all others” in our wedding vows. When we made that promise we were saying to our spouses, you are going to be my number one, forever. What about children? Shouldn’t they be our number one priority? Your children are your number one priority, next to your commitment to each other. The best gift you can give your children is put your spouse number one. It is the way to ensure sparing them having to be parented by another man or another woman in the future. Parents who make their marriage their number one priority, stay married and have extremely healthy children.
The second way to insure your marriage against outside forces that seek to weaken the relationship is to speak life over your spouse. I tell people to imagine that their marriage has ears. Everything that you say about your marriage has tremendous power over the quality of the marriage. When you talk about your spouse or your marriage to others never talk negatively. Several years ago, I met one of my wife’s co workers. It was a person that I had never met with but who works closely with her on a daily basis. I will never forget her opening line to me. She said, “David, I can’t believe I am finally having the opportunity to meet you. I have heard so many amazing things about you. Your wife adores you, you must be quite a husband.” I graciously thanked her, and it reinforced two things that I already knew about my wife. One, she really did adore me. And two, she spoke life over our relationship. Imagine if she had spent days on end complaining about the dishes that I leave in the sink, my working too many hours and my habit of clicking my toes. Imagine if she had gone to work and regularly complained about the ball and chain at home. Imagine if she had only referred to me as her “old man”. Instead she clearly had spoken life over me and our marriage. She had a picture of our family on her desk that her colleagues regularly asked about. In this way, people knew what her number 1 priority was outside of work and she had the opportunity to speak life over the relationship. These two insurance policies to have a phenomenal marriage are free, but if you neglect them they will cost you much more than money. Start protecting your most precious asset today, you will be glad you did and you will have a phenomenal marriage.
If I can ever be of any assistance to you as you strive to create a phenomenal marriage or if you would like more information about my alternative to marriage counseling, please contact me at 314-606-4272 or check out the stlouismarriagecoaching.com website. Until time keep falling more in love.
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