This coming Wednesday, October 16, 2013 is Dictionary Day! Give your special someone a REAL Love Note of dictionary definitions that describe what you like, love, or appreciate about him or her. For the fun of it you can make it look like a dictionary and call it “(Your name’s) Dictionary of Words describing the most awesome person I know: (Insert loved one’s name).”
REAL Love Notes are an investment in your REAL marriage.
It is October and Fall so take advantage of the activities that come around during this time of year. Go to a local corn maze for a date and follow it up with a hay ride. Be sure to have some hot chocolate or hot apple cider.
A REAL date a week builds a REAL marriage.
September 19th is National Talk Like a Pirate Day! So today, and each September 19th, give your spouse or special someone a note from your pirate self that lets him or her know that he or she is your treasure. You can make the note in the shape of a treasure chest or put a decorative note inside a small treasure chest to get your point across.
So, be a pirate today and steal your loved one’s heart all over again with a special note about how you treasure him or her.
REAL Love Notes are an investment in your REAL marriage.
Encouraging is our “E” word. That is no surprise since the “E” in REAL marriage stands for encouraging. This is a manner of speaking to one another. Here are some suggestions about what it means to be encouraging.
- Use your manners: Please, thank you, excuse me, etc.
- Speak kindly
- Be helpful
- Be truthful
- Watch your tone, volume, and speaking speed
- Restate content. “You mean….”
- Reflect emotions. “You mean…and you feel….”
- Give grace or the benefit of the doubt
- Be aware of context
- Keep the relationship in mind
- Speak to others in a way that you would like them to speak to you
- Give sincere compliments
Most of us could use more encouragement. Sometimes this has to do with what we say to our spouse or another person. At other times it has to do with listening well and taking the time to fully hear our spouse or another person. Simply engaging your spouse in conversation can be encouraging as it provides contact and a sense of sharing in each other’s lives. So take the opportunity everyday to be encouraging to your spouse, it will help you maintain your REAL marriage.
Determination is important in building and maintaining a REAL marriage. Determination gives you the motivation or energy to do what you need to do in your marriage even when you do not feel like it. Marriage is great overall and yet some days are difficult. Some days we do not want to be nice to our spouse, or kids, or co-workers, or anyone else. Determination can help you be nice anyway. Determination helps you get through tough days, weeks, months, or even years. Determination is not pretty at the moment but it leads to beauty through time.
Stay determined. It will help your marriage, encourage others, and leave a good legacy for your children, grandchildren, and friends.
“Life is an adventure in forgiveness.” Norman Cousins
Forgiveness is important to your married life adventure. One of the things that will make this adventure more enjoyable for both of you is the ability to offer and receive forgiveness. For more on forgiveness read this blog post.
Forgive and enjoy the adventure of your REAL marriage.
The “C” is Celebrate. Most of us like to celebrate when there is something to celebrate. If we look for a reason we can find one most days to celebrate something and make it part of our marriage or family. Celebrations are happy and become good memories. These good memories can sustain us when things are not so good. Celebrate as often as you can whether it is a small celebration or a great big celebration. Here is a quick list of ideas to get you started.
- Your spouse’s (and other family members) birthdays – each month
- Your anniversary each month
- The weekend
- A new week
- New jobs
- End/beginning of school
- Accomplishments in extra curricular activities (bowling league, children’s activities, etc)
- Reaching goals
- Change of seasons
You get the idea. Celebrate often. If you follow this advice you will have at least one celebration each month. Start celebrating more and see what happens.
Wear your wedding ring. Look at it frequently and use it as a reminder to be faithful to your marriage.
Remaining faithful is essential to your REAL Marriage.
The word for this entry is Blessing. This is meant to be a positive word so for all of you who have been “blessed out” I am talking about something different. In today’s entry the idea of blessing has to do with things we say and things we do.
Give a blessing to your spouse, loved ones, and even your friends. If you are really bold, give a blessing to the people you meet and do not know. To give a blessing is to wish the best for them. If you want to go all out on blessing someone I recommend you read the book, The Blessing, by Gary Smalley & John Trent. In this book the authors list five elements to a blessing:
- Meaningful touch
- Spoken words
- Expressing high value
- Picturing a special future
- An active commitment
To be a blessing takes number five from above – an active commitment. It is a commitment of support, loyalty, and love. To be a blessing takes action. Most people do such things once in a while as a normal part of life. Today make a decision to BE a blessing everyday as part of who you are and decide to give a blessing every time you have an opportunity. I can only imagine the difference in our lives, our country, and our world if we lived as a blessing and overcame the curses.
This is the start of a series of marriage tips and information organized by the alphabet. Some of these ideas are easy and some take more work yet I believe they are possible for most people. Today is “A” and we will go through the alphabet. Feel free to send me your favorite (clean) marriage words and I may use it as one of the posts.
Adaptable. This is my first “A” word. All marriages and relationships work better when they are adaptable. Adaptable in this case is a way of working together. More gets done around the house when you split chores. One of my main jobs in our house is to be the taxi for the boys. However, when they have to be in different places at the same time I am not able to do this and my wife takes one boy to one event while I take the other. Typically, I am the one to mow the lawn and she handles flower beds. There are times though when she mows the lawn and times when I help out with flower beds (under careful instruction).
Sometimes our plans do not go the way we want them to and we have to adapt. We do this together so that we can work together for the benefit of our marriage and our family. We do not always get it right yet we keep working on it and overall we have a satisfying marriage and a healthy, mostly happy, family. You can do the same. Develop the mindset and habit of being adaptable and reap the benefits for your marriage, family, and relationships.