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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Are you hiding your marriage under a bushel basket or putting it out on a stand for all to see?

Last week I wrapped up my short series on how to have a counter-culture marriage with a post about combating the media and entertainment worlds’ marriage-maligning messages. I suggest that we do battle by doing what it takes to make our own marriage great.

After all, nothing promotes marriage like great marriages!

What is a Great Marriage?

There were many excellent comments on my last post about what it means to make your marriage “salt and light” to the world around us (you might want to go back and read them).

Robyn, who blogs at Up With Marriage and Pearl, who blogs at Pearl’s OysterBed, reminded me of the important distinction between a “great marriage” and a “perfect marriage.”

We need to be genuine and real about our marriages. Being salt and light is not a matter of pretending to have the perfect marriage (such a thing doesn’t exist anyway). A great marriage is one with the same real struggles and problems that all marriages face, but one that comes through it all stronger and closer than ever.

These comments were an especially pertinent prelude to today’s post. I want to talk today about how being salt and light, as Jesus said we are to be, takes more than simply having a great marriage. It involves helping others to have great marriages too.

Helping build great marriages is not just the job of pastors and church leaders. It’s not just the job of marriage counselors. It’s not even just the job of marriage bloggers. It’s the job of the church. That’s you and me. That’s everyone.

Promote (Your) Marriage

Part of being salt and light in the marriage context means promoting your own marriage.

Here is a question I posted a while back: “What are you doing on a regular basis to demonstrate how important your own marriage is to your life, to the fulfillment of your hopes and dreams, and to your daily happiness?”

If I were to ask your friends and co-workers how important your marriage is to you or how happily married you are, what would they say? Stop and think about the image of your marriage that you are projecting.

Don’t misunderstand me, promoting your marriage doesn’t mean being boastful or arrogant. It just means you should not hesitate to make it known how important your marriage is and how much your spouse adds to to your life.

Here are some examples I gave previously:
  • Don’t hold back from saying “I love you” or using other words of affection to your spouse when you are talking to them on the phone when others might overhear. (Paul Byerly, aka The Generous Husband specifically mentioned this on in his comment on my previous post)
  • Tell your friends about great date spots you and your spouse have found. Mention how important it is to you that you have regular date nights and alone time together.
  • In an appropriate setting, re-tell something special or thoughtful your husband or wife has done for you recently.
  • Hold hands in public. Depending on your comfort level with PDA, even hold each other and/or kiss in public.
  • If you see an obviously happy couple, don’t deride them to your friends but praise them. ”Isn’t it great to see such a strong and happy marriage.”
  • Never tear down your spouse in front of your friends. Rather, praise him or her and express thankfulness for marriage and your spouse. Be generous with positive words.
Promote your own marriage. Brag on your spouse. Let people know how great it is to be married. When you do these things, you are casting a positive marriage light to those around you. I believe great marriage are contagious.

I’m sure you can think of more ways to promote your marriage. Let’s hear them!

Image credit: siwasasil /


Anonymous said...

I have been trying to understand what goes thru a guys mind, how they are wired and so forth. In the book For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn she explains that guys have two separate lives, one at home and one at work which I can easily see. If men are completely wired to have two separate lives, how is it possible for him to even ackowledge that he is involved with someone around "the guys and girls at work."

Curt said...

I disagree that men are wired this way. They are wired by God to be loving and strong leaders in the home. To love their wives as Christ loved the church. These behaviors are not seen by the world as what makes a successful or "manly" man. It is culture that makes him second guess his true "wiring" and his calling as a husband and father. This is when you see the idea of "two lives" manifest itself. It is that he feels compelled to be Christlike at home, though he may not even realize that is what he is doing or being called to do, and is trying to avoid jufgement and ridicule at work or with "freinds". I spent the first seven years of my marriage being confused and sometimes angered by this internal conflict. In short, the idea that we were made that way is a falsehood. We were made to be much more and much better.

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