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Lessons learned from marriage: A man’s perspective

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By Carol Beyanga

Posted  Monday, July 21  2014 at  01:00
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LIVING AND LOVING IT >

Allow me today to share something I found interesting and helpful. I came across a blog, missionhusband.wordpress.com, where an American man, Gerad Russell, writes about what he believes it takes for a man to make a good husband, and what wives need to know about their spouses. He has been married for nine years and some of his pieces are food for thought. What I have discovered is that although cultures across countries are different, some things affect us the same way, so do read this edited version of his piece.

“You know the saying “hindsight is 20/20? Well, it applies in marriage also. The following are a few things I wish I could have gone back in time and told myself, when I was first starting out on this husband journey, almost nine years ago:

Enjoy the “pre-kids” stage. We have four children, and I wouldn’t want to go through life without any one of them, but before I had them, I didn’t understand that once I had them, the lazy mornings staying in bed with your wife, or the “Hey! Let’s go for a two-hour drive to the lake on the spur of the moment” days were going to change for a while. Not that they won’t come back someday, but just learn to enjoy the “pre kids moments”, before they’re gone. They will fly by.

It’s not in her “hardware” to want to make love all the time. Okay, so maybe we’re all a little naive when we first start out, but I had the idea that my bride was going to want sex as much/often as I did. I mean come on, she thinks I’m hot, right? Well, yes, she may think I’m hot, but after a few years of children, diapers, getting gum out of hair, and trying to keep them alive, fed and bathed, it’s a little harder to get her motor running at the drop of a hat. We as guys go from thinking about it, to wanting to do it. The wives need to be touched/reminded about sex, letting their mind clear the other 10 things off of it, and then becoming ready to do something about it.

Watch out for the “wall builders”. There are certain issues, or even day-to-day things, that slowly, brick by brick, cause a wall to be built between you and your wife. It may be little things like if she said no to sex, or you blamed her for something she didn’t do, etc. You have to be on the lookout for that wall starting to come up. Keep it torn down by keeping the lines of communication open, and being willing to say “I’m sorry” often, and really mean it. Life is way too short to try to keep score, and focus on the little stuff.

Pray together in the morning before the day gets going. This is huge. Praying together about the day, and things that are on your hearts, keeps you on the same page, and makes you feel like you’re on the same team. Being able to seek the Lord as a couple, and letting Him show you where he wants you to lead the family he has given you, is crucial to maintaining the “God first” lifestyle we need to have in our families.

Children are temporary, your marriage is for the rest of your life. Make time for your marriage, even during the “small kids” years. Make time to get away for a weekend, for date nights, for romantic dinners. Someday your children are going to make it through high school, and then move on, and out of your house, leaving you with either a dead marriage, or a marriage that has been taken care of, nurtured, and made a priority while the children were in the house. Don’t let the children become your life, and lose the very relationship that the children were created from.

How about you? What are some things that you’ve learned along the way, that you would have loved to learn a bit earlier?

cbeyanga@ug.nationmedia.com