Church bells. Friend and family. Smiles. Joy. Celebration. Nervousness. White Dress. Beauty. Tears. Laughter. Kiss. Bride and Groom. Two Become One. Forever. Marriage.
Most marriages have a beginning that looks something like this. The start with the most grandiose of beginnings and look ahead to a romantic Disney-esque ending where everything is “happy ever after”. Even today I had the privilege of being a photographer for and taking part in a beautiful wedding where two people who I love dearly said their “I-do’s”. It was a beautiful ceremony and I loved being a part of it.
Yet, anyone who has been married, or who has ever known anyone who’s been married, knows that it’s not all roses. Every marriage has bumps and blessings. Every marriage comes with baggage. Every marriage has the beauty and the breakdown. Every marriage. Every single one. Every couple has to work through their own struggles. We are all looking for a little help, so we can make our marriages the best ever.
The 7 Minute Marriage Solution by Stephen Arterburn is a breath of hope and help for any marriage, whether new or old. Arterburn gives us 7 things to start doing and 7 things to stop doing in order to help make the best of our marriages.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Clinging To Unrealistic Expectations
- Obsessing On The Past
- Drowning In Suspicion And Jealousy
- Trying To Change Your Mate
- Seething In Anger And Resentment
- Tolerating Compulsions And Addictions
- Focusing Only On Your Interests
- Embracing Friendship And Fun
- Responding Romantically To Your Mate
- Expressing Grace And Forgiveness
- Affirming Your Mate’s Strengths
- Spending Money Responsibly
- Practicing Your Lifetime Vows
- Showing Respect No Matter What
That’s just the table of contents… There’s things in this list that I could start doing immediately to make my marriage better, things that would make me a better man. This is the surface. There are so many gold nuggets in this book that can help any marriage – one that began today – or one that’s been together for 50+ years.