The winner is Lori!
How would I like to be married to me? Hmm.... Lee Strobel brings up this question in The Best Advice I Ever Got on Marriage (Focus on the Family) and it stopped me in my tracks. I read those words and my mouth fell open. My wheels began turning and I was not pleased with the conclusion I came to. Falling in love is so easy, but staying in love takes work. Sad to say, I have been lazy when it comes to my marriage. I adore my husband but when it comes to honoring and treasuring, well, let's just say, I would give myself about a C-. Ouch.
After reading The Best Advice I Ever Got on Marriage (compiled by Jim Daly), I feel energized and encouraged! Each chapter is written by respected and well known husbands and wives. They've all struggled in their marriages from time to time and honestly share stories and ideas that have helped them. I suggest taking a chapter a week and really let it sink in. Utilize the ideas and you'll notice a difference in the way you see your marriage and relationship. A few of the chapters really made in impression on me although I learned something from every author. I'd like to highlight a few of the chapters below...
Paula and Terri Reiser bring up the concept of- How may I make your life easier today? Simple but powerful. Lightening your spouse's load is an incredible way to show your love. My husband does it for my every day. He helps me cook and clean, he puts gas in the car, fixes things around the house, hangs pictures on the wall, is always there when I need a hug, tucks me in before he goes to work and the list goes on. Yes, he's pretty amazing.:) I'm going to step up and lighten his load now. Tonight I actually had dinner ready when he got home, I took out the trash, cleaned out the litter box, put gas in the car, etc. You know what? He noticed and was truly appreciative. I feel great about making his load lighter and we are happier and closer for the extra effort. Awesome.
Les and Leslie Parrott encourage us to be our partner's best friend. Laugh with them! Protect each other from harm. See things through your spouse's eyes. For example, my wonderful husband not only bought Justin Bieber concert ticket's for my and the girls, he also attended the concert AND had a good time! He did that for me. He saw that it was important and instead of just dropping us off, he joined in the evening. Another example is when we were dating, I took scuba diving lessons because it was something my future husband enjoyed. I was scared, but I followed through because it meant something to him. I'm so glad I did it but it was really out of my comfort zone! One more example was seeing my husband enjoy his race car driving experience this summer. I had no idea how much fun he would have but I was thrilled to be there with him. Friends want each other to be happy.
Joni Eareckson Tada's chapter is about words of affirmation. Sounds so easy and it is! Use encouraging words so you can be your spouse's best cheerleader and help build them up. I'm lousy at this but that is going to change- today. I know how good it feels when someone takes the time to say a kind word, send me an email, call me or text me. I feel that I matter and can carry on with a smile on my face, no matter how difficult that day is. My husband is quieter than some (he's a big thinker!) but I know that he loves words of affirmation as much as anyone. It's time for me to speak up.;)
The Best Advice I Ever Got on Marriage is a wonderfully written book and I recommend that both engaged and married couples read it. As I said before, falling in love is easy but staying in love takes work. The ideas in this book were such a blessing to me and the techniques are easy to use. I've only touched on a few of the chapters that really hit home for me but there are many more and the ideas are simple but so true. This would be a great gift for Christmas.
**Would you like to win a copy? PR by the Book has generously offered to giveaway a copy of The Best Advice I Ever Got on Marriage to one of my readers! Leave a comment on this post to be entered. If you're a follower of my blog, leave a separate comment for one additional entry. I'll randomly choose a winner next Wednesday, the 5th!**
*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*