“Man, time flies!” You’ve said it before when looking back on your relationship with a best friend or spouse realizing just how long you’ve known each other. My husband and I just experienced this in June when we celebrated 20 years of marriage. Looking back on our memories together, I realize there are overall more good times than bad. More happy memories than sad. And more ups than downs (don’t get me wrong we’ve had plenty of bad, sad, and down!). But I suppose that’s what makes a good marriage…seeing the scale tip mostly up instead of mostly down. But what makes the scale go up or down? Now THAT is the million-dollar question! I’ve only been married 20 years and I am STILL figuring things out when it comes to tipping that stinkin’ scale, but I can honestly say that I’ve learned a thing or two which has helped me.
Let’s start by asking the question, “How much do you love your husband?”
I’ll break it down…
Every husband is different. They all feel love differently so I had to learn more about my husband by doing a little homework. I turned to books. You know the type…books that talk of love languages, his needs, and the like. I especially used sources from the scriptures and our modern-day leaders. And I keep learning! In the April 2016 General Conference, D. Todd Christofferson gave an amazing talk on the importance of men in our lives entitled, “Fathers.” On top of reading (or listening on audiobook) to sources like these, I had to talk to my husband and get to know him…his likes/dislikes and what made him happy, peaceful, excited, etc. When he wasn’t able to articulate his needs, I simply tried to notice what made him tick. I had to learn HOW he felt those positive emotions
Let’s be honest…guys like their space. Just because I found out he loves cookies (oh boy, he LOVES cookies!) DOES NOT mean he wants them every day for the rest of his life. On the flip side, I shouldn’t leave it to chance. For instance, my husband and I learned early on in our marriage that we enjoyed spending time together on weekly dates and occasional trips. With the birth of our first children 3 years into our marriage and now 6 kids, rarely could we take trips as just the two of us. We looked forward to those trips whenever they MIGHT happen.
Years ago, a great friend encouraged us to plan quarterly trips together. He called them, “marriage savers!” Oh boy, was he right! Now every quarter we plan a couple’s getaway. It could be here locally in Colorado on a backpacking trip or fly away to an exotic beach. There have been a few times we’ve missed a quarterly trip and sure enough, our marriage hits a bump in the road. So even though I shouldn’t serve cookies 24/7 or take a monthly trip, I should at least plan to have those things in our lives. Think 2 Nephi 2:14 “things to act and things to be acted upon.” I can’t just leave it to chance.
It was then my job to DO something about what I learned! I found out that my husband feels loved when things are done for him. He loves it when the dishes are done or when I help him with a project he’s working on. With that knowledge, it is then my responsibility to make sure I remind my husband that I love him by DOING those things. If your husband loves a good back scratch (like mine,) then DO something about it! If he just wants time alone with you without the kiddos, then DO something about it!
No one can love your husband the way YOU do. Please do not read this article or even the comments and think you have to do things the way other wives do it. Just as much as you need to be in touch with your husband’s needs, you need to be in touch with staying true to who you are. If you truly believe The Lord led and guided you to your man, then you had better believe He knew YOU were the one who could show the type of love your husband needed. Trust that. And continue to try things until you find what works for you as you show your husband how much you love him.
True love is godly love. I knew I couldn’t do this alone. I had to allow God to enter into this process with me. He knows what true love feels like and what it can look like in your marriage. Go to Him in prayer and ponder on what ways you could better love your husband. He cares for both of you and wants your marriage to succeed.
Found on www.churchofjesuschrist.org under the gospel topic “Marriage” it states:
“Those who are sealed in the temple have the assurance that their relationship will continue forever if they are true to their covenants. They know that nothing, not even death, can permanently separate them…their union [is] their most cherished earthly relationship, for a spouse is the only person other than the Lord whom we have been commanded to love with all our heart (see Doctrine and Covenants 42:22).”
Ladies, this man is yours and you are his. Not just by law, but by covenant. Own that responsibility and love the process of loving him better! The scale will inevitably tip to the negative if you leave it to chance. Don’t let that happen!
Enjoy this process as you make your marriage scale tip upwards! What an amazing blessing our husbands are in our lives! So, my question to you is…”How much do you love your husband?”
Shaneen Karren is a wife and mother of six children. As the youngest of 11, she learned from an early age to see things from a different perspective. Always curious and always learning, she thrives on seeking out new knowledge. She enjoys singing, serving others and shopping at Ulta. She has a few loves in her life…her great God, hot husband, fun family, and fantastic friends.