We are reading Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts by Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott. We love this book. We have walked through it with a soon-to-be-married couple and we are learning so much even as we encourage them toward a God-centered, thriving marriage.
Why read a book meant for those just starting this journey of marriage?
I don’t know about you, but my days and weeks are filled with “do overs.” For example, I have had to humbly ask my husband for a “do over” because some heinous statement has just come barreling out of my mouth and I wish I could stuff it back in my face.
Or my husband asks for a “do over” when he realizes he was trying to show me love with HIS love language rather than mine.
Or I create a “do over” for our family’s schedule because I become aware of an alarming statistic about a person’s need for rest and how it affects health and wellbeing. New information tends to create new thoughts and ways of functioning.
“Do over’s” are simply…grace. Allowing someone another chance.
When our marriage was riddled with lies, betrayal, anger, hurt and pain, it was a lifeless marriage. So, when God provided a way through the storm and we began to heal our marriage, it became very clear to us that it was going to be a NEW marriage.
Reading books meant for newlyweds was amazing, because it helped us to look at our marriage with fresh eyes.
Every new day is a fresh start to get closer to the life God wants us to live.
That includes our marriages.
Do you want a marriage that lasts a lifetime? Let’s think like a newlywed and hear from Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott!
Lifelong love does not happen by chance but is an art that must be learned, practiced, and honed.
-Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, Save Your Marriage Before It Starts
A marriage must be nurtured well in order to grow and flourish in a healthy way.
The Parrotts share 3 ways to cultivate a healthy, thriving marriage:
Making Love Last a Lifetime
1. Cultivate Passion
2. Cultivate Intimacy
3. Cultivate Commitment
Let’s dive deeper into those 3 keys for a lasting love.
Here are some ways to CULTIVATE PASSION, according to our esteemed authors:
- Practice meaningful touch.
- Plan mutually enjoyable experiences.
- Compliment your partner daily.
I don’t know which of these is most difficult for you, but mine is the complimenting. You see, I tend to see flaws first. I am not proud of it, but I am hard-wired to “make things better.” I have a hard time giving praise if everything isn’t “perfect.” Meanwhile, my husband feels most loved with “words of affirmation.” Tough combo. So, this is what I am working on right now…complimenting my husband DAILY!
How will you apply these principles of cultivating passion?
Let’s strive to CULTIVATE INTIMACY, shall we? Here are ways to do so:
- Spend time together.
- Listen with a third ear. (not just “half-listening”)
- Practice unconditional acceptance.
- Focus on commonalities.
- Explore spiritual terrain together.
Which one of these resonates most with you? Which one feels completely foreign? The book goes deeper into what each of these means, so we highly recommend you consider grabbing Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts to read more.
Do note that cultivating intimacy isn’t just “have more sex.” Many of us equate intimacy with sex. I surely believe that when a couple is cultivating a higher level of intimacy, more sex comes quite naturally. But the act of just having more sex isn’t going to gain you a deeper level of intimacy. This is especially true for women.
(This is a topic I have considering writing about….if you would like to hear more about sex and intimacy in marriage, let us know in the comments or send us a private message)
Our third key to lasting love is to CULTIVATE COMMITMENT. Here’s how:
- Assess the high level of commitment.
- Meet your partner’s needs.
- Honor your partner’s promise.
- Make your commitment part of being.
There may be nothing more important in a marriage than a determination that it shall persist. With such a determination, individuals force themselves to adjust and to accept situations which would seem sufficient grounds for a breakup, if continuation of the marriage were not the prime objective.
-from the book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male
One of the most important changes we made in our marriage after the betrayal was to not allow an OUT. We have agreed that we are married until death. Period. End of story.
There is a huge amount of freedom in that choice. It is a choice. We ALL have that choice.
Is that a choice you and your spouse have made? Are you completely committed to your marriage or is there an “out?”
Friends, in order to have love that lasts a lifetime, we must cultivate passion, intimacy and commitment.
When we do, we experience a love like NONE OTHER.
Based on this truth, what will you “do over” TODAY?