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Honoring Marriage

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In marriage, honor involves recognizing the worth of your relationship and putting that appreciation into action.

“My Favorite Things” is a popular song, originally from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music.

In the movie version, Maria and the von Trapp children sing the cheerful lyrics during a scary thunderstorm — “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” — to fill their minds with things they love.

Likewise, when you face busy times or difficult seasons with your spouse, it’s important to remember your favorite things about your marriage.

The apostle Paul gave a similar directive when he wrote, “Let marriage be held in honor among all” (Hebrews 13:4). But what does it mean to honor marriage?

The word honor means to highly value something — to appreciate, cherish and recognize it as a priceless treasure. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This verse suggests that honor is primarily a matter of the heart. So in marriage, it involves recognizing the beauty and worth of your relationship with your spouse and then doing something to put that recognition and appreciation into action. It’s about dedication, heart and soul, to building strong foundational qualities into your marriage relationship.

Lay the foundation

Focus on the Family has developed a list of 10 traits that are considered fundamental to every thriving marriage. Four of those traits bear a special relevance to the subject of honoring your relationship with your mate. Consider the following:

  • Nourishing your marriage is about discovering your mate’s “love language” and learning to speak it. These actions will involve shoring up your spouse’s strengths, supplementing his or her weaknesses and “encouraging one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13, NIV).
  • Maintaining a lifelong commitment — a full and earnest investment of your whole heart — flows out of what you treasure. You invest in whatever it is that you esteem. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word wholehearted as “marked by complete earnest commitment.” Complete. Earnest. Wholehearted commitment begins when you recognize the incredible value of your relationship.
  • Spending enjoyable time together. Thriving couples are intentional about making time for each other. It’s crucial that you schedule regular date nights and outings, develop meaningful traditions and family rituals, and know how to maintain a healthy balance between togetherness and independence.
  • Being community minded. It takes a village to sustain a marriage. It’s vital to regularly connect with like-minded couples who are committed to your relationship. To have a thriving marriage, you need to realize your need for other people as well as their need for you, stay engaged with nurturing communities of all kinds and make a special point of maintaining an active involvement in the local church.

Recognize your favorite things

Once you’ve built these foundational characteristics into the groundwork of your marriage, you can get down to the practical task of honoring your marriage on an everyday basis. Get together with your spouse and make a list of what you value about your relationship — your “favorite things.” See how many you can come up with. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Having fun and laughing together
  • Loving someone with all my heart
  • Being liked and loved
  • Enjoying the combined effect of the synergy between us — we are able to do so much more together than we could do alone
  • Sharing affection for each other
  • Pursuing God together
  • Being real and authentic
  • Raising our children together
  • Being challenged to become a better person
  • Making memories together
  • Sharing inside jokes
  • Pursuing dreams
  • Having someone to celebrate with
  • Sharing the deepest levels of intimacy and connection — sex
  • Knowing someone deeply and being deeply known by another
  • Serving together
  • Being with my best friend
  • Having a helpmate to share life’s responsibilities
  • Feeling safe and secure 

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There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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