My book The BEST Marriage-Why settle For Less? has just been released worldwide.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote to his sister on her wedding day that “from now on it is not your love that sustains your marriage, but the marriage sustains your love.’
That’s a beautiful truth, but not everyone’s reality – because sometimes we forget to invest in what matters most. You both start out with the very best – of intentions – but then reality comes along and we really can end up just ‘settling down’ with someone, instead of expressing that love with our time, words, actions, gifts and touch.
Those are The 5 Love Languages described in Dr Gary Chapman’s best seller and when I met him a few years ago he encouraged me in this project and in his endorsement of MY book he says it ‘points the way to a better marriage’.
That acrostic B E S T forms the central theme and a memorable way to invest in your relationship right now as you think how to build strong, or build back, to get the BEST.
The Letter E is one of my favourites because that chapter describes how to ENCOURAGE your partner and how vital that is.
I bought Zoë a bouquet of flowers a while back. Not the cheap ones from the petrol station either. I bought the posh “seven-day guarantee” ones from the supermarket.
I know; it’s just the kind of guy I am.
She put them in a vase and set them by the fireplace, a resplendent testimony to my love. But a couple days later, they were drooping and lifeless. When I saw that I was fuming, looking for the receipt and fully intending to complain next time I went there.
But the next day, I walked in and saw the flowers standing tall, in full and vibrant bloom again.
And I was like, “Woah!” It’s a MIRACLE!
I went in the other room and said to Zoe, “Did you see the miracle?”, as I led her to see and witness the miracle, of the flowers that once were dead but lo- now they liveth!
“Behold the great thing the Lord has done!”
“Yes,” she told me. “I put water in the vase.”
It turns out our son had knocked over the vase, mopped up what had spilled, and “helpfully” left the flowers to dry in an empty vase.
We all need a little watering.
When you’ve been married a while, and because more knowledge could equate to more ammunition, it becomes easy to say a negative thing, doesn’t it?
That little verbal jab or pull down just spils out the life- giving water.
But you release power into your partner whenever you fill them with encouragement.
I give a lot of practical suggestions and questions here to help in case you’re stuck but do you when the BEST time to encourage is?
It’s right NOW.
The time to encourage – is now.
Send the text! Drop the note. Write the card. Say the words!
Buy the flowers! WATER the flowers!
Which, by the way, is everyone!
Please let me know what you think about The BEST Marriage, Why Settle For Less?