Next time you find yourself exacerbated at your wife, or feel defeated in terms of maintaining your enthusiasm for the union, take a moment and remember your marriage vows. Better yet, take the time now to make a handy copy you can keep in your wallet at all times.
Why? Because marriage is more than a piece of paper, it’s a framework designed to facilitate giving you the best possible experience in a committed relationship. The vows, rather than a list of rules, express the promises, purposes, intentions, and hope the two of you bring into a binding covenant.
If we remember this, and re-read the covenant in that context, it becomes difficult to imagine anything other than joy and passion as the result.
Here are 10 ways to joyfully keep your marriage vows:
1. Continually reaffirm your love. Immediately, within moments of reading this, contact your wife and tell her you are so grateful she married you and that she is the light of your life.
2. Love your wife with fierceness and determination. “Fierce” in this context means with passion. Passion, like love, often relies on intention before it gets going under its own steam.
3. Learn this definition of “faithfulness” by heart. Faithfulness means fidelity, constancy, dependability, dedication, loyalty, trueness, advocacy and – here it is again – determination.
4. Find your favorite picture of you and your wife together, put it in a new frame, and place it on your desk. Then, take a photograph of your desk and send it to your wife along with a soppy love note.
5. Write out the marriage vows, in your best handwriting, in a letter to your wife. Learn this and learn it well. Handwritten notes are golden. Tell her how much these vows mean to you. Then get home early.
6. Break the vows down into bullet points (yeah, just like a guy!). Then, every day, do something profound to support each point until you’ve gone through them all. Then, start over.
7. Paraphrase your vows into a new, contemporary, document. For example, if you said, “for richer for poorer,” you might write, “I’m committed to you no matter what; if this house was repossessed tomorrow I’d still have a home because you are my home…”
8. Understand that the definition of love is not the same as the definition of infatuation. Long-term commitment is the most profound expression of love. If you’re looking for hormones to drive the relationship, you will both be increasingly disappointed. When commitment leads the way, infatuation takes care of itself.
9. Calculate the number of days you have been married, write the number down, then ask your wife on a date to celebrate the number! Joy is most often found in the small things. Take note of these small things, then relate them to the initial set of vows.
10. Make your own “Top-10” list. Write down ten ways that being married and keeping your promises has bought happiness, peace and joy into your life. Then share the list with your wife.
All Pro Dad is Family First’s innovative and unique program for every father. Their aim is to interlock the hearts of the fathers with their children and, as a by-product, the hearts of the children with their dads. At AllProDad.com, dads in any stage of fatherhood can find helpful resources to aid in their parenting. Resources include: daily emails, blogs, Top 10 Lists, articles, printable tools, videos and eBooks. From AllProDad.com fathers can join the highly engaged All Pro Dad social media communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.