a good marriage—closer than we think

Two joyful birds.

joyful birds by Sue Kemnitz

These little guys are part of a bigger painting I just finished. I love them! If I didn’t love the rest of the painting so much, they’d probably be my favorite part. But (humbly and thankfully) the rest of the painting is pretty fun. (Coming Monday…)

These little guys remind me of my marriage. We’ve been married…approx 34 years. (Give or take a year or two. He’s the numbers guy.)

How did 34 years of bliss happen? It’s always been pretty good, but not always bliss. Probably 12 years ago now, I made some conscious decisions.

  • Encourage. My son was dating a “needy” girl in high school. I looked at him one day and said, “Life is hard enough. Marry someone who will encourage you!” They are the ones that will call out the best and help you to become a way better person than you could have become otherwise. If we want to be encouraged, be an encourager.
  • Respect. Men, especially, thrive on respect. (Women on love.) So I always try to show respect, especially in front of others.
  • Love, no matter what. Jesus teaches us to love unconditionally. I don’t have to like everything he does, but I love him. Always.
  • Fast from criticism. I decided to say only good things. Really. Most of the time I succeed. Now, it hurts to hear others criticize their spouse. I work to keep the fast up.

What is a good way to start? We, Randy and I, make it a point to do the “little things” for each other. This is our list. Yours will look different.

  • Each morning, I bring his coffee to him, while he’s in the shower. It was so fun one day when I was out of town. “Sue, I miss you. I had to get my own coffee this morning.” It brought a smile to my face.
  • I always fold the socks. He hates folding socks. I view it as a challenge. Who made all those men’s socks look so similar! Arrgh!
  • He loves having the mail to look at first thing when he arrives home. So I make it a point to get it and put it right where it can be the first thing he sees. Again, I don’t get it, but if its important to him, its important to me.
  • I make a point of trying to look nice. And I brush my teeth before he gets home. Silly? Maybe. Mindy mentioned the “looking nice goal” at the Tuesday morning “Living Loved and Healthy” segment the other day. And I liked it! Admittedly, I’m not too good at the lipstick part.
  • My most recent addition to the list is to try to snuggle a bit before I get out of bed in the morning. Its just a good start to the day. For both of us.

He has a list he does for me, too. Last night he came home and I was (finally!) working on my painting. Paintbrush in mouth, I heard, “Do you want me to start supper?” Um. Supper. I forgot about supper again. He’s good to me!

My experience is that the big disagreements seem smaller when the little things are big. Jesus reminds us to forgive. Jesus reminds us of the power of love. Jesus reminds us to be joyful together.

So the little birdies remind me of our marriage. Encouraging, respectful, in love. And darn cute! A good marriage is closer than we think. It could be just a “little thing” away.

Question: What little things can you do today to make it a great day for them?

Sue
Only believe!

Join us for the next “Living Loved and Healthy,” Tuesday morning, July 10, 9:30am, at NewDay in New Prague.
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    • Stephanie
    • June 29th, 2012

    Love this Sue! It’s so easy to get in a “rut” and be “comfortable” with each other. When I feel I am lacking sometimes I ask myself “how would I act differently if Jeff and I were just dating?” Because when you are first starting out in a relationship you are most likely to be on your best behavior, strive to show your better side and do nice, thoughtful things. Why should it be any different once your married?!
    🙂

  1. As always, Sue, I love your insight and your examples. Good piece of encouragement and excellent inspiration for me. Also, I think you’re right in saying the little things are important. I believe they really, really are. Thanks so much!

    • Marlene
    • June 29th, 2012

    you are two love birds-:) thanks for reminding us all that love can be shown in the “little things”

    • randy kemnitz
    • July 3rd, 2012

    Ok, it seems appropriate for me to comment here.

    It is funny that Sue talks about spoiling me when I always talk about how she is spoiled. But the reality is that our love and respect do indeed spoil each other……………….how good is that?

    Though i have many screw ups in life, I have never heard that judging voice from Sue. I know I make mistakes but her support inspite of those mistakes is so important.

    Love is good.
    Respect is good.

    Mostly, God is good!

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