Updated: Oct 12, 2021
On our wedding day, we did a generational dance with all married couples, and the DJ called out numbers of years of marriage, starting at 1 year and worked his way up, and slowly couples walked away. The remaining couple had been married for 62 years. They were an iconic couple. When asked what the key to marriage was, the wife (given a 2 minute time limit) said, “Never, never, neeeever give up. Till death do us part!” Our goal in Gray Marriages is to end divorce culture through gospel-centered change.
We want to change the perspective on marriage to where people do not even think of divorce as an option. When we say "Till DEATH do us part," we mean it. With 50% of marriages ending in divorce and a heavily declining percentage marrying the parent of their children, our society is being destroyed. We need to have a paradigm shift on marriage along with true and gospel-centered change. Below are 5 helpful tips, that we have been encouraged to follow, and seen successful couples practice.
Assume the best of your spouse. This is not always an easy thing to do. We are lord on our thrones, and anything to threaten our reign is seen as treasonous. That mindset HAS to change. You married your spouse because you had a mutual love, you agreed to care for one another, so why start by assuming that their actions and words are in opposition to your well-being? We have had so many unnecessary arguments from well-meaning words or actions being taken the wrong way. Assuming that your spouse is not out to harm you will help you to view their words or actions in a more generous light.
Go to bed at the same time. This is challenging if you have one night owl and one early bird, but find a compromise. Nothing good is happening if one spouse is in bed and the other is scrolling on their phone or just surfing the internet. This could be a good time to come together for intimacy, discussion about the day, prayer, and quality time.
Talk about God. If you claim to be a believer, you proclaim that Jesus is Lord of your life--not Sunday mornings--your life. Christ’s work should be a regular talking point in your household. “What did you read about today during your devotion?” “How does that impact your view on current events in the world?” “What are you repenting of?” “Who are you praying for?” “Have you had any gospel-centered conversations today?” “How should scripture impact our decision-making process on kids, clothes, finances, health, exercise, etc.?”
Deny yourself. We don’t mean deny yourself in your marriage alone: make this a daily practice in your life. Exercise! Show your spouse that you want to be healthy and fit so that you can serve them and be with them as long as physically possible. Cook for people! Help people move! Get up early to have breakfast with someone who needs a friend! Spend your money and time helping others as opposed to shopping for yourself! Comfort the lonely and elderly! Making these things natural rhythms in your life will help you to love your spouse well. When you and your spouse have a growing heart for others over serving yourselves that will trickle into your relationship. You might offer to rub the other when they’re sore, make a meal when the other is tired, take the kids out when the other needs some alone time, buy an unexpected but thoughtful gift “just because,” encourage the other to go hangout with friends when you see it is needed, suggest intimacy out of the blue.
Do not sexualize others. Do not comment on others you find attractive. Do not talk about what you would like to do with others you find attractive. Do not compare your spouse to someone else where your spouse comes out below the other. This does not mean that you have to be unrealistic, play dumb, or even degrade others; this simply means that you just do not comment on the appearance of or sexualize anyone other than your spouse. This builds trust, respect, and gratitude in the relationship.
We know that these are not easy things to do, and we know this list is not fool-proof. No couple is perfect. Even in our own marriage, we have screwed up in huge ways, and praise God, we have been able to work together and stay committed. While there will be hardships and obstacles, it is crucial to understand the importance of vows made, and continue to grow, learn, and fight for marriage. We truly believe that we will not give up... Till Death Do Us Part.