3 Things to Help Protect your Marriage During the Holidays

3 Things to Help Protect your Marriage During the Holidays

The holidays are always a time of joy and excitement, but they can also be a time of escalated stress and overwhelm—but then enters all that is 2020, and who knows what they might bring this year! Am I right?!

Regardless of what this holiday season has in store for us this year, we know that these three things are essential in order for your marriage to maintain its health.

Let’s start with PRIORITIES. You have to know what you prioritize as a couple and as individuals. In order to do that, you’re going to have to make a time to sit down and discuss these things. At the end of this blog, go grab your copy of Important Holiday Conversations, and we’ll help you with that. 

The reality is, if you don’t know what your priorities are during the holidays, then it’s pretty much a guarantee that you won’t be prioritizing any of them. This is going to lead to a lot of frustration and unfulfillment. However, when you can vocalize your priorities, you can then, together, strategize, and therefore be sure to keep first things first. This is a must because there’s nothing worse than a holiday season that is filled with hardly anything that you value!

Now, let’s move on to EXPECTATIONS—otherwise known as what we like to refer to as premeditated resentments. Expectations are those things that you have strong beliefs about–like believing that thing will happen, or that person will do that. When it comes to holidays, statistically speaking, the wives feel like the burden of pulling off a good holiday season falls completely on them, which means there’s likely a lot of unmet expectations on the other end of that.

Another big thing with expectations is the ones we often put on ourselves. It’s not difficult to spend the holidays exhausting ourselves while we run around doing all the things that we feel are expected of us. You can avoid a lot of that stress by bringing those things to light in advance and talking them through together. Again, we’re going to help you do that, so don’t worry!

Lastly, let’s wrap it up with this thing we like to call BOUNDARIES. Such a cringy, scary word isn’t it? Aren’t boundaries those things people get mad at you for? Well, sometimes, but the truth is, those people who get mad at you for having them are the exact people you likely need to have them for. So, there’s that.

But really, boundaries actually have nothing to do with other people. Boundaries have everything to do with YOU. They are a way of saying what you are ok and not ok with—they are how you protect your family, your peace and your well-being. People who love and respect you will get that, and actually should encourage it.

Boundaries can get especially tricky around the holidays when parents get upset you’re not coming home for Christmas, or when you can’t go to 3 different family members houses for Thanksgiving, or when you just can’t afford to buy cousin Johnny, who you really don’t even know, a gift. 

Boundaries are essential during the holidays and it is important that you create them together as a husband and wife. Together, you need to do what you need to do to protect your family and make sure you have the holiday that fits who you are as a family. 

As you move forward in creating PRIORITIES, EXPECTATIONS, and BOUNDARIES, let us come with you and guide the way. Down below, go ahead and get your copy of Important Holiday Conversations and let us help you navigate these essentials, so you can have the holiday that you desire.

Newlywed Couple's Devotional

(for Newlywed Couples and Newlywed Wanna-Be's)

features:

•  52 Weekly Devotionals that explore common issues and themes every couple experiences, such as intimacy, love, commitment, household duties, finances, and more

•  Everyday Scripture and Reflective Bible Studies that provide practical solutions to bringing marriages closer to God

•  Action-Oriented Discussion Prompts that hold couples accountable for maintaining their God-anchored vows

•  Weekly Prayers that are specific and relevant to the topics discussed

How to have a Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice Kind of Marriage

How to have a Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice Kind of Marriage

When I was first dating my husband, we had so much sweetness in our relationship. All the car doors were being opened, the yeses were abundant, and kind words like Honey Bun and Schmoopy were being flung all over the place. You remember those days of almost sickening sweetness, don’t you?

Well, sometimes that sweetness fades over time. You get married and you start to lose the newness, you begin to irritate each other more—and let’s just say that walking in forgiveness is just a lit bit trickier. The truth is, if we’re not careful, in not much time at all, all that sugar can turn into salt.

If it’s time for your marriage to be spiced back up, you know, like that sweet pumpkin Fall favorite, kind of spice, then we’ve got some tips for you!

Bring back the days of the special treats—the days where you bought those just because flowers or when you grabbed his favorite coffee or snack on your way to see him. These simple gestures can help your spouse feel seen and known. The next time you’re at the grocery store, grab a treat that he loves or prepare a special dessert. And, go pick up those flowers, or without her knowing it, go fill up her gas tank. Anything to bring a sweet smile to your spouse’s face.

Make intentional eye contact—yep, you read that right. Look at each other. Trust us, it sounds simple, but it can actually be quite awkward and uncomfortable, especially if you’ve grown apart a bit. But if you want to feel close and bring that soft sweetness back, you have to gaze into those eyes of the one sitting across from you. Take the time to intentionally look into your spouse’s eyes the next time you talk to them. Pause on the couch together and just simply stare at your spouse, and while you’re doing it, remind them how much you love them.

Make the time to pray together—Research shows us that couples who pray together are the happiest couples there are—and happy couples have sweetness in their marriage. Make a specific time to pray each day. Grab hands close your eyes and just talk to God together. Ask for that sweetness to be restored. Ask for your needs, thank Him for His blessings, just come to the Father together. We guarantee this will provide all the sweetness you need.

If you want to keep this really simple, head on out today, grab a Pumpkin Spice latte (or your spouses’ favorite), bring it home and look them directly in the eye and say “I am so thankful to God for giving me you.” Boom. Done!

If you really want to sweeten the deal, we’ve got a great Eye Contact Challenge you can take together. Click below if you’re up for it! 

Keep on Enjoying the Journey!

Newlywed Couple's Devotional

(for Newlywed Couples and Newlywed Wanna-Be's)

features:

•  52 Weekly Devotionals that explore common issues and themes every couple experiences, such as intimacy, love, commitment, household duties, finances, and more

•  Everyday Scripture and Reflective Bible Studies that provide practical solutions to bringing marriages closer to God

•  Action-Oriented Discussion Prompts that hold couples accountable for maintaining their God-anchored vows

•  Weekly Prayers that are specific and relevant to the topics discussed

3 Unexpected Gifts for your Marriage from the Pandemic

3 Unexpected Gifts for your Marriage from the Pandemic

Well 2020, you sure have been a bit of a downer so far—especially ushering in this COVID-19 pandemic. However, we always like to remember that there are two sides to every story, and we get to choose which one to focus on. I’m pretty sure that we can all agree that we have a lot to complain about this year—so much change, loss, stress, and hard times, BUT, on the same hand, every obstacle, every tragedy has hidden within it, opportunities.

As much as we’ve all disliked our stay at home orders, I also think we found some little treasures within them. We may not have received them the way we would like, but nonetheless they are there to be found.

As we prepare to re-enter the world and slowly but surely regain our schedules of the past and glimpses of normalcy, I don’t want you to miss those special gems this nasty virus brought with it. We all got some gifts this season and let’s not leave them behind. After-all, we worked really, really, hard for them.

The top 3 gifts I believe we should all bring with us are—

The Gift of Slow—This pandemic has taught us that perhaps the hustle we all participated in was simply not worth it. The hustle offered fatigue and burnout, while being forced to stay home ushered in some much-needed stillness and rest. The old hustling mentality kept us focused forward chasing goals and busyness, while the forced quiet of staying home kept us in each moment. “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14 

We were missing so much living while we were preparing for better lives. Let’s not get caught in the hustle again.

The Gift of Simplicity—Life used to be so complicated. Balancing schedules, running errands, taking the kids from place to place—but for many of us, we got a taste of simple and we liked it. Instead of rushing off to a ball field, 

we found ourselves sitting in the backyard watching our children play. We got glimpses of our old-school childhoods—where there were games of kick the can or hunting for rocks and sticks and building forts. Our children found simplicity and so did we.

What the shutdown taught us was that we overcomplicate things. Instead of using our technology to strive for more and keep us entertained around the clock, we began to use it to make zoom calls to our grandmothers—to hear their stories, to connect with extended family, and to go back to doing the simple, yet incredibly important things we had been missing. The simplicity of living in relationships instead of planning all the organized, themed and RSVP’d get togethers. “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” Psalm 19:7.

Let’s not ever again miss the reviving of the soul that simplicity and God’s ways provide.

The Gift of Each Other—Now I know many of you got more than your fill of one another, but how good was it to have the time to reconnect? Before this virus, many of you were two ships passing in the night. You were picking up fast food, eating in the car, and then coming home exhausted—then on most days, individually crashing on the couch without a word to each other. But now, I bet you’ve actually made a few meals together, got hooked on some Netflix series, played a few games, and actually may even have entered into some deep conversations with one another. You’ve reconnected after potentially years of intending to. “My command is this: Love each other deeply,” 1 Peter 4:8a

Let’s not lose the importance of time together with the one we love.

Now, as you exit your homes and head back out into life, bring these unexpected gifts with you. Cherish them, wrap your heart around them tightly and don’t ever let them go. And if you want some practical tips on ways to keep them in the forefront of your mind, go grab our resource from below on How to Be Intentional in your Marriage.

Newlywed Couple's Devotional

(for Newlywed Couples and Newlywed Wanna-Be's)

features:

•  52 Weekly Devotionals that explore common issues and themes every couple experiences, such as intimacy, love, commitment, household duties, finances, and more

•  Everyday Scripture and Reflective Bible Studies that provide practical solutions to bringing marriages closer to God

•  Action-Oriented Discussion Prompts that hold couples accountable for maintaining their God-anchored vows

•  Weekly Prayers that are specific and relevant to the topics discussed