Last Updated on April 7, 2018

In a few weeks John and I will celebrate 46 years of marriage. It seems to have gone by way too fast, but with five married kids and 21 grandchildren we haven’t had much time to notice the pace. We are simply thankful.

Today we are most grateful for our sweet companionship. No, our marriage isn’t perfect. We still fight and we still have to forgive—frequently. But the years of pressing together through challenges and blessings have produced a stronger blend of oneness.

Recently I jotted down eight ingredients that have helped me as a wife to grow in my marriage.

  1. Recognize that no man can love you as much as you want to be loved. Only God can. Run to Him first. Spend time in His word and in prayer. It will relieve the pressure on your marriage.
  2. Have a few close girl friends with whom you can share your heart. These should be women who are for your marriage, always pushing you to Christ and toward your husband.
  3. Refuse the temptation to “emotionally withdraw.” And you will be tempted—many times. Recognize it, resist it, and instead do whatever it takes to grow closer to one another.
  4. Pray daily for your husband—for God to bless him, for him to know how much God loves him, for his professional needs, and for God to give him some Christian guy friends.
  5. Make time with him a priority. Put him before the kids. Establish a regular date night and keep it.
  6. Hit the “delete button” on your mental list of the things he does wrong. Instead ask God to remind you of one trait you appreciate in him every day and tell your husband about it. This is your daily marriage vitamin.
  7. Do fun, silly, new things together and nurture laughter.
  8. Be quick to ask forgiveness and to forgive, even if you don’t feel like it or want to. Healing takes time but the healing process begins with forgiveness.

Marriage is a gift. Your husband is a gift. And with God at the center of your union you can grow closer as the years increase.

Editor’s note: Check out Susan’s site every Wednesday for a blog post and sign up to receive “One word,” a twice-a-week e-mail on one character trait of God.  FB: @susanalexanderyates T: @susanayates P: @susan2187

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  1. Last night I had dinner with a couple of friends. Our marriages and gratitude for them was a topic of conversation. Becoming selfless we agreed is key. Most men today have fear of job loss, not providing for their family and not being loved for who they are. Thankfully, we have learned to love them for who they are (good and bad) and put aside the things that disappoint us. I recently celebrated by 10th year and pray we will have 30 more. Thank you for sharing your ingredients!

  2. Elizabeth Converse says:

    Susan, I always enjoy hearing your messages. You & your family are such a blessing to me.❤️

  3. Thank you for this post! It’s encouraging, challenging and convicting 🙂

  4. I think also during difficult times remembering what you first saw in him and thinking on all the good times you’ve had instead of focusing on the bad. Always praying for your spouse makes it hard to always fight with him.