I’m nervous about telling anyone how to nourish a marriage. Marriages are as unique as the people in them, and ours is no exception. We’ve stood together for moments on the top of the mountain surrounded by a splendid view, moments in the deepest, darkest of valleys, and many, many days of blessed ordinary time. We generally like each other and have been together since we were teenagers.
Understand how you compliment each other
We don’t compete because we are good at different things. He listens to my historical tales, and I listen to his scientific stories. I learn languages faster and am more interested in linguistics, but he puts me to shame in math. I’m the chef, but all computers obey his command, from the alarm and sprinkler systems to the TV, our laptops, and our phones. We both write – about significantly different topics and very distinct arenas – and we’d both love to try new things in that arena.
Understand your similarities
In other areas, we are very similar. We both need our quiet, but we love our people. We love our books, so we own a library. We like our home, but we also like adventures. We are good at working. We are bad at resting (though we are working on that). We try to be good children and helpers to our parents, good parents and leaders for our children, and good to each other. We love Jesus and chase hard after Him while following His lead to serve, teach, and give.
Understand Your Differences
That isn’t to say we don’t have disagreements. Blessedly, he is giving when I am being stubborn, but occasionally, he puts his foot down. I ignore things that bother me, like stuff laying around long after he’s done with it and just put things away because I’m the one who notices until I hit a breaking point and ask him to take care of it. We have an agreement to clearly ask for what is needed so that we don’t leave problems brewing. I’m more likely to let things brew than he is, and I’m more likely to have an expectation he doesn’t know about. Since we know all these things, we tend to them regularly.
Be Willing to Change Your Heart
Jesus makes our marriage work. We’ve both had to ask forgiveness regularly, serve each other instead of ourselves, give when we don’t feel like it, accept love when we think it isn’t warranted, and change our hearts and minds and plans. Sometimes we get answers in reading Scripture or through prayer that helps us course-correct before we have a large issue.
Be Intentional about Being Together
Nourishing a marriage takes effort. We have different jobs and volunteer responsibilities as well as various functions in the household, so we aren’t always together. We have dinner together most evenings. We stop together at the end of the day and just hang out a bit. We usually go to bed and get up at the same time, though sometimes I need more rest and get put to bed early. We typically walk together sometime during the day since we are often both at home. These small, ordinary moments allow us to stay connected.
THIS WEEK IN THE kitchen
The combination of the delivery of our supply of beef and Valentine’s Day meant that I cooked some steaks for my men. I think I finally found an indoor steak-cooking method that I like. I’m currently working with an electric stove, so adjusting the heat quickly is difficult. I heated the cast iron skillet until it was hot on one burner and put a big skillet on medium heat on another burner with butter, garlic, and rosemary in it.
I seared the steaks in the hot skillet and then moved them to the other pan to cook to the desired medium-rare. It worked beautifully, and I’ll do it again. We also had baked potatoes (yellow and sweet) and roasted broccoli. And I made an Instant Pot Chocolate Cheesecake, which tasted ok, but wasn’t terrific. I won’t share the recipe because I won’t use it again.
This week in the library
I didn’t read all of each of these books this week. I read FROM all of them. I finished one (noted below). *
- Francis Schaeffer’s The God Who is There (finished)
- Kristan Hannah’s The Four Winds (finished; a compelling story of an unprecedented time; read in one day because I had to know what happened)
- Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has been making it into our pastor’s sermons this month. (finished; interesting, lots of words for small but important concepts)
- Matthew Pollard’s The Introvert’s Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone (finished; only headings really needed)
- J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. (so interesting; it’s a textbook for chefs; summer science/life skills curriculum?)
- Madeleine L’Engle’s A Circle of Quiet (beautiful; I’m savoring it, but I’ll finish this month and move to the next volume of her journals.)
- Vishal Mangalwadi’s The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization (such an intriguing work. Completely worth the time and maybe free from Audible?)
- Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace (via audio, but I have a pretty copy, and I’m on page 231/1358)
- Schweikart & Dougherty’s A Patriot’s History of the Modern World, volume 1 (on page 273/424)
*All links are Amazon affiliate links.