“How to Maintain a Flourishing Husband”

When I was about to be married, the women of my church threw me a shower, at which each of them gave me a favorite recipe to put in a cookbook for our new home. And though I still use Marion’s directions for teriyaki chicken, and though Sandy’s roasted veggies are still a favorite at our house, the real treasure in that cookbook isn’t the recipes. It’s the marriage advice each woman wrote down alongside her recipe.

Since this June has been all about marriage here at Regency Reflections, I thought I’d pass on the best of that advice – the advice that’s proved the most true in this first decade of my marriage. And since it comes from a woman who’s currently in the middle of her fourth decade of marriage – my mom, Betsy Barber – you can trust that it has more wisdom than anything I could come up with out of my short experience.

So, here they are, the words I see every time I turn to my mother’s recipe for the perfect pie crust:

 For those of you who haven’t had thirty years practice interpreting my mom’s handwriting, here’s what it says:

1. Constant prayer

2. Frequent, joyful sex

3. Regular time spent together

4. Continual forgiveness, continual repentance.

5. Conscious support of his career and hobbies

6. Encourage 10X more often than any critique.

And there at the bottom, added in after the original composition, is my favorite part: “Remember – if it’s good for Adam, it is good for you.”

That’s the part that I hadn’t read anywhere else in my marriage prep, and it’s the part I still wish more people talked about when they talk to married couples: since you’re one flesh, what’s good for one of you – what builds one up, what encourages one, what heartens one – benefits the other. Anything that helps my husband helps me. If something makes him a better Christian, if anything gives him joy, if anything delights his heart, it’s to my benefit that he has it, because it means I’ll be married to a better, happier, godlier man.

And the same is true the other way around. If something encourages me, if something builds me up, it’s to Adam’s benefit to see that I get it, because then he enjoys a marriage to a happier, healthier, godlier wife.

I could go on about the other points on that list, but this blog entry is supposed to be kept at a reasonable length. Suffice it to say: all the points on that list are good . . . especially the second one. 😉

Question for You:

What’s your best piece of advice for a new bride?

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell

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