George Booth and I collaborated on this post together.

I’ve been to some great weddings!

We once attended a wedding in Ireland where we traveled with a plane load of fellow Scots and celebrated for almost a week.

I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of a colleague in Azerbaijan where we danced, ate, and celebrated into the wee small Azeri hours.

I’ve been to great weddings in the prettiest of Scottish Castles and great weddings in the grandest of Cathedrals – but quite frankly I’m getting tired of great weddings!

The more I think about it, I haven’t been to a bad wedding. Every wedding I’ve ever facilitated, attended, or observed has been great.

This weekend, great weddings will be happening all around the world where a beautiful bride and a handsome groom will enjoy with their fortunate guests, all the spoils and pleasure of months and often years of meticulous planning and paying! They’ll be great. People will laugh, parents will cry, and everyone will hashtag their memories to the happy couple’s Instagram tag – #greatwedding

So why with all these great weddings do we only know a handful of great marriages? Why do we pour so much time, energy, creativeness and money into great weddings but we are reluctant to invest in having a great marriage?

[shareable]Why do we pour so much time, energy, and money into great weddings but are reluctant to invest in having a great marriage?[/shareable]

In my pseudo counselor role to young people, and by counselor I mean throwing a one liner their way on the day of their wedding, I always tell the happy couple the same thing, “any couple of suckers can have a great wedding but it takes a pair of heroes to have a great marriage!”

Think about how much you dreamt and spent on your wedding and ask yourself honestly if you’ve had the same enthusiasm and energy for making your marriage great.

Do you need to invest more time, money, energy and prayer into the intentional pursuit of a great marriage?  Regardless of where your marriage is, the answer is YES!

[shareable]Any couple of suckers can have a great wedding but it takes a pair of heroes to have a great marriage![/shareable]

Here’s three things you can do to help bring the joy and hope of that great wedding into the daily minutia and mundane of everyday marriage:

  1. Communicate Appreciation – When was the last time you appreciated your spouse? I’m not talking about a casual, “Hey, thanks for taking out the trash“, or, “thanks for picking up the kids today”.  Although these small gestures are important, when was the last time you took your spouse by the hand, looked them deep in the eyes, and slowly and sincerely appreciated them for who God created them to be? It could be something as simple as, “I’m so thankful that God gave you to me as a husband / wife“, or “I really appreciate your faithfulness in working hard to provide for our family.”  
  2. Give Attention – We are too busy! Work, kids, church, grocery shopping, gym, cleaning, yard work, all seem to get our first attention. Unfortunately as a result, our most important earthly relationship often gets neglected or taken for granted. When was the last time you made a sacrifice to spend time with your spouse?  Here’s a few thoughts:
    • Come home from work early, or possibly even take an entire day off work to spend time together
    • Go to you spouse’s office or come home for an impromptu lunch together.
    • Arrange a babysitter for the kids and surprise them with an evening out.
  3. Show Affection – Remember the days when you couldn’t keep your hands off your spouse? It’s so natural in the honeymoon stage, but it seems the hand holding, back rubs, and impromptu love making takes a back seat to our to do list after just a few short years. Make a point to affectionately touch your spouse every day.  Not casually, but affectionately.  Touch your spouse in a way that attempts to communicate your most intimate thoughts about them without saying a word. Instead of a quick 1/2 second kiss before you part ways in the morning, let your kiss linger for a few seconds.  Instead of a quick hug when you see each other after work, hug them until they let go.  Slow down your affection towards each other.

Appreciation, Attention, and Affection.  Think of these as the 3 “A’s” necessary for you to have an “A+ Marriage”.

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking.  More importantly than doing something on this list, do something…today…and everyday, to turn your great wedding into a great marriage.

And if you’re reading this and at the planning stages of your big day, wondering who to invite and who to leave out, please don’t feel obliged to have me at your great wedding…just show me a great marriage!