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4 Ways to Have a Marriage That Inspires People

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Have you watched a married couple and thought to yourself, “I want my marriage to look like that?” Here are four ways to have a union that inspires others to make marriage the best part of their lives.


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Recently I heard a podcast episode from “This American Life” where host Ira Glass interviewed psychotherapist Esther Perel. Perel does marriage therapy. In the interview she told Glass:

I once wanted to write an article on couples that inspire. And I asked about 60-70 people at the time if they knew of couples that inspire them. And the vast majority could sometimes come up with one… We don’t have that many models where we just say, ‘Wow. This is who I want to be.’

This is the saddest thing I’ve heard in a long time. But unfortunately, it’s true. It’s almost expected that the longer a couple is together, the more they grow apart. And that doesn’t just affect that couple. It also shapes how other people think about marriage.

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As Christians, we are called not only to have marriages that emulate Jesus’ relationship with His Church (Ephesians 5:25), but also to inspire and encourage others to see marriage as a wonderful gift worth pursuing.

So I talked to my wife and we came up with four things that have inspired us to make our marriage the best part of our lives.

1. Praise your spouse in public.

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For some reason, when people are out with friends they like to tease and joke about their spouse. It’s usually just playful. No harm is intended. But does it make your single friends look forward to marriage? Does it make your married friends want an even better marriage?

I don’t think so.

So instead, my wife and I have committed to never speak negatively about each other in public. I want to be her biggest friend and praise her in public. And she wants to do the same.

When you can laugh together about your shortcomings rather than feel judged, you know that you can be imperfect and are still fully loved. And that is inspiring.

I’m not talking about shallow praise. Nobody cares how hot you think your wife is, or how awesome of a cook your husband is. Instead, praise the qualities about your spouse that inspire you to be a better person. For example, my wife is one of the most generous people I know. When things get tight, my tendency is to hold back. But generosity is a priority to my wife, no matter what. She makes me a more generous person.

2. Laugh with and at each other.

When I first met my wife’s parents, what struck me about their relationship was that if one of them made a mistake, the other would laugh. And then the one who made the mistake would join in on the fun. They weren’t shaming or teasing each other. On the contrary, they were enjoying each other. And it helped them not take themselves too seriously.

When you can laugh together about your shortcomings rather than feel judged, you know that you can be imperfect and are still fully loved. And that is inspiring.

3. Get your PDA on.

Every time we visit my wife’s aunt and uncle I see them regularly holding hands or cuddling. That’s unfortunately pretty rare to see from couples who have been together for over twenty years like they have. But they are more in love today than when they got married.

It’s inspiring to see a couple who has been together for a long time still enjoy dating each other.

And there is, of course, a way to do PDA that makes people feel uncomfortable. But sometimes life, and busyness, and kids get in the way of your relationship. And you forget to make simple things, like holding hands, a priority.

That’s why it’s inspiring to see a couple who has been together for a long time still enjoy dating each other.

4. Chase your spouse’s dreams.

In our world, we often emphasize the importance of chasing your dreams and never compromising or settling. But my wife and I have been inspired to chase each other’s dreams by a couple who we’ve watched from afar: Aaron and Jamie Ivey.

Be a couple who not only supports, but also chases each other’s dreams.

Jamie has a well-known podcast called, “The Happy Hour.” And Aaron is a worship leader for a large church in Austin, TX called The Austin Stone. They have two very different careers and are both incredibly busy and travel a lot. But they are each other’s biggest fans. And they inspire us to be a couple who not only supports, but also chases each other’s dreams.