Being in a relationship is difficult and time consuming. It is rewarding and lovely to be connected to someone, especially when God joins two together in marriage and kids come. However, there are some key features to success in a relationship that I wish I had been able to understand and enforce at a younger age, but alas, ignorance is still wasted on the young (no offense know-it-all youngin’s, lol). Now that I am old enough to get some of it now, I will share it with those who may not yet have a grasp on it. 1. One very important thing that takes precedence over everything else is that God is in charge of the universe and your marriage and not you. In fact, we need to work to do the right things I will mention in a minute and do every one right but God controls everything. You cannot push a rope. You can improve yourself and hope your spouse wants to do so as well but it is their choice and not yours to make. I repeat, you can not push a rope. You can want your spouse to put your needs above their wants but it is up to them what level of selfishness they will operate at, as it is up to you what level of selfishness you will operate at. Which brings me to my second point. 2. Working improving yourself. By this I do not simply mean health and beauty this world emphasizes so much. I mean that internally, drawing near to God in prayer and Bible reading improves your understanding of our Creator and His creation, including you and your spouse. When you work on being a better person, loving and kind and humble, your relationship cannot help but improve. What spouse on the planet would object to a quarrel free home and a loving spouse who treats them with honor and respect and appreciation because they see glimpses of the Creator’s greatness in them? Wow. Take that in for a minute. 3. Kids are very important but not as important as the spousal relationship. This is a tough one for moms. Kids demand everything and will take as much of you as you give them and still want more. Yes, they are valuable and worthy of time and care. However, remind yourself you are teaching a person to be a godly loving spouse one day, and these kids will hopefully spend most of their lives as adults without you nursing them along, and model this great relationship between you and your spouse. Yes they need you but you will spend the rest of your life in the same house as your spouse and not your kids. Do not neglect your spouse for your kid(s). 4. Have friends you trust who pray with you and who you can bounce things off of. We do not live in a vacuum for obvious reasons. Friends are important too, and often much more willing to speak at length with. Lol. 5. Have hobbies. If you can have at least one you do together with your spouse, that is ideal. Too much time alone allows too much introspective thought on the spouses shortcoming and tends to not focus you on improving your own. Hobbies are a great outlet and distraction that usually fall in line with using the gifts God gave you. It is a win win. It also helps your kids to see gift development in action and see that they are not the only thing the sun revolves around. Hobbies also make you much more interesting. 6. Focus on helping your spouse more. We all need help. Bethe one meeting the needs of your spouse and hopefully they will not look to others to meet those needs. But again, you can not push a rope. However, chances improve upon these attempts. 7. Be faithful with your heart, mind, eyes, ears, soul, spirit and body to your spouse and ultimately to God. The grass is greener on the side of the fence that is nurtured. And you are the gardener.