We all know that marriage is not an easy task. Sometimes it is wrapped up and presented that way. I remember when my brothers (who were all married when I got married) watched my wedding video, they said, “Just wait.” Marriage is wonderful. It is so nice to have a companion to be there by you through thick and thin. But, I have learned something through my own marriage and by seeing many, many couples.
I know this is no surprise to you, but:
Marriage is work.
Wow. I know you are shaking your head right now in utter amazement. Yep, no lie: Work.
We don’t always get along or agree. We don’t always help or pick up our own stuff. You may be selfish or angry. You may have a bad day. And, who do you take it out on? Usually, your spouse.
These marriage jars are a simple and frugal idea to increase the expressions of love in your marriage. Your hubby may think it is corny. “I’m not going to do that. It’s silly.” I have heard that before. But, give it a whirl. You may just feel that you are paying a little more attention to your spouse and their needs. You will start thinking about them through the day, planning to do something just for them. As you do so, you are contributing to the marriage…together.
All you need are the following:
3 mason jars
paper cut into strips
ribbons/decor, if you choose
The instructions are simple. Each spouse will write down several things they would like their spouse to do for them on the slips of paper, expressions of love. One item on each slip. Pick things that help you feel loved. You may write down anything that can be accomplished in a small period of time. Please don’t be sarcastic or ask for things that are impossible to complete. And, you must write down different things on each piece of paper. There are some days you may not want to fix dinner, and some days he may not have time to take the kids for an hour. If there are a variety of choices, you can put one back and pick another for the day.
Here are some examples:
Take out the trash.
Give me a backrub.
Kiss me before you leave the house – every time.
Write me a love note.
Give me a sincere compliment.
Take me to dinner.
Buy me my favorite candy bar (don’t leave ’em hanging, tell them what it is).
Let’s go for a drive and talk.
Take the kids for an hour.
Put the ones that you wrote in your jar. Have you spouse do the same. Make sure that the papers are the same color. Don’t get all cutesy on me and put blue for him and pink for you. You’ll figure out why in a minute.
Every day, pick one (or more) slips from your partner’s jar and do that for them. He will do the same. When you have completed the task, put the slip of paper in the marriage jar. As the jar fills, you will also start to notice that you are making a difference in your marriage.
The reason why I suggest keeping all the papers the same? Well, there will always be that one:
“Look how many papers I have put in the jar and you haven’t put in any.”
The real deal about marriage — we are a team. It isn’t my team against his; we are scoring points for the same team. When you start competing and keeping score, then you will start to feel resentment, hurt, and anger.
All the points that go on the scoreboard are for the benefit of the marriage, regardless of who makes the shot. Take a minute and think about it. Sometimes you give 100% and sometimes you only have 50% to give. The same goes for your partner. Some days you will need extra love and some days your husband does.
It’s all for the good of the team!
Here is the printable if you want to make some marriage jars for yourself! Right click and download for your personal use!
I hope you enjoy them and it brings love into your home. If you are interested, pick up the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It is an old one, but a good one. You may learn some things about yourself and your spouse.
Be sure to keep the papers filled up. When the marriage jar is filled, you can either toss the papers and start again, or go through the papers together. Reading what you have done for one another will also increase feelings of love and affection!!
Occasionally, you may even want to throw in one of these:
Good luck and let me know what you think.
What you do to keep the love alive in your marriage! Let me know! I always love some good ideas!