13 Things to Stop DoingI’ve been doing marriage counselling for 39 years – just one year less than the number of years my wife has been reminding me that I am a lucky man.

Here are 13 things to stop that can be the start of something fantastic for your marriage.

1. STOP talking to improve your communication. Start listening. Your mother told you that God gave you one mouth and two ears for a purpose. Use your ears…and your heart to hear each other.

2. STOP bringing the worst out in your spouse – that’s too easy. Its a husband’s responsibility to bring the best out in his wife. Husbands accomplish that by helping their wives get what they want, as long as it is not illegal, immoral or inordinately expensive. Wives bring out the best in their husband by treating them like a hero, even if sometimes they act like a zero.

3. STOP seeing marriage as a science. I like math. Math is predictable. One plus one will always be two. In marriage, one plus one always equals one. Marriage doesn’t add up. The only scientists in marriage are mad ones – angry ‘cause they can’t make their theories work.

4. STOP digging when you’re in a hole. I’ve done my fair share of digging. Once you’re in the hole, any defensive explanations or excuses only take you deeper. (If you don’t know what the hole is, you must not be married.)

5. STOP trying to achieve the ideal marriage. This is a recipe for an ordeal. Get real, there is no ideal.

6. STOP looking for magic in your marriage. Marriage takes hard work. Two becoming one is hard work, especially when, “Which one,” becomes the question. “Which one will make the decisions” and “which one is the head is the house,” and “which one controls the TV remote.”

7. STOP focusing on sex. (Just kidding) A wife’s greatest need is to be cherished. Cherishing is not sexual in nature. That puts men at a disadvantage. Cherishing is about affection without seduction. Its about leadership, compassion, security and understanding.

8. STOP insisting on being understood. If you seek to understand, you’ll have a better shot at being understood.

9. STOP seeing love as an emotion. Love is an action. You will act your way into love far faster than you can feel your way into love.

10. STOP complicating your marriage. The operational principles for a happy marriage are simple:

I. Husbands, cherish your wife.
II. Wives, honor your husband.

11. STOP waiting for the other to go first. Husbands, don’t wait to feel honored to cherish your wife. Wives, don’t wait to feel cherished so you can honor your husband. Go first.

12. STOP limiting your marriage by keeping it to just the two of you. God is the third party that will make a marriage flourish. Marriage is sacred – its holy matrimony. Invite God to your wedding and He’ll stick around for your marriage.

13. STOP viewing marriage as a your thing. Marriage is God’s thing and God likes simple.

“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her.” (Ephesians 5:25-28, The Message)

“Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ…each wife is to honor her husband.” (Ephesians 5:22, 33, the Message)

APPLICATION: Which one do you need to stop doing so you start something great? Please leave a comment below.


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Bob Jones

Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 40 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love being a pastor and inspiring others through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, reading, and ball hockey. I'm a fan of the Esks, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

16 Comments

  • Laurie Ramkeesoon says:

    What tremendously powerful words. Thank you pastor Bob!
    Laurie Ramkeesoon

  • bob jones says:

    Thank you Laurie. they all are born out of experience with Jocelyn.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the reminders. Can attest that these have helped propelle our marriage toward being one with each other and God. Daniel

  • Adena Lowry says:

    I liked #7. 🙂
    I laughed out loud.

  • Bob Jones says:

    Glad I could make you laugh today! A merry heart is as good as medicine (or comfort food).

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear Pastor Bob Today is our fourth wedding anniversary and your message was Perfect today. For us ( old timers ). Blending two families together has been Interesting !! As only children we now have forty grandchildren. And working on our nineteen Great. We are Busy trying to fit them in to our lives. Loving it. We were so Blessed to have you Marry us. That made it so Special God Bless You and All the family. We Love You. Darleen and Norm.

  • Ndsatey" says:

    Dear Pastor Bob Today is our fourth wedding anniversary and your message was Perfect today. For us ( old timers ). Blending two families together has been Interesting !! As only children we now have forty grandchildren. And working on our nineteen Great. We are Busy trying to fit them in to our lives. Loving it. We were so Blessed to have you Marry us. That made it so Special God Bless You and All the family. We Love You. Darleen and Norm.

  • Bob Jones says:

    Happy Anniversary! Time has flown by. God bless.

  • KEN CLARKE says:

    Sage words Bob. Although I have had them many times over, it never hurts to be reminded again and again. One day it may just sink in!

  • KEN CLARKE says:

    Make that word “heard” not “had”.

  • Elmer and Sherry Komant says:

    Good job, guys! Proud of you!

  • Val franklin says:

    Pastor Bob these are powerful and such common sense approaches. We are 38 years married and have had to remind ourselves of each of your statements. Thanks for that.
    Val Franklin

  • Anonymous says:

    We never really appreciated how great we had it until we know it is coming to a close. Now more than ever I have come to realize that I am so blessed with the greatest wife who has been there for me every day and every way. I pray that for her I have been the same but I fear that I haven’t. Now that I am going on, I reflect back and ask myself what I could have done differently to make things better. I know God will bless her life and she will go on to see and do wonderful things and that makes me feel very happy for her. I love her so very much.

  • Brian Glover says:

    Belated happy birthday Pastor Bob.

  • Bob Jones says:

    That’s quite a prayer, Brian. You are facing a hard reality with vulnerability. Looking back is a good idea and I encourage you to keep looking around and seeing all the good that there is in your marriage and children. You are not alone.

  • Deshane Roppo says:

    Great read and reminders. Number 8 hits home! Thanks for sharing!

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