Pay attention to your spouse today — before someone else does — 3 tips to make your marriage safe and strong…


Neither had specifically gone looking for someone else.

Yet they left the back door of their hearts unlocked.

When situations presented themselves — at a time when their partner was not paying attention, loving or respecting the way they needed too — the front door to temptation opened and satan slithered in.

While these temptations involving the very respectable Lord and Lady Grantham of Downton Abbey fame did not result in full-blown affairs, they injured their union for a time.

Robert and Cora, in separate instances, had focused on their own self-interests and needs relegating their mate and their marriage to a subordinate position.


And none of us are above such temptation in our own marriages.

The enemy is always on the prowl seeking to devour and if we leave the door open a crack he pushes in. Hating marriage, the forces of darkness insidiously set us up to stumble if we are not on our toes. Daily we enter a battle, the stakes of which are mighty and high and holy. Daily we must don our spiritual armor and stand arm-in-arm with our husband or our wife.

Protecting our marriage and prepared to fight whatever poses a threat.

And sometimes the greatest threat is our very own lack of due diligence.

My Michael and I, both divorced more than once, don’t take this marriage we share for granted. After nurturing and growing our individual and collective relationships with God, we are constantly tending our marriage, our minds and our hearts. After many sinful starts we are more awake and alert, willing to sacrifice self for the sake of the One who saved us. And each other.


While we don’t watch TV we are rather addicted to Downton Abbey.

The life and love issues of the Crawleys, the aristocratic English family whose fictional lives have unfolded on the screen against the historical backdrop of the early 20th century for the last five years, provide sparks that ignite deeper, probing conversations.

As we discussed how Robert and Cora came to such precarious predicaments in their marriage we realized three things that we as a married couple must remember to help our unions stay safe and strong.

  • Whether male or female your spouse needs daily attention and affirmation. They need to know you find them attractive both physically and mentally. That you want to be with them. That you want them. They need your time and full eye-contact interaction. They need hugs and sexual intimacy. Time to talk together, to relax, and laugh and have fun. Just the two of you. And in paying attention to them you have their back, being alert and ever praying. And staying fully engaged, day by day, in your lifelong love affair remembering that little things are truly the great things and when practiced regularly breath new life into your marriage.
  • Thoughts — as well as your heart — about your spouse must be guarded for if thoughts are not positive and honorable they lead to choices, words and actions that have the potential to tear you and your spouse asunder and set you up for sin that can wreck a marriage. Almost without you thinking about it. So be fully present. Be sober. Be vigilant.  In marriage you are always wanting to move closer together. Let go of any grudge against them. Choose forgiveness. Refuse to be dismissive or flippant when their thoughts and opinions are not yours. Hold your mate in high regard — they are your one flesh. I am my beloved’s and he is mine…
  • Choosing anything besides God as first above your mate will put your marriage at risk whether it’s too much work, elevating children to the place of your spouse, exhausting yourself volunteering at church, or spending excessive time alone with your hobbies, at the gym, with friends. All these things chip away at the precious and few moments you may have with your spouse each day. God doesn’t expect you to do everything for everybody but He does ask that you love Him well and your neighbor, too. Your closest neighbor is the man or woman you married.


Marriage is a wonderfully rewarding and at times terribly hard adventure for life.  It’s God’s perfect design to soothe the inherent loneliness within men and women.

It’s precious in that a good marriage shows the world a glimmer of God and how He loves us.

But if we are not careful it can all slip away, sometimes slowly with a series of small slights. Other times devastatingly fast due to affairs, abandonment and divorces.

So stay on guard. And we will, too.

Be grateful for the man or woman whom God has entrusted to your care. Pay attention to them each day and never forget to tell them how much you love them and how grateful you are to be married to him or her.

And then show them.

Kiss like you mean it. Dance in the kitchen after dark. Light some candles and share an enchanted evening of intimacy.

This man or this woman is your best friend, your lover, your partner for life.

And life is a vapor…

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38 thoughts on “Pay attention to your spouse today — before someone else does — 3 tips to make your marriage safe and strong…

  1. Wonderful post, Sheila! “It’s precious in that a good marriage shows the world a glimmer of GOD and how HE loves us.” <- — This is a truly beautiful truth! Thank you for always sharing such Godly wisdom! Infinite blessings to you, Love! 🙂

    #RaRaLinkup 😉

  2. Good stuff Sheila. Love the warning to always be on guard. Being married for 32 years, we’ve certainly had our ups and downs. The language of love should not be unspoken.

    • Agreed. May we all love in the light of His love, protecting and creating marriages that last and leave a legacy for those that follow and most importantly to BLESS OUR FATHER!!! Thanks, Geoff.

  3. Such a good post, Sheila. We had a conversation with our son this past weekend on this very thing. I appreciated all of this but this made me smile . . . “Kiss like you mean it. Dance in the kitchen after dark. Light some candles and share an enchanted evening of intimacy.” So many yeses to that.
    Many blessings.
    p.s. I will connect via email soon.

  4. Hi Sheila!

    This post was very insightful and I appreciate your wisdom & openness. You speak the truth, as I know all to well the challenges of marriage and a Christian marriage nonetheless. My Hubs and I have been married for almost 27 years and have faced almost every challenge known to man that occurs in marriage, so I know truth when I hear it and greatly appreciate Godly reminders every step of the way. It’s been by God’s grace that He has kept us and constantly fortifying us; I’m every so grateful to Him! Thank you Sheila, may God bless you and continue to use to enrich and restore marriages everywhere.
    Sybil #RaRaLinkup

    • Thank you so much, Sybil. Your words mean more than you may know. I have known such brokenness in the area of relationships and marriage and who I am now and the marriage I share with my beloved Michael is truly testimony to OUR GREAT GOD. So humbled and grateful that He has put this call on my heart to help hearts to heal and marriages grow in love…Bless you, dear friend.

  5. Ooohh, Sheila, this was for me today! We’ve been in the RV four days now, our boys are tired, we’re tired and the niceties are wearing thin:) Life happens and the stress of it puts us at odds with one another. The enemy is alive and well…and it’s not our spouse. Know that this was corrective and encouraging for me today! Thanks Sheila!!

    • So glad my simple words can help you, Meg, as you and your hubby travel the path God has for you. YES, it is never our spouse that we fight but the powers of darkness that seek our destruction. Stand strong, my sister. Will be praying for you and your on-the-road lifestyle now. And btw, we are considering our options in transportation for a trip in the late summer to WA state to see my son and his gf. We are even considering renting some smallish RV type vehicle. So I might be emailing you to pick your brain a bit! 🙂 Praying for you and your men to be able to get out and stretch your legs in some sunshine today and laugh together and remember how good it is to be a family together, thanking God. With love…

  6. I’m so thankful to have found this post. My husband and I have been married for two years… And “positive and honorable” thoughts are sometimes difficult to cultivate. Thanks for sharing. (Found you through the Tell It To Me Tuesday link up!)

    • Hello Anastasia — and what a beautiful name you have!! I am glad you found my site, too, and pray you’ll become part of the community here. There’s lots of marriage resources available for free. You may want to revisit and check out the archives and the Free Resources page. Blessings to you and your husband in your young marriage as you both follow God so as to be all that He would have you both to be. Thanks…

  7. Daily attention is so important, and so easy to let slip, especially when you have kids at home. My husband’s been around for 19 years, so it’s easy to take him for granted. Thanks for this reminder that the enemy is always trying to attack us. I join you in wanting to watch vigilantly over my marriage!

  8. My husband and I LOVE Downton Abby (which kind of makes me laugh because he doesn’t generally enjoy things that aren’t action packed and fast-paced). You and your husband have gleaned some great gems for keeping marriage sacred. It’s a full-time job, and one we should never neglect. Time to go home and light some candles…

    • I was talking recently with a friend, sharing how maybe I should get a job outside the home in addition to what I do at my website, and she said: You already have a job. You’re Michael’s wife. And while it is surely more than a duty-filled position as a wife and homemaker, being a good wife does take time and energy and I was thanking my husband after lunch today {we both work from home} for being his “kept woman.” Truly and sincerely I thank God that I can be a wife and writer at home. You and hubby enjoy those candles 😉

    • Thanks for sharing, Mari-Anna. It is a great show. I recently went to the library and got back seasons so we can watch all over from the beginning while we wait for season six!! Beautiful series. Blessings back to you and yours!

  9. I’m a big Downton fan as well, Sheila. And agree that we must not take for granted that our spouse will always be there for us, if we’ve not nurtured and poured into the relationship all along. These are great insights, my friend and I’ll be sharing about it in the Twittersphere! Hugs to you and say “hi” to Michael for me!

    • Marriage is a daily choice of moving closer to God and each other, and serving the other above self. And God provides reminders and lessons for our marriages everywhere…Blessings, dear friend. Thanks for the Twitter love 🙂

  10. Very true and very wise words and I pray many will read them while at an early stage of their marriage and be prepared for the future. My husband and I are married 37 years and he travels a lot with his work yet in the phone calls, then skyping and now facetime we always make sure that we remind each other how much we still love each other before we say goodnight.

    • Practicing rituals that protect, nurture and add value to our most precious earthly relationship is time well spent. And it is my hope that young marrieds will be wiser than I was in my twenties and take heed to the hard won wisdom of others. Thanks, Sandra, for stopping by. Your comment on your marriage brought a smile! Blessings…

  11. One thing I would add – this isn’t a quid pro quo, and even if your spouse is busily ignoring you in favour of his or her smartphone or golf game, it doesn’t give license to ignore right back, or to act in reprisal.

    The vow’s rather one-sided, and there’s no clause that says “as long as I’m treated the same way”.

    I’m here from Wedded Wednesday.

  12. Cora and Robert have at times exasperated me! I’m a huge fan of Robert’s mother! LOL – I love her asides! You post is so true – we need to keep connected – being intentional, being aware of this person who is the other half of ourselves! Sweet encouragement!

    • Me, too!! And we love the Dowager Countess and her cool, collected witty quips!! 🙂 Glad you found the post encouraging. And that’s what we need to keep doing, exhorting one another daily in our marriages and via the blogosphere. So glad we’ve connected!! Thanks.

  13. Sheila, this post was so needed. Thank you for sharing. In the chaos of life I completely need your encouragement be present, alert, and intentional in my marriage. I am going to work on the three tips you shared and I pray your marriage would be blessed in abundance as a result of the way you have blessed so many – including me!

    • Kia, you are so sweet to share such heartfelt words. They touch my heart. Blessings to you my friend and blessings to you and hubby as you grow your marriage one day at a time. xxoo