I once had an opportunity to speak with the executives from a huge ad agency in Los Angeles. This agency had been hired by a nationally-known franchise, to help them help the marriages of their customers.
After research, the agency reported, while they could help the company help marriages, they strongly suggested they not use the word marriage. They explained that the word marriage simply comes with too much baggage. The word they wanted to replace it with was love.
The ad agency said they could help the nationally-known franchise promote love in the context of marriage as long as the word marriage was used sparingly. At the time, I had been working with marriages for about 10 years, and I agreed with the agency. Now that I have been working with marriages for 17 years, I agree with them even more.
Say Love Instead of Marriage
So what if we took the advice from an ad agency and applied it to our marriage? What if we replaced the word marriage with love?
- Maria and Blake have a great marriage love.
- Jim and Cathy really work on their marriage love.
- Mike’s and Beth’s marriage love is really struggling.
Changes things a bit doesn’t it?
And it’s not that the word isn’t important, or that a beautiful example of marriage can’t overcome the baggage that comes with the term. It’s more a way of shifting our perspective and remembering to give our commitment to our spouse the same priority we give our own emotions.
The Love Expiriment
For the next seven days, I want to challenge you to replace the word marriage with love. No matter where this post finds you in your marriage love—be it stuck, struggling, managing, or thriving—let’s experiment with a little less marriage and a little more love.
For the next seven days, do one small loving thing for your spouse each day. That’s it. You may have your own ideas, if not, here are few to get you started:
- Monday: Leave a love note your spouse will find when you are not around.
- Tuesday: Ask your spouse, “What is one thing I can do to help you today?” Then do it.
- Wednesday: Pay your spouse a complement.
- Thursday: Buy them a small love gift, just because.
- Friday: Say something great about your spouse in front of someone else.
- Saturday: Do one chore your spouse normally does.
- Sunday: Make a list of five things that make your spouse great.
A Word of Warning
Believe it or not these things can start a fight, especially if you do it expecting reciprocation. Do it because you are committed to your marriage love. And don’t forget, you can do anything for seven days.
We want to hear how the experiment goes! Share your thoughts and impressions in the comments section.
Ted Lowe is an author, speaker, and the director of MarriedPeople—the marriage division at Orange. Ted is the author of two books—one for marriage ministry leaders (Married People: How Your Church Can Build Marriages That Last) and one for married couples (Your Best US: Marriage Is Easier Than You Think). He served for almost 10 years as the director of MarriedLife at North Point Community Church. He lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with his four favorite people: his wife, Nancie, and their three children.
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