My wife married a sci-fi geek. I’m not ashamed of it. I embrace it. Anne, not so much.
In his endeavor to become a Jedi, Luke finds himself needing to get trained by the best. It is here we get one of the most well-known figures in all of the Star Wars universe: Yoda.
For us geeks, his wisdom pours out in a fantastic line that is just as iconic as the character,
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
I’ve heard it used and stated in so many different contexts. Why not? It’s an amazing piece of wisdom used to motivate his young apprentice to take some actions-steps forward. A few days ago, I saw it tweeted in regards to sex in marriage. My immediate first thought:
Discouraging “trying” may not be the best marriage advice I’ve seen.
So I thought I’d do the opposite. I want to encourage “trying.” Why?
For the couple going through struggles, it’s the personal effort the two of you need to show each other. It’s the extra “try” that screams “I’m not giving up…we’re going to make it.”
For the couple going through a season of life where you feel you’re just “existing” together. No fights, no scuffles, yet there is no fun and no passion. The “try” just may catapult you forward over the hump into a amazing season of refreshing.
For the couple in a good place in life, the “try” can be an extra log to the fire. The time to try something new and exciting isn’t when things are getting mundane or frustrating. That’s the worst time to try to get momentum. The perfect time for the “try” is when things are great. The momentum picks up and flows. Makes me think when scripture says, “from glory to glory.”
Here we go, 10 things I want you to “try” in your marriage…we’ll start with a few simple BUT powerful tips but please don’t tell yourself “I’m not going to “try” to do any of these unless I’m in the mood.” It’s time to back away from what you need step up into the “try” for the sake of your spouse and your marriage.
1. Try to smile. Sometimes we save our smile for our kids, friends, and/or for the people at church. We take our smile for granted when it comes to our spouse.
2. Try to complement/encourage. Sometimes we resort to “I’ll do it if he/she does it.” Or I’ve even heard this one, “He/she doesn’t deserve it.” Childish tendencies take over us sometimes. What brings it out? Hurt. This is a basic need in EVERY human. Hebrews 3:13 says to “Encourage each other daily.” If you don’t do this for your spouse, the enemy will use someone else to fill that need and NO ONE should out-encourage/complement you. Step up and try it.
3. Try to surprise. Get spontaneous. I’ll admit, my wife’s version of surprise is different. She likes to know what it is before it’s “sprung” upon her. That way, she can prepare her OCD self for it and actually enjoy it. I can’t push my style of surprise upon her and expect her to enjoy. Find your spouse’s love language and get out of the rut.
4. Try prayer and devotions. I know what you’re thinking: “Shouldn’t you have had this at #1?” I’m a pastor and I thought you’d expect that. Some couples, like me and Anne, have a hard time with doing “couple devotionals.” We tried it and it didn’t fit. But the key is this: we tried it. Now, we’ll pass on to each other books, blogs, and sermons as we look out for the spiritual well-being of the each other. I love putting my arm around her at night and praying over her. I love hearing her pray for me. Our devos may be separate, but it’s morphed into us pouring into each other in a way I didn’t expect. But it happened with the “try.”
5. Try nudity. (I thought that would get your attention.) We base so much of sex as a “mood” or “an act.” For those that push “the act” upon the other, you ignore the emotions/mood. For those that are all about the “mood,” you ignore this necessary and beautiful act of marriage. Bring the “try” into your bed. Why? It’s humility; You’re not there for “you.” Try sex from the vantage point of your spouse. The bed isn’t there to meet your needs; it’s there as a platform to meet your spouse’s needs. Remember this: there is NO ONE else in the entire world that can meet this need in your spouse. It’s you.
6. Try a date. Most couples know that dating each other is necessary…well, kind of. This is so simplistic yet I find it’s completely ignored and taken for granted. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It may not have any cost for that matter. Anne and I like the simple walks together. We’ve even taken our kids on walks. The point was to have time together (which is Anne’s love language…that and Swedish Fish). Try it. Ask your spouse out. Plan out the day/evening. Pour into their love language.
7. Try to listen. A friend of mine gave me a quote I’ve used on my kids and I’ve needed to use in marriage. “Listen to me with your eyes.” Eye contact speaks so much to the person talking. It shows more that singular focus. It shows you are valuing them and their voice. Proverbs 20:12 says “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.” Get past “Elevator talk” in your marriage. Your ability to actively listen conveys the value your spouse needs from you.
8. Try to forgive. The preach in me wants to just say “Just forgive. Make yourself do it.” But I felt the Lord leading me to challenge you to “try” forgiveness. Why? So many people are afraid to “try” it because of how it may be received and/or given. Colossians 3:13 challenges us to “try”/step-out into it regardless of your spouse’s reaction. The response of your “trying” isn’t your responsibility. The forgiveness is.
9. Try to be healthy. I know we’re ‘merica. We’re a nation of unhealthy activities with unhealthy food. But this should’t be our excuse to develop healthy hearts, bodies, emotions, and spirits. I’m not asking you to be a marathon runner. I’m not demanding you to become a vegan. I’m asking you to take an honest inventory of your life and ask yourself, “Where can I get healthier?” The bible says, “the two become one.” If you are actively “trying” bringing health into your marriage (God’s word, healthy relationships, healthy food, exercise, etc) , you are setting your marriage up for potential success.
10. Try ___________. This is where you have to get your imagination going. It’s about you knowing your marriage and trying something that may be new or it could be something that needs to be revived. Get creative. Talk with your spouse. Go after something today.
Yoda had it wrong. “Do or do not. There is no try.” And unfortunately so many people don’t/won’t try. This needs to be a new habit for this new year. Don’t wait for you to be in the mood to “try.” If that’s the case, it’ll never happen because it’s about you. Get humble and get “trying.”
Sometimes it isn’t really about the “what.” Sometimes all that matters is you “tried.”
Thanks for letting me ramble…