20 Things You Should Never Forget In Marriage

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In the intricate tapestry of human existence, one thread stands out as both mysterious and profound – memory. Why did God give us the ability to remember things? This week we focus on the nature of memory and its profound impact on our daily lives. What is the divine purpose behind our memories, their role in guiding our present, and how do they shape our relationship with God and one another?

In the grand narrative of faith, God’s command to the Israelites serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of memory. He instructed them: “Remember your origins, struggles, and His salvation,” Over time, this command has echoed into our own lives, encouraging us to reflect on our own pasts, the trials we’ve faced, and the blessings we’ve received. It’s in remembering these things that we find the strength to navigate the present and future.

Our experiences teach us the importance of memory, where we apply past lessons to our present circumstances. Looking at it scientifically, memories are formed through the intricate connections between neurons and the creation of synapses. Different types of memory, such as short-term and long-term memory, play unique roles in our lives. We can do things to improve our memory and reduce our forgetfulness, but it does take intentionality. 

It is an amazing concept to think that God, who has all knowledge, all memory, with all that he knows-that he will intentionally choose to forget our sin so that we can have a relationship with Him through Christ.

Memory is not confined to our relationship with God or our personal experiences; it’s also a vital element in our relationships with one another.  One way memory does this is by allowing us to recognize each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and boundaries is another way memory contributes to healthy relationships. Memory plays a huge role in our marriages-it is so important that we never forget the little things such as anniversaries, thoughtful gestures, physical affection, and affirmations. These things are part of what makes our relationships unique and meaningful.

Here are 20 things we think you should never forget in marriage.

  1. Your vows and commitment to one another.
  2. To walk together spiritually.
  3. To kiss everyday.
  4. To affirm each other often.
  5. Your spouse does not exist to serve you.
  6. Your spouse has weaknesses and breaking points.
  7. Plans your spouse has made.
  8. To follow through with what you say you’ll do.
  9. To create healthy boundaries.
  10. What attracted you to one another.
  11. To forgive.
  12. You sin too.
  13. To do things together and not just make plans separately.
  14. Explore together.
  15. To say “I love you.”
  16. To initiate.
  17. To celebrate your anniversary!
  18.  To go the distance to gift your love to your spouse.
  19. That you are still dating!
  20. To affirm each other often.

It is essential that in our daily lives, we remember God’s blessings and grace in our relationships. The spiritual connection, mutual plans, and shared experiences that build the foundation of our relationships are deeply rooted in the memory of God’s love and guidance. Memories are not just fragments of the past; they are essential pieces that play a large part in our present lives: shaping our actions, emotions, and relationships. As we navigate life, let us cherish this gift from God and use it to build stronger, more meaningful relationships.

READ TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer Smith (00:06):

Why did God give us the ability to remember things? Memory is such a strange thing. Memory doesn’t have any substance or form or physical presence yet somehow it has an immediate and very present effect on our everyday reality. God gave us the ability to store memories so that these memories of the past would help us in the present. This is why God continually commanded the people of Israel to remember where they came from. Remember that they were once slaves, remember that they once wondered in the wilderness and most importantly, remember how God saved them and brought them through it all. To remember is to apply the lessons of the past to the circumstances of today. It is good to remember.

Aaron Smith (00:45):

Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith, your hosts of the Marriage After God podcast, and today’s episode is brought to you by our newest one year marriage prayer devotional. The Marriage Gift. This one year prayer devotional officially releases on October 17th, but you can pre-order today simply by visiting the marriage gift.com. We desire to see every marriage be a praying marriage. That is why we wrote this book. We want to invite you to pre-order your copy today and see prayer become a foundational aspect of your marriage. Do you ever find yourself not having the words to pray or know what to pray for when it comes to your spouse and your marriage? Do you feel nervous or uncomfortable praying with your spouse? Do you desire your prayer life to be more consistent and more vibrant? Do you want to pray for your marriage more? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then please visit the marriage gift.com to PR to your book today and give your marriage the gift you will love to open every day.

Jennifer Smith (01:38):

Hey everyone, we’re back for another episode.

Aaron Smith (01:42):

It’s like my little fake drum

Jennifer Smith (01:43):

Should be a fun one. The initial idea was just a kind of fun way to get you guys inspired and encouraged to be thinking about certain areas of your marriage.

Aaron Smith (01:57):

Being reminded. Being reminded. Yeah, I mean marriages, especially as the years go on, I mean, we’ve been married almost 17 years now and that’s not even, I mean, my parents have been married, gosh, in their forties, 40 years or longer, and just you can imagine over the years we can forget some stuff.

Jennifer Smith (02:17):

Sure. Some things we need to forget, which we’ll talk about. That’s

Aaron Smith (02:19):

Probably true.

Jennifer Smith (02:21):

But before we jump in all of that, is there anything new going on with you this week that you want to share? Anything that’s encouraged you or?

Aaron Smith (02:28):

I’ve just been, my main focus lately has been on marketing the new book, just talking about it, preparing stuff, getting all the backend stuff done, and so that’s what I’ve been doing. My head’s been in that space. That’s awesome. So I’m forgetting a lot of other things.

Jennifer Smith (02:44):

Something that was cool that just really touched my heart was a friend of ours, they had a baby recently and they’re going through a bit of crisis with her health and one their family members reached out and said, Hey, let’s all, if whoever wants to join in a fast and prayer on a specific day, and everybody in the church was game. We all wanted to do it. And the morning of, I woke up and felt really encouraged. I was praying and I thought, how cool is it Lord, that everybody’s simultaneously praying specifically for this baby girl? And the Lord was like, I’m going to flip your perspective for a second. I’m using this baby girl to draw many hearts to me right now. And it was really cool. Both are important and it shows how the body, all the individual members of the body work together for the good of the body. And it was just really beautiful

Aaron Smith (03:47):

And how God can use even the littlest member, the weakest member, to open up all of our eyes to bring us to our knees before him to draw us like you said to himself. Yeah.

Jennifer Smith (03:57):

So super

Aaron Smith (03:58):

Cool. That was a good little thing you just shared. Thank you for that.

Jennifer Smith (04:02):

Yeah, other than that, we’re gearing up to start school again. And it was funny, I put some of the kids’ newer school books and math and everything in there were little boxes where we organize our homeschool stuff and they’ve already jumped to it and I feel like we haven’t even really had a break in summer because we lingered with last year’s math and language arts and stuff. And so they’ve only been off for a couple of weeks and they wanted to jump right back in it. I was like, you guys, we start next week. Just wait. They’re excited though.

Aaron Smith (04:34):

That’s awesome. What’s one of the big focuses you’re going to focus on this year?

Jennifer Smith (04:39):

There’s a couple of our kids who just aren’t confident with reading. I feel like I’ve given them the tools and I feel like they can do it, but they’re not quick or excited to jump into reading on their own. And so that’s a big goal for me this year.

Aaron Smith (04:54):

It’s probably genetic. I wasn’t very confident in my reading skills either.

Jennifer Smith (05:00):

I get that. I just need to bring some fun, unfortunately

Aaron Smith (05:01):

For me.

Jennifer Smith (05:02):

And then also I feel like with our older kids, just really encouraging the independent learning where they can, areas of school that maybe they can show some initiative in just doing, because I know that they can.

Aaron Smith (05:18):

I’m excited for this year. I think they’re going to all grow a lot.

Jennifer Smith (05:21):

One aspect is we’re switching Elliot to an online math curriculum, which I’ve never introduced anything like technology based with our kids. And so there was a part of you that was like, no, let’s not do that. But we agreed that moving forward it’s actually good because they live in a technology filled world to give them

Aaron Smith (05:44):

Healthy opportunities to experience technology in a safe way.

Jennifer Smith (05:49):

It’s just a new aspect to me as a teacher. I dunno how it’s going to go. I’ve never done that before, so just interesting stuff.

Aaron Smith (05:56):

That’s good. Something that I know a lot of our listeners probably know this we mentioned in the past, but we do home church, so we don’t go to a regular building. A lot of people do, which is totally fine also, but we do it in our homes and we’ve been hosting church how many months? Three months? Yeah,

Jennifer Smith (06:14):

We did throughout the summer.

Aaron Smith (06:15):

Yeah, three months in our home. And one cool aspect of our home church is we take turns, we’ll switch houses for periods of time and we just got done doing that, so we’re going to be switching to someone else’s house. But it’s a really cool thing that we get to do because everyone in the church, not everyone, but many people in the church get opportunities to serve the church in that way.

Jennifer Smith (06:35):

It’s a little bit layered and serving and showing hospitality and preparing ahead of time and providing that space for everyone. It just takes a lot. So we’re always grateful when things get switched up a little bit. But we had fun. It’s been fun here.

Aaron Smith (06:52):

Yep.

Jennifer Smith (06:52):

It’s good for the kids too. They wake up early and they put all the chairs out and our music binders and things

Aaron Smith (06:58):

Like that, they get to help set church up, which is really cool

Jennifer Smith (07:02):

With us talking about church. And for everyone listening, I just want to encourage you guys, we want to encourage you guys that church is such an integral part of our faith and being able to fellowship on a weekly, regular basis, I’ve just seen so much benefit not only in our family and our life and the support, the encouragement, the prayer, everything that it provides, but also when you’re in fellowship and there’s needs that people have and you’re able to just jump right in because you know them. You’ve been walking with them, you see them regularly, you love them, you love them, and it’s a huge support system. And so if you’re listening right now and maybe you’ve been out for a while, you haven’t been really connecting, we just want to encourage you to find a local community, local church that you can be participating in and fellowshipping with because we all need each other.

Aaron Smith (07:57):

I totally agree. And it’s also not just we should do it just because good for us, but God desires us and commands us as his people to be in fellowship with one another. So we should be looking if you don’t have a church, if you don’t have a fellowship to find one and to look for people who love God and love his word. Amen. The last thing I want to bring up before we get into the topic is the pre-launch for our new devotional is going really well. I just want to praise God for that. That’s awesome. We were in the top selling new releases on Amazon already for over a week and it doesn’t even come out until October. I just want to share with everyone because anyone that’s been listening to our podcast, you’re one of the reasons they did that. So I just want to thank you. God is so good. And if you haven’t already pre-order the book, we want to again ask you to do that and participate in this book launch, not only to bless your marriage, but also to get the word out about this book because the more people that ranking for the book gets better on Amazon and more people see it. So you can go to the marriage gift.com, which will take you straight to the book.

Jennifer Smith (09:05):

So let’s jump into today’s content.

Aaron Smith (09:11):

We wanted to mention how we just recorded a podcast with

Jennifer Smith (09:15):

Liz Bagwell from Rhythm Restoration. So that episode should be coming out soon and we’ll share it with you guys when it gets released. I love that she uses her background in science. She was in it for two decades and she mixes it with her faith and as she shares on her podcast, that’s the way she’s getting the message out. I just love

Aaron Smith (09:36):

That talking about how biology and science just confirms things

Jennifer Smith (09:41):

That we did in his world. What God. Yeah. I love that. When we were thinking about this episode, even though it was going to be a more lighthearted episode, I was like, oh, we should try and draw in some of the science for it.

Aaron Smith (09:52):

We’re science professionals, we might as well. No, but we do love learning.

Jennifer Smith (09:56):

We do love learning and we love that you guys love to listen to us. So you get to learn with us. We just pulled a few things out that we were going to share with you guys today. So on top of the 20 things you should never forget in marriage, maybe you’ll also retain some of this information for why, I don’t know,

Aaron Smith (10:16):

Maybe they’ll remember what we’re talking about with memory.

Jennifer Smith (10:19):

Okay, so in the simplest of terms, memory is the way we store and retrieve information. Wikipedia says it’s the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action,

Aaron Smith (10:32):

Which is kind of what I was talking about at the beginning of the episode or what you were I should say, is that’s the purpose. God designed memory into us.

Jennifer Smith (10:41):

What we said was to remember is to apply the lessons of the past to the circumstances of today.

Aaron Smith (10:47):

A simple example of that is, and we learned this as children, things that hurt us. So fire burns, you remember that for a long time. It’s got a very visceral response in our body, and so our flesh learns real early. I should not touch fire. That does not feel good, right?

Jennifer Smith (11:06):

Okay. So then John’s Hopkins medicine says, according to scientists, memories are formed as a result of connections between neurons in the brain. New connections or synapses are formed. Each time a new activity is learned, the more a person participates in a particular activity, the stronger the synapses and associated memories tied to the activity become,

Aaron Smith (11:28):

Which that’s a good reminder and a warning, the kinds of things that we do over and over again.

Jennifer Smith (11:34):

I

Aaron Smith (11:34):

Was thinking about that they become things that our minds remember. They call ’em neural pathways, and the more that pathway is trampled on, the easier that pathway is to walk. There’s a book I read a long time ago that talked about this for a specific subject, but doing things over and over again is a very powerful way of remembering something could be good and bad.

Jennifer Smith (11:59):

So for a good example, I mean this is just really simple, but everybody will probably have a memory flood them right now. But just think of grandma’s house. Everybody going to grandma’s house has that memory of what it looked like, what it felt like, that bold candy or that blue carpet or the way it smelled. I don’t know the things that you did with grandma when you visited.

Aaron Smith (12:19):

My grandpa had a very specific clone. I think it was Stetson, and it was the only one he ever wore, and so he always smelled like Stetson.

Jennifer Smith (12:28):

See? So our memories are very interesting. As I was doing a little bit of research for this episode too, of just how the science community has tried to in a way dissect, okay, what is memory? And then define it. It still seems like such a mysterious thing. It’s kind of like when I think about a computer, how is a machine doing all of this? What you see visually?

Aaron Smith (12:55):

It’s kind of

Jennifer Smith (12:55):

Strange.

Aaron Smith (12:56):

I was thinking the same thing that even though they can explain maybe how it works, like, oh, it’s neurons being formed, but I don’t think they can still understand how our brain is actually storing. We can all have images and we can remember smells and sounds and where does that exist? How does that exist in the neurons in our brain? It’s

Jennifer Smith (13:19):

Crazy. But as they try to grasp for how exactly it all works, they have defined a few things for us. So I thought I would just share what some of these things are. So working memory is that short-term, smaller capacity of recalling information. It’s kind of what helps you make a quick decision or make a behavior, choose a behavior. Explicit memory is the more long-term recollection or awareness through associations. So those are the two main, what memory is, and then they break it down even further. So there’s episodic memory, which is your everyday experiences, what you remember, what your house is like, or where you put things

Aaron Smith (14:05):

In the middle of the night when it’s pitch black in my room, I could walk from my side of my bed all the way to the bathroom and not hit any walls

Jennifer Smith (14:12):

I have, and

Aaron Smith (14:12):

It’s pitch

Jennifer Smith (14:12):

Black, but yes, I can reach from my phone in one take and grab it. Oh, there you go. And then semantic memory are like, think of fact flashcards, general knowledge.

Aaron Smith (14:24):

Yeah. This one flashcards. I’m not good at that.

Jennifer Smith (14:27):

You actually are. This is all those random bits of information.

Aaron Smith (14:31):

Is that what this would count

Jennifer Smith (14:33):

As? Yeah, yeah. How many bones the human body has, those kinds of, that one. No, but you do know a lot of facts. You’re that guy at the Yes, that’s a hard one. You’re the guy at the party where you’ll be in a conversation with someone and you just start spinning

Aaron Smith (14:47):

Back. If it’s about a movie, maybe movie

Jennifer Smith (14:49):

Quotes,

Aaron Smith (14:51):

Or I do a really good time or do a good job of remembering useless facts. I have a lot of storage for that. Yeah,

Jennifer Smith (15:00):

Well, that would be there. So then procedural memory is how we do things. So the procedure of it, playing a guitar, something like that, riding a bike, and then sensory memory, which is sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, all of that. Okay.

Aaron Smith (15:19):

So when I say I have a bad memory, really, I just have parts of my memory that are bad. I’m looking at these, I’m like, okay, some of these, I’m not that great with explicit memory. Yeah, yeah. The long-term recollection of things I’m not

Jennifer Smith (15:32):

Good at. I wish that I was better, but that’s one of the reasons we wanted to do this episode is I think we all are aware of how our memory can be good or bad, and for many of us, we probably just need to work on it a little bit, which is the encouragement that we actually can help our memory. This one vlogger I was watching was saying, if you’re healthy and you get good rest and sleep, which is huge for memory and the way that our brains process information, eating good brain foods, challenging our brain to work, to remember

Aaron Smith (16:05):

Repetition, working that muscle out.

Jennifer Smith (16:06):

Yeah, it’s like a muscle. It creates those neural pathways, which you already mentioned, and it can be made stronger. So the encouragement today for all of us listening is we just wanted to inspire each other to work better at having a good memory because, and we’ll talk about it in a minute. There are things, especially in marriage that we need to remember. So before we get there, why do we forget? Why are there things that we forget?

Aaron Smith (16:35):

As hard as it’s for me to explain how we even remember things, why we might forget those things. Where does it go? I don’t know.

Jennifer Smith (16:43):

There are some things that I really want to remember, even just silly, but lyrics to a song, I’m like, sometimes they stick glue first time right away. Other times I’m like, I can’t

Aaron Smith (16:55):

See song lyrics, things like that. I would say I’ve never been good at it, but I also don’t care.

Jennifer Smith (17:01):

Yeah. Well, I think caring is a big part of why we forget things.

Aaron Smith (17:06):

Is there an initial desire of like, oh, I want to be good at this thing, or I enjoy this thing, or I want to recall this for the future. So people that work in specific careers or fields like

Jennifer Smith (17:21):

The

Aaron Smith (17:22):

Medical field, they focus on this one thing, they want to be the best at it. So they start retaining things in that area, and I would imagine they probably forget other things that have nothing to do with that.

Jennifer Smith (17:33):

It’s like your brain, let’s go of the non-essential in a way to make room to them. Yeah. Okay. So do you think that our memory is unlimited or that there is a capacity?

Aaron Smith (17:47):

Well, mine’s very limited, but I don’t

Jennifer Smith (17:50):

Think that’s true, Aaron.

Aaron Smith (17:52):

I think God’s pretty incredible and he’s made our brains to be miraculous. I mean, there’s people that, there’s a word for it in here, I can’t see on the, oh, is it hyper thia?

Jennifer Smith (18:05):

Hyper thia

Aaron Smith (18:06):

Have perfect recollection.

Jennifer Smith (18:08):

Yeah. But okay, so that is when somebody can recall something perfectly.

Aaron Smith (18:14):

So there’s some people’s brains,

Jennifer Smith (18:16):

Like everything, every experience, every fact, everything they

Aaron Smith (18:18):

Can look at, they can hold it all. So I would imagine this probably our brains are probably capable of remembering quite a bit.

Jennifer Smith (18:25):

So I think that’s true. But can we just talk about there are people in the world that have this condition, esia, but I think it would be more of a curse. I mean as far as we want good memory, but we don’t want to remember everything because think about it, there’s even traumatic or hard situations that you’ve experienced. Let’s say that you’ve forgiven someone who’s hurt you. We tend to be able to forget what has happened. But for someone who can’t, that would be really hard.

Aaron Smith (18:58):

Well, a thought I just had is we were just reading Genesis one to the kids this morning and we were talking about how man is made in God’s image and God is eternal. And it even talks about how the amount of thoughts he has towards us that we don’t know and that we’ve been in his mind from even before we were born. So if you think about, so we’re made in his image, he’s made us able to have memory. I mean, he has eternal knowledge. Is it memory or is it just a constant state of knowing? But he knows all. He remembers all. And then later on he even says, but he forgets our sin. He does not see it anymore. Which is an amazing concept to think that God the creator who has all knowledge, all memory, all he knows all this stuff, we’ll let go of some of that intentionally so that we can have a relationship with him through Christ. Listen to what it says in Jeremiah 31 34, and no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother saying, know the Lord. For they shall all know me from the least of them to the greatest declares the Lord for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sins no more.

Jennifer Smith (20:13):

That’s pretty awesome.

Aaron Smith (20:15):

So he’s choosing to forget our sins in Christ, which is amazing.

Jennifer Smith (20:21):

When we were doing the notes for this episode, there was two movies that stood out to me. One of ’em was Inside Out, which

Aaron Smith (20:32):

The Pixar animated film.

Jennifer Smith (20:33):

Yeah. I thought that was a really creative way to put in picture form an explanation of how the mind works for kids. I don’t know, did you like that movie? I loved it. I thought it was really cool. And then the other one was Remembering Frozen two. Everyone’s like, no, don’t say that when Olaf is talking about how water has memory. And I just thought that was really funny. And then the whole time, me and my kids were talking about it, mom, does water actually have memory? We’re like,

Aaron Smith (21:01):

We don’t know.

Jennifer Smith (21:03):

Anyways, has nothing to do with what we’re talking about today, but here we go. Okay, so we were talking about, so why, yeah, why do we forget? Why do we forget? So if you guys want the scientific terms, there’s three different ways we forget things. The first one is passive osce essence.

Aaron Smith (21:22):

So obliviousness,

Jennifer Smith (21:24):

It’s, it’s just the fading of information. It’s just like, I don’t know where it went. I can’t recall it. There’s one called Targeted Forgetting, which is when, so already mentioned, but at night when you get rest, our brains are processing all the information that we gathered that day and it’s basically throwing out for us or purging the information that it thinks we don’t need.

Aaron Smith (21:46):

Man, how does our brain decide what that is?

Jennifer Smith (21:48):

I dunno. And then the third one is motivated forgetting, which you kind of just brought up with the Lord in this very intentional, I’m going to forget this, I’m not going to remember it anymore. And for us, intentionally suppressing information helps us to specifically regulate emotions tied to those things.

Aaron Smith (22:07):

So suppressing bad memories like, oh, I don’t like that. I don’t want to think about that anymore. Yeah. Okay.

Jennifer Smith (22:13):

So those are the three ways we forget things in case you guys ever wanted to know.

Aaron Smith (22:18):

That’s crazy. So I mentioned how I have a bad memory, but you keep telling me I don’t have a bad memory.

Jennifer Smith (22:25):

I am sure everybody gets frustrated with their inability to remember things at times, but I think overall you actually do have a very sharp memory.

Aaron Smith (22:32):

There’s certain kinds of memories I’m better at. For some reason. I don’t have a great long-term memory from my past as a child. Not that I think I’m suppressing anything on purpose. I just think I haven’t remembered a lot of stuff. But you’re right, there’s other kinds of things that I’m good at remembering like facts and different ideas and concepts and a lot of biblical stuff. I feel like a lot of that’s stuck with me for some reason.

Jennifer Smith (22:56):

I will say that because I’ve had the opportunity to do interviews with you or talking to other people and just meeting new people. Your timeline doesn’t always add up dates, dates of things or when things happen. And I

Aaron Smith (23:11):

Don’t know why that is, maybe because my memory compresses everything so much.

Jennifer Smith (23:15):

I’ve been in a conversation with you where we’re rolling through what the next year is going to look like and it’ll be September and you’re like, so what’s next month? January? And I’m like, what?

Aaron Smith (23:24):

Yeah, I don’t have enough room in my mind for all this information. It’s useless about normal things. It’s just funny. So this is a good episode for me to be thinking about Pay attention, Erin, because simple things like my kids’ birthdays. I know that sounds funny, but if you were ask me what my kids’ birthdays are on the spot, I’m going to stumble.

Jennifer Smith (23:42):

No, you’re going to say, Jen, what was that?

Aaron Smith (23:44):

Yeah, I can be, I think it’s in December. And I’ll say, Wyatt, what day is your birthday? All my kids know their birthdays,

Jennifer Smith (23:50):

But you just admitted five minutes ago or something like that, maybe 20. I dunno that there’s some things we don’t remember because we just don’t care. Do you feel like there’s parts of what we’re talking about that you’re like, well, I just haven’t cared enough about those things? Well,

Aaron Smith (24:06):

Yes, I think in some sense, not that I don’t care about my kids’ birthdays. I think it’s like I haven’t put the care into remembering them, storing those like, oh, I’m going to need that in the future. But I have done that. So one of the things I do is I’ve put all the birthdays in my calendar

Jennifer Smith (24:21):

And it tells you

Aaron Smith (24:22):

Which the simple act of adding them in my calendar and then them coming up helps solidify those in my brain. But yeah, so I’ve tried. There’s things like a long time ago, a friend of ours did this whole demonstration. We had a marriage ministry and there was probably what, 50 leaders or so, 30 leaders or so. And he wanted to, at a leadership training, he wanted to show how we can all be good people who are good name remembers. If you ever talk to someone I used say, I’m not good at remembering names. Yeah, okay. I used to say that. And he started off with saying, stop saying you’re not good at remembering names. And I’m like, oh, so I should just say something better. We talked about positive affirmations a few episodes ago. So I stopped saying immediately, I’m bad at remembering names and I don’t say that to people anymore. And what happens is you actually start to remember better when you tell yourself you can remember people’s names. Well,

Jennifer Smith (25:18):

Also you’re intentional about trying to remember people’s names, and so you’ll immediately repeat their name or you’ll say it a few times, I’ve seen you do this. So that’s part of the working the muscle where you actually can work on your memory.

Aaron Smith (25:29):

He went around the room and he said every single person’s name out of all 50 of us in a circle without skipping a beat. And I couldn’t have named two thirds of the room. I mean, I knew them in passing, but I didn’t have close relationships with all these people. So he gave tips on repeat their name when you first meet them, say it several times in the sentence in a sentence while you’re talking to them. And then something I also practice is when it comes to names is even if I think I’m going to say their name wrong, I say it. And so what that does is that gets me in this confidence of like, oh no, I do know their name. And then they’re like, no, it’s not that. I’m like, Ooh, but I was really close. Or I’ll say, that was actually the first name I was going to say, but I didn’t say it. I wasn’t confident. But yeah, so there’s definitely ways we can get better at remembering things.

Jennifer Smith (26:16):

Well, should we jump into the list?

Aaron Smith (26:19):

Yeah. This is 20 things. It’s

Jennifer Smith (26:21):

Not an exhaustive list, but it is an interesting list we came up for you to share just to get your minds wrapped around marriage and maybe things that you haven’t been thinking about lately, or maybe you can use this as a time to evaluate, am I being intentional to remember these things and why is it important? So why don’t you kick us off with the first

Aaron Smith (26:41):

One. So definitely do not forget your anniversary. Is that a simple one? Never. Yeah, this seems funny, but this is a common thing, not that we don’t know about our anniversary, but life gets busy. We’re not paying attention days past eight weeks past, we we’re busy, things are happening. You could be in a season of just being overwhelmed, a season of lots of planning, a season of lots of execution, and then you’re like, oh no, is my anniversary next week? And you’re like, ah. Or you just forget altogether.

Jennifer Smith (27:13):

Why is it important to remember your anniversary?

Aaron Smith (27:15):

Well, it’s just a conscious decision to remember to celebrate your anniversary, to remembering. I was going to say, to celebrate something important to your spouse. And I would even say, so one of the tips we give is set an alarm, of course, like I did with my kids’ birthdays. But I would say set alarm a month in advance

Jennifer Smith (27:35):

To give yourself time to prepare.

Aaron Smith (27:37):

Then you can schedule out a dinner. You can figure out flowers,

Jennifer Smith (27:40):

Because really we’re, don’t forget your anniversary. We’re saying don’t forget to celebrate your anniversary, which is even more intentional of getting her those flowers or getting him that gift, whatever it is,

Aaron Smith (27:52):

Or making sure to, there’s that restaurant that you’ve been wanting to go to, but it’s always booked and you’re never booking it out far enough in advance.

Jennifer Smith (27:58):

Get that babysitter. Yeah, go have fun. All the things. All the things. Okay, two, number two, don’t forget to go the distance to gift your love to your spouse. So again, maybe not all the time, are you talking about

Aaron Smith (28:11):

Giving gifts or gifting your love? As in it

Jennifer Smith (28:14):

Could look different for everybody, but I think the message here is don’t forget to love on them. And it could look like giving a gift. It could just look like a loving gesture, but loving them, loving on them,

Aaron Smith (28:31):

Remembering that you do love them. Yeah, I mean, again, this sounds simple, but we become ships that pass in the night. Sometimes we’re doing our things and we forget.

Jennifer Smith (28:42):

And the reason we say go the distance is because I think sometimes even the smaller gestures or the easy ones, it’s like, okay, those are even on autopilot. You can do that. Say, I love you in passing or whatever, but if you’re going the distance, you’re really putting some thoughtfulness to it, and I think we need that in marriage. Yeah.

Aaron Smith (29:02):

Number three, don’t forget to kiss.

Jennifer Smith (29:05):

What

Aaron Smith (29:07):

Do we forget to kiss sometimes? Yeah, a lot. Actually, we actually talked about this the other night. I was like, we should just do a challenge. We’re going to kiss every day. And we immediately forgot. We’re like, wait, we looked at each other. It was like the next day or two days later and we’re like, oh, we didn’t even do that. That thing we just said we were

Jennifer Smith (29:26):

Going to do. I like your note here. It says, don’t shoot straight for the prize without warming things up throughout the day.

Aaron Smith (29:31):

If you’re married, we’re talking

Jennifer Smith (29:32):

About you need to flirt. Yeah,

Aaron Smith (29:35):

It’s amazing how powerful this one thing can be that throughout the day, taking a moment, there’s challenges out there. Like kiss for more than three seconds, kiss for five seconds. Have a real kiss, not just a peck on the lips, but make out with your wife, make out with your husband. It’s an amazing thing. Amazing way to connect physically throughout the day. That’s not necessarily sexual. I mean, it’s sexual, but it’s not, if that makes sense.

Jennifer Smith (30:02):

So number four would be don’t forget to affirm each other often. I mean, we all need it.

Aaron Smith (30:08):

And if you want to learn about affirmation, go back a few episodes ago and listen to our episode on affirmation.

Jennifer Smith (30:14):

Do it. Give that encouragement, send that verse, send that text, write a letter, call them. But we all need that affirmation. We all struggle with the temptation to have insecurities, doubts, frustrations, and we need to be encouraged on a daily basis. So don’t forget to do that for each other.

Aaron Smith (30:30):

Number five, don’t forget your spouse does not exist just to serve you,

Jennifer Smith (30:37):

But that’s why I got married.

Aaron Smith (30:39):

Yeah, they’re not there. Like, oh, my wife needs to just be making me happy, needs to be serving me all the time. My husband needs to be just, that’s not what your spouse is there for and it’s a part of it. Serving you is definitely a part of their role as your

Jennifer Smith (30:52):

Spouse. I’m going to add to this one just because for me, I know that I struggle with this, that it’s not a matter of you serving me per se, but it is. There’s you love

Aaron Smith (31:01):

Me serving you.

Jennifer Smith (31:02):

I do love you serving me, but there’s also just this overall codependency on you that if you want to hang out with your guy, friends, I get this. Well, why don’t you want to hang out with me? Why don’t you come work from home? Why don’t you be close to me? This constant need for your presence, your affection, your help, help, it’s all of it. So it’s not just even serving, it’s just all of it.

Aaron Smith (31:24):

So to add to that, I put some notes here. They’re your friend, they’re your partner, they’re your lover, they’re helper, your helper, your teammate, all of these things.

Jennifer Smith (31:35):

But they also are an individual, and so I think we should be mindful of how we are

Aaron Smith (31:45):

Being thoughtful of their

Jennifer Smith (31:46):

Yeah,

Aaron Smith (31:47):

Personhood. Thank you.

Jennifer Smith (31:48):

Their humanity there. I can’t give this out. What do they need?

Aaron Smith (31:50):

What do

Jennifer Smith (31:51):

They need? Yeah, thinking about the other person. That’s good. Okay, number six, don’t forget you are still dating. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook

Aaron Smith (32:00):

Here. No, dating only happened while we were dating.

Jennifer Smith (32:02):

I did love dating you. That was fun. You still dating, but being married, it’s still fun, is still fun. Couples don’t like to be on autopilot or feel like they’re roommates. We kind of already mentioned that, but if you need to schedule a date night, if you need to make it more routine, just to be familiar with that and remember it, do that if you need to. But don’t forget that you guys are still dating and you need that time together.

Aaron Smith (32:29):

Number seven, don’t forget your spouse has weaknesses and breaking points. That’s a good one. I mean, for husband specifically, the Bible tells us that our wives are fragile, that they are find China, that the Bible says the weaker vessel, and it’s not putting them beneath us. What that’s doing is that it’s explaining that they have weaknesses, they are fragile and that we need to handle them with care. And so remembering, and husbands too have, as men, we have emotional breaking points. We have mental breaking points, not that we’re having emotional breakdowns and mental breakdowns, but I mean some people actually do. But recognizing that we have kind

Jennifer Smith (33:10):

Of, we’re not superhuman.

Aaron Smith (33:11):

We can’t handle everything all the time and do all of the things perfectly. So just remember that your spouse, that they have weaknesses and breaking points.

Jennifer Smith (33:23):

And I’d love to add, I keep adding notes. Sorry, I’m making this in an even longer list, but with this one, if your spouse has communicated to you that they are at a breaking point or they are feeling emotional or sensitive for whatever reason, and maybe they told you that and now we’re on the next day, don’t forget, remember that they just told you that because you might start the day off feeling great, and they’re still stuck in this low place. And if you forget, you’re going to meet them in that place of tension. I’m saying this because it’s happened to us and it happened recently, never where I was feeling down and in a hard place, and I had communicated that to you, and then the next day there was a moment

Aaron Smith (34:13):

Where I can just move on. Life’s normal.

Jennifer Smith (34:14):

Yeah, move on. Life’s normal. And I felt rushed and frustrated over the way that you had communicated with me, and I could have walked with you in a little bit better grace, but you have weaknesses, but I have weaknesses. And so I guess my note here is just that when your spouse does communicate or you just see it, remember that it doesn’t just go away in a day. Sometimes it takes time. So I hope I explain that well, I’m sorry.

Aaron Smith (34:45):

Number eight. Don’t forget the plans they made.

Jennifer Smith (34:48):

This is huge. Well, because I don’t know if this is a husband and wife thing, everyone can relate to this, but I’ll plan something and I’ll share, Hey, this thing’s coming up. Hey, this thing’s coming up. Hey, this thing’s here.

Aaron Smith (35:05):

Well, sometimes you don’t share the plan. That’s true. I find out the day of the plan, so that doesn’t count. But there are times that you do tell me,

Jennifer Smith (35:14):

I think we both do it to each other,

Aaron Smith (35:15):

But just not planning over each other, being thoughtful, like, oh, I think something happened again, having a family calendar.

Jennifer Smith (35:22):

Well, we finally had to because we were doing this to each other actually. Yeah,

Aaron Smith (35:27):

You had your own calendar. Had my own calendar. I was like, no, this is happening today. You’re like, Nope, this is happening today. I

Jennifer Smith (35:31):

Remember this. Okay,

Aaron Smith (35:32):

Double booking our families,

Jennifer Smith (35:34):

Which I’ve been getting more and more. When ads or Instagram suggest things to you or Facebook suggests things to you, there’s this company out there that makes a family calendar that sits on your counter, and it’s all digital, like digitized, but it’s pretty cool. I don’t know what it’s called. Okay. It exists,

Aaron Smith (35:57):

But now everyone listening to this is going to start getting that ad on their Facebook, so you’re welcome. Okay, number nine.

Jennifer Smith (36:06):

Number nine, don’t forget to follow through because your word is part of integrity. You’re either walking in it or you’re choosing not to. And this is a big deal in marriage because we hurt each other when we don’t follow through with what we say we’re going to

Aaron Smith (36:18):

Do. This is a big deal in parenting. Yeah. How many times do we tell our kids, oh, tomorrow night for something? Our kids are always like, will you snuggle me every night? They want us to snuggle. We’re like, well, we can’t tonight. They’re like, will you do tomorrow? If you tell them yes, make sure you follow through that. Okay. Number 10, don’t forget the boundaries.

Jennifer Smith (36:39):

Any boundaries. All boundaries. All boundaries. Everything. Yeah. So social media dealing with the opposite sex in-laws.

Aaron Smith (36:46):

Money. Money. Yeah. Whatever boundaries you guys have set, whatever boundaries, the word is set. Remember those boundaries,

Jennifer Smith (36:55):

And this will protect your marriage if you walk in.

Aaron Smith (36:58):

That’s what boundaries are for. Yeah. Can you go to the zoo? Do you go over the boundaries? No, into the lion’s cage, but I’ve

Jennifer Smith (37:04):

Thought about it now.

Aaron Smith (37:06):

A lot of people have, and there’s lots of videos about that, but boundaries, they’re literally meant for. They’re to show what’s your territory and to keep you safe from outside that

Jennifer Smith (37:17):

Territory.

Aaron Smith (37:17):

Good thing. Yeah.

Jennifer Smith (37:17):

Thing number 11, don’t forget to walk spiritually together. It’s not just going to happen magically. You have to be doing it, and you have to be checking in on each other. Ask each other. Have you been reading the word? Have you been digging in? What have you been learning? What has God been teaching you? And prayer is a part of that. Do you want to pray together? Have you been praying? What’s that like?

Aaron Smith (37:39):

That’s a major one. Should have been number one, should have been number one. Number 12, don’t forget what attracted you to each other. I think this is a big one.

Jennifer Smith (37:49):

It’s good. What attracted you to each other back then? When you said, I do, but also what

Aaron Smith (37:55):

A attracts you to each other now?

Jennifer Smith (37:56):

Yeah, because things change. I’ll say develop over time a

Aaron Smith (38:00):

Person. Are you saying we get older and

Jennifer Smith (38:03):

Change? Our character gets even stronger and better.

Aaron Smith (38:07):

Sometimes we change for the better. Sometimes we change for the worse. No, we’re working on it. But there’s always something to look to, always something to remember and say, oh, you know, I actually love this, this

Jennifer Smith (38:16):

Much better. The reasons why we love each other. Number 13, don’t forget you already forgave them. This is when you don’t need to remember

Aaron Smith (38:26):

Everything. This is one of the things we should forget. When the Bible says love keeps no record of wrongs.

Jennifer Smith (38:32):

Exactly. Yeah,

Aaron Smith (38:33):

Yeah, yeah. If we say forgive, because we should, we’re commanded to, and yet we bring that thing up every single time. Then did you really forgive? And this is a hard one for us. We’ve talked about this in the past about forgiveness and repentance, and

Jennifer Smith (38:50):

I think if the Lord’s willing to forgive us and remember our sins no more, we need to be able to walk like that in marriage.

Aaron Smith (38:58):

And it’s exactly what Jesus tells us to do that we must forgive each other. So yeah. Number 14, don’t forget you sin two. Ouch.

Jennifer Smith (39:08):

So when you’re in that heated moment or feeling frustrated by your spouse because their sin has affected you and hurt you and hurt your marriage, just remember you have sin too.

Aaron Smith (39:21):

Yeah, we all do. And not that we should ever overlook sin because of that, as in like don’t say anything, but having that understanding, that base foundation of like, well, you’re a sinner. I’m a sinner. Helps you forgive, helps you reconcile, helps you walk in truth and in love. So it’s just, remember, we all have sin. What is it first? John says, if anyone says they do not have sin, they’re a liar. Liar. And the truth is not in them. Yeah.

Jennifer Smith (39:45):

Crazy. Okay. Number 15, I like this one. Don’t forget to do things together and not just make plans separately. Sometimes we can get in a mode of like, oh, here’s a free pocket of time. I’m going to go do this thing over here. And then the next day she says, I’m going to take this time over here. And then eventually you guys realize

Aaron Smith (40:02):

Months have gone by and you only do things alone.

Jennifer Smith (40:04):

Yeah. Don’t do that.

Aaron Smith (40:05):

Doing things alone is it could be necessary sometimes. Sure. There’s times that I go watch a movie by myself, but I don’t do that often, but a lot of the stuff we do together,

Jennifer Smith (40:15):

That’s good. Number 16, don’t forget to have fun

Aaron Smith (40:19):

Together.

Jennifer Smith (40:21):

I feel like I have to remind you of this one. Sometimes

Aaron Smith (40:24):

I do. I have to do this, especially with my kids, with you. Sometimes I’m just, I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s genetic the way I was raised. Maybe

Jennifer Smith (40:32):

Some personalities

Aaron Smith (40:33):

Have a hard time having, but I have to tell myself like, no, have fun right now. Don’t be a stick in the mud. That’s what I have to tell myself.

Jennifer Smith (40:41):

So maybe you listening needed to hear that. Don’t forget to have fun.

Aaron Smith (40:44):

Number 17, don’t forget to explore together. We’ve talked about this a lot. I think it’s one of our favorite things to do is explore and adventure together. Well, and

Jennifer Smith (40:53):

Especially just to bring it back up, we’ve already mentioned couples don’t like to be on autopilot, and it’s so easy to find yourself there where you’re just kind of going through the motions. If you’re week to week is feeling boring or tedious or monotonous, which by the way, in our notes, I had look. Yeah, look at this. I had to look at how to spell up monotonous. It’s not a word I use all the time. Oh, man. I spelled it like four different ways.

Aaron Smith (41:16):

Minton,

Jennifer Smith (41:17):

Min

Aaron Smith (41:18):

Ous, min Minot.

Jennifer Smith (41:21):

Anyways, here’s your word. Ready? Go. Go. Have fun. Go explore. Go do something. This is your permission.

Aaron Smith (41:28):

Okay. Just a quick note. We lived in California for most of our lives and most of California we never explored. Isn’t that silly? There’s so many things in California that people are like, oh, you ever seen? I’m like, no. Have you ever been?

Jennifer Smith (41:40):

No. We’re kind of creatures of habit in the sense that you kind get in your routine of school, work, friends, family,

Aaron Smith (41:48):

We just went neighborhood. We just went for the third or fourth time to Crater Lake here in central Oregon. It’s a national park. It’s beautiful. And we took, my parents and I talked to someone that has lived here their whole lives and has never been to Crater Lake, and it’s only a couple hour drive and it’s beautiful. And so wherever you’re at, you have things around you to go explore and you’re just not thinking about it. Go explore something.

Jennifer Smith (42:12):

Go find what those things are.

Aaron Smith (42:14):

Be the one person that everyone’s like, wow, you’ve done all those things in our area. You’re like, oh yeah, we’ve

Jennifer Smith (42:18):

Done that. And why is it important? Because it draws you guys close together in an experience, and you’re forming that memory. You’re making a memory together of something really spectacular. Maybe it’s something natural that the Lord has made and you get to sit there and be in wonder about it. But maybe it’s just a walk. Maybe it’s just getting outside. Maybe for some of you it’s hard to get outside. I don’t know.

Aaron Smith (42:42):

That’s good. Number 18, we’re almost done. Don’t forget to say I love you. Don’t just assume they know. Tell them often. And the best way to tell someone you love them is by your actions. Show them all the time that you love them.

Jennifer Smith (42:59):

I think with that whole, don’t assume that they know is something where you end up regretting later if something tragic happens or something like nobody’s guaranteed tomorrow, nobody’s guaranteed the next five minutes and you just don’t know. And so it’s really important that we can be mindful of what it means to say I love you, and to say it often and to show it often.

Aaron Smith (43:21):

So a quick little, if you don’t mind me saying, we’re actually working on some children’s books around this topic.

Jennifer Smith (43:30):

If you’ve been following us and listening for a very long time, it’s been years in the making forever. It took us a while to find an artist, and then we found her. And they’re so beautiful, you guys. I’m so excited to

Aaron Smith (43:41):

Share this. They’re almost done. And

Jennifer Smith (43:42):

Then it took time to format, and then we moved, and that was a whole process. And so it got lost in the shuffle, but they’re so close. I’m so excited.

Aaron Smith (43:50):

And we’re not going to say the name of the titles, but it’s around this idea of how to say, I love you.

Jennifer Smith (43:55):

Okay, so that’s coming. Where are we at? What number are we at

Aaron Smith (43:58):

19?

Jennifer Smith (43:59):

19? Don’t forget your vows and the commitment that you made to each other. They’re not just words. They were a declarative promise and we should remember them often. That’s

Aaron Smith (44:08):

Good. Last one, but not least, don’t forget to initiate also. Yeah. Two t o o. Don’t forget to

Jennifer Smith (44:18):

Initiate two, be one-sided. So

Aaron Smith (44:19):

Yeah, if the husband or the wife, if one of you is always doing the initiation of sexual intimacy or spiritual intimacy, prayer, intimacy or going on adventures or dating, if there’s one of you that’s kind of doing the moving of that, first of all, kudos to you. Kudos to you. Good job. But don’t let them be the only one doing it. Yeah. Share, initiate. Make it a mutual initiation where you desire to, as the word says, outdo one another in honor that you’re seeking to, you’re like, you initiate, I’m going to initiate more than you, and then you guys do this good fight of initiation. You won’t regret it, I promise. We were just

Jennifer Smith (45:02):

Talking to the kids about the good fight of, we don’t want you guys to argue just for the sake of arguing or fighting, but if you all have said, you may not do each other with kindness, and we’re like, yes. So she gave an example of like, you can go first. You can go first. No, you go first. And I’m like, yeah, that’s kind of arguing. I want to see. Yeah,

Aaron Smith (45:18):

I would love that.

Jennifer Smith (45:19):

Okay, so that’s the list of 20 things you should never forget in marriage, but there’s one more bonus, round bonus. This is so important.

Aaron Smith (45:27):

Bonus 20 plus one,

Jennifer Smith (45:28):

You guys don’t forget to remember what God has done for both of you on the cross and in your relationship, and then reminisce together and think about those things

Aaron Smith (45:38):

Just like he told the people of Israel. Exactly. He wanted them to remember his works for them. Exactly. His efforts in their life, what he has done, because when you remember those things, you worship him and you thank him.

Jennifer Smith (45:50):

Amen. We hope more than anything that this was a fun episode to listen to, but also an encouraging one to not forget some very important things when it comes to our marriage relationships, and not just remember them, but to be intentional about them and do them. Okay, so to close out for the growth spurt, this is the last day of the month, and so in August we’ve been talking about keeping your eyes on the prize and dotting over each other, and so this is the last day to do that. If you guys want to do it, put it in now. I can never do it again. You can never do it again after this. Yeah, just kidding. You have to do it every day because you’re married and being married is awesome.

Aaron Smith (46:24):

And don’t forget to dote over each other.

Jennifer Smith (46:26):

So give a cute glance, a wink, an encouraging word, whatever you want to let them know that they’re your special prize. Hand the lower

Aaron Smith (46:35):

Back. Hold their wait. What? I said a hand on the lower back just to letting ’em know. I

Jennifer Smith (46:39):

Believe they’re going to massage.

Aaron Smith (46:41):

I need that. Oh, a massage would be a good way to do this.

Jennifer Smith (46:44):

All right, so challenge is that’s for you. Do you want to praise?

Aaron Smith (46:48):

Yeah. Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of memory. Thank you for the ability to remember the important things, and remember all that you have done for us. We pray we would grow in our memory. We pray it would grow stronger over time and never deteriorate. Lord, please help us to not just remember what is important, but also be willing to intentionally love each other well as we remember and pursue these things in marriage. We pray our marriage is blessed and that your will is done in us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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