How to Adore Your Spouse with Christa Sterken
Christa many things, always changing. To the outside world she is a wife and mother, a home school teacher, a writer, a photographer. She is deep and always observing, loving and loyal, a truth teller. A friend to walk the journey with.
Ready… Set… Learn!
Could you share with us a senzu bean of wisdom?
I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art. ― Ernst Fischer
Tell us how you started your path to “adore your husband?
There are two reasons.
First, after witnessing the decline of too many friend’s marriages, I started to take stock of how valuable marriage was. The gift of a lifelong partner. I wanted to learn to celebrate that, and teach others to do the same thing.
Second, I grew tired of hearing peers complain about their spouses to each other. I observed how destructive this habit was, as each complaint reminded another person hos discontent “they” were. I resolved to work towards changing this pattern. I started with myself. Becoming aware of the words and attitudes coming from my own mouth. Were they encouraging or discouraging?
How can we Adore our spouses, especially when they’re not adorable?
Ha, forgive my amusement, but honestly…take a look in the mirror.
I found it easy to be hyper critical of my spouse until I learned I had plenty to work on myself! We can’t change another, and I don’t make light of how hard it is to love someone who is far from lovable.
Working on our own self takes the focus off of our imperfect spouse. For me, my relationship with God allowed my love for my husband to grow. The love overflowed and he was the recipient. And, he was drawn to that woman and returned the affection I had desired.
What practical tips do you have for couples to overcome disagreements and fights?
1. Stop trying to have the last word. It only extends the length and severity of a disagreement, because usually the last words just get uglier.
2. Instead of rehearsing the next line of an argument, while your spouse is still talking, concentrate on what they are truly saying. Listen carefully before responding.
3. Try not to assign blame. Exhibit grace, to yourself and your partner, recognizing that a couple is on a journey together. Blaming divides, sometimes irreversibly.
What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced in your marriage and how did you overcome it?
Communication has been the greatest struggle in our marriage.
I want to talk everything out right away and get it settled, like yesterday. My husband is the opposite. He wants to think things out and then sum up his thoughts with as few words as possible. I like tidy endings; that isn’t a priority for him.
We had to learn to really listen to what the other was saying, without assuming we already understood their intent. It has been a long process learning to de-escalate issues before they ballooned out of proportion. He understands now my need to externally process and I respect his need to process internally.
Could you name three books that sky-rocketed your relationship and why you recommend them?
1. Without a doubt, the Bible is number one. It was a major shift as I learned what kind of person God desired for us to be in regards to loving others.
2. A current favorite is What’s It Like to Be Married to Me?: And Other Dangerous Questions by Linda Dillow. Whoowee!!! What a challenge, it is in your face honesty. Challenging and no holds barred topics.
3. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book was instrumental in helping me understand the differences of our needs. What speaks love to one person might be completely different for a spouse. Eye opening.
What would you tell your younger married-self?
What do you think the Christa of 10 years from now, wants to tell you?
Today is a gift, you’ll never again have a chance to love like you did this minute. Slow down and enjoy it.
How can people find out more about you?
My book is a free gift for blog subscribers — Adore: Ideas For Treasuring The Gift of Marriage
They can read about it here, and sign up on the right side of the screen . I don’t mind if you give a copy away to a reader, I can send you the pdf.