5 Secrets of a For Keeps Marriage

5 Secrets of a For Keeps Marriage

by Hannah Keeley

I remember as a kid, the term “for keeps” was a pretty big deal. It meant that you owned that sucker! Do you know what I mean? If someone gave you something and said you could have it “for keeps,” that meant something and no one could ever take it away.

Marriage is a pretty big deal, too, and the enemy would love nothing more than to snatch it away from you. When we make that commitment, it’s “for keeps.” But if you are feeling a little less like “for keeps,” and a little more like “forget about it,” then maybe you need to know these five little secrets…

***Special note here ~ if you are in an abusive relationship, get out of that pit right the heck now. Respect yourself and your kids enough to step out and let God do some healing ~ in him and in you.***

Now, back to those five little secrets…



1. You are stronger together. Deuteronomy 23:30 tells us that “one can put a thousand to flight, and two can put ten thousand to flight.” This means that our efforts are multiplied when we stand together. It’s no longer two people standing in their own strength. When you are in total agreement, you become a team!  For this reason alone, you need to endeavor to stay in agreement. That means you may need to bite your tongue sometimes and humble yourself to not always be right. In other words, sometimes you gotta shut yo mouth, Mama! And speaking of not being right…

2. You need to be wrong. Here’s the hard truth about it. You have to make a choice. You can be right, or you can do right. It’s really that simple. This ain’t rocket science, Mama! 1 Peter 5:6 tells us to “humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” Do you know what this means? It means that when you always focus on making sure you are respected, acknowledged, and given due credit, then God’s just going to back away and let you have your way. And, most of the time, that just leaves hurt feelings and broken hearts. Be wrong sometimes and leave the vindication up to God. He’s way better at it than you are. And since we’re talking about being better than you…

3. You need to show honor. Honor is not a big word in our culture. You don’t hear much about it, but you should because it’s mighty powerful! What is your spouse good at? Where does he excel? What is he better at than you? As a fellow control freak, I know how hard it is to get my claws out of a situation and leave it up to someone who can do it better. Sometimes you need to just step away and watch him soar. Support him when he fails, and sing his praises when he succeeds. And take it one step further (shhh…this is a “secret” secret) ~ praise him IN FRONT of others. It means so much more. And while we’re on the subject of praising…

4. Be praise-worthy. I know being a mom is tough. I know it’s not always easy to drag out of bed, cook a meal, clean the house, and still look like a red-hot vixen at the end of the day. But, here’s the deal ~ you need to give your man bragging rights. It only takes half an hour to shower and fix yourself up. It takes minutes to swipe on some lipstick and mascara. It takes seconds to spray on perfume. I’m not saying you need to look like a vixen. Just be someone he wants to spend time with. Be a joy to be around. Say words that encourage and build. No, it ain’t always easy, but it’s always worth it! Just a little effort (and sometimes a lot of effort) will always pay off. And speaking of effort…

5. The work is worth it. The biggest work you can put into a marriage is the mind work. And, guess what, it’s the hardest as well. It’s humbling. It’s encouraging. It’s honoring. But you know what? It’s all a matter of practice. And the more practice you put into it, the more automatic it becomes. But there is another form of effort you need to take as well. It’s the little things ~ the love notes in his car, the back rubs in the evening, the cup of coffee you make for him. The little things actually mean a lot. And marriage ain’t no little thing. Let’s make it FOR KEEPS!

Now it’s your turn! I want to know what tips YOU have to make your marriage “for keeps?” Leave your comments below and let’s get this party started!

~ Hannah


Hannah Keeley was once in overwhelmed mom living in a cluttered house, deep in debt, out of shape, and barely hanging on. But one day, after finding herself sobbing uncontrollably into a pile of clean laundry, she realized God has bigger and better plans for her (just like He does for each one of His children). Beginning that day, she began making changes in her life that took her from overwhelmed to overjoyed. Today, she’s helping moms do the same. Hannah, her husband, Blair, and their seven children live in Richmond, Virginia, and are having the time of their lives!

Check out Hannah’s Website Here!

Want more help to create your Crazy Blessed life? I got you! Each episode of my podcast, Crazy Blessed is created to help you live the life God designed you for—a life of abundance. LISTEN NOW!

And if you’re a mom, then you could probably use a little help now and then. Here are some of my free resources that you can use anytime you get a hankering (which is southern for, “when you feel like it”).

Are you a mom who is totally overwhelmed? Feel like you’re at the end of your rope? Do you want to get organized, take control, and create a life you love? Check out my 21-Day Mom Rescue.

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