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Levi and Jennie Lusko on the Keys to a Happy Marriage

Levi and Jennie Lusko on the Keys to a Happy Marriage

Marriage is comprised of a lot of different things, from good communication to honesty, hard work to intentionality. But according to Levi and Jennie Lusko, there’s one key ingredient that is absolutely vital for every single marriage: fun.

After 19 years of marriage, the Luskos are having more fun than ever. They sit and enjoy each other’s presence, laughing at one another’s jokes. It’s easy to see how they’re not only husband and wife, but also best friends.

This doesn’t mean they have a perfect marriage, something they’re quick to clarify when we sit down to talk. But it does mean they have some insight into what a happy marriage should look like. They shared much of their wisdom in their latest book, The Marriage Devotional, and they also sat down with RELEVANT to further discuss the markers of healthy marriage, how to make positive changes in relationships and how to keep the fun alive.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

RELEVANT: Why did you decide to write “The Marriage Devotional” now?

Levi Lusko: We wanted to write something that we would wanna do. We had done a bunch of different devotionals and then we tried one that was a marriage devotional and it just, it was pretty thin.

I think we both had this light bulb moment of, “the devotional we’re looking for doesn’t exist.” We wanted to give a low barrier devotional that couples could read that’s accessible. The stuff’s on the bottom shelf, you know, you don’t have to have a PhD in anything to read it. And it would be real world.

As the authors, we didn’t pretend like we have some perfect marriage. We fight, we have issues. We’ve worked through a hardship and that was what we wanted to come across in this book.

What advice would you give to a newly married couple?

Jennie: Well, I would just say, first of all, congratulations on the start of something incredible. I mean, it is incredible now, but as you give and as you pour into it, and as years go by and time goes by and you’re practicing good habits and rhythms — what it becomes is even more incredible than you could ever imagine.

We’re going to celebrate 19 years this year and it just gets better, but it also takes work. You’re going to grow and it’s going to be hard and you’re going to mess up. And you’re going to forgive and you’re going to show grace. All of that compounded as you’re focusing on Jesus really does lead to better than what you could have ever imagined.

Levi: We want to be on the poster for marriage is fun. I think a lot of people told us how hard marriage was going to be. And of course there’s hard things to it, but what’s precious that’s not hard? What’s valuable that’s not hard?

Everything we love when we watched the Olympics, that’s people who did hard things. It is hard of course, but it’s also fun and beautiful and we’ve loved it and enjoyed it. We want this book to be one that people are glad to put into the hands of a newly engaged couple or a newly married couple that can point them to, Hey, look, it’s gonna be challenging, but you’re going to have so much fun and beauty that’s going to unfold. You’re going to have someone to laugh with and cry with and grieve with.

We want to also let people know leaving a hard marriage with the promise of going to another one is just like opening up a new bank account because your old bank account was empty. Your new bank account’s gonna get empty, too; you have to invest in it. Then there’s gonna be the accrued interest, compounded over time if you make small, repeated investments. If you do that, it will pay off and you can have a marriage that is wonderful.

You know, marriages that are great are made. So if you don’t like where your marriage is at today, that’s fine. You can begin to do something about that. Chip away at it.

How can someone who is maybe further into their marriage take the first step to make a change?

Jennie: I think it always starts with looking at ourselves. Sometimes we’ll be in an issue or a relationship, and we just see what’s wrong because of what the other person is not doing or doing. So I think it always starts with just a humble assessment of what is going on in my own heart.

It’s always important to focus on me and Jesus first. I think it’s always wise and healthy to look inward and that obviously comes from our relationship with the Lord. And I think we can actually change a lot in our marriage when we start changing things about ourself. Even when your spouse isn’t necessarily on the same page, they don’t see that there’s a need for counseling or see that there’s a need for, for help or change, you can have the responsibility over yourself.

Levi: I also think challenging your expectations. Where do my expectations for them to do this come from? Is it is unrealistic expectations? Am I hoping that they can just read my mind?

You have to ask yourself the question: Have I made my expectations clear to them?

What are the markers of a healthy relationship?

Jennie: Well, I mean, I feel like the first and foremost is if, if Jesus is the center. I mean that’s obvious, but I think when you’re both moving to Him.

Levi: We love the triangle analogy: If two people are moving towards the top of the triangle as opposed to just trying to get close to each other we’re going to, by nature of geometry, end up close to each other.

So that does help. We don’t see Jerry McGuire as the gospel in our marriage. We’re not trying to see her completing me or me  [complete] her. I think it’s an unhealthy marriage when you expect a human being who’s sinful to complete you.

Jennie: When we first started dating, we made it clear we wanted to serve Jesus with our lives. So Jesus is number one. You are number two in that whole situation, but we want to do this together.

I think that’s helpful just to know that you’re individually looking to Jesus. He’s your savior, He’s everything that you need. That’s not coming from your spouse. You actually get to en enjoy and do life together and figure out stuff together, but you’re not looking to them to fill the hole that only Jesus can.

We were talking about earlier about teams, like if we remember that we’re not on opposing teams, we’re actually on the same team. I think that is super helpful as remembering that we’re not trying to keep separate scorecards.

Levi: You know theoretically, no one should want Jenny to become herself more than me. And I think that in marriage you don’t become less of yourself. You become more of yourself, ironically, by losing yourself because two become one.

So in the upside down kingdom, when you approach it with that selfless heart and humility, you end up gaining your life by losing it. And if Christ is at the center, then I think we end up becoming more of ourselves and we’re cheering each other and championing each other on to all that God has for us.

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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