Lovespiration From Mark + Susan Merrill
Mark and Susan Merrill are seasoned writers who have inspired millions of people over the last 20 years. They are known as a power couple who created Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM along with their personal blogs. On their most recent books, "lists to love for busy couples" they share their secrets and hard learned lessons on how to love each other well through the chaos. They break it down through practical and applicable advice. Love Intently is overjoyed to feature them as our Lovespiration for the week!
1. What is something you wish you knew when you first started dating or got married?
Susan: I wish I had been more realistic in my expectations for marriage. I was in love and thinking only about “for better” not “for worse.”
Mark: What love really is…that it’s all about giving selflessly and sacrificially to my wife.
2. What are a few of your favorite things about your partner?
S: I love that he loves God first. It gives me confidence to know that our love will stand the test of time if we are both looking to God for direction and not to the world.
M: That she lives with purpose each and every day. She is a hard worker and works on things that have eternal significance.
3. What is something your partner does for you that makes you feel loved?
S: He brings me coffee every morning.
M: Her physical closeness and intimacy makes me feel loved.
4. What is something you wish you did more together?
S: I wish we traveled more together for pleasure and less for work.
M: Fun things outdoors and traveling for fun.
5. What is a meaningful memory you have with your partner?
S: I broke up with him with intention when we were dating. Up until that point our relationship had been very on and off. We heard a speaker who said if you are dating you really should be praying together. It made me wonder if that is why our relationship had plateaued and so I asked Mark if we could start praying. He said no. I knew this was wrong and didn’t want to waste any more time on a relationship that was not going anywhere. I told him I couldn’t see him anymore and I stuck to it. Three months later Mark showed up on my doorstep with a pint of my favorite ice cream. When I answered the door all he said was, “do you want to pray?” This is my favorite memory. God was honored by my commitment to stick to what was right at the same time He was working in Mark’s life. We were engaged three months later.
M: Our honeymoon 28 years ago was magical. We had two weeks in Austria and Italy together just playing, laughing and enjoying one another.
6. What characteristic of your spouse do you admire in them?
S: Mark is a fighter. I don’t know how he accomplishes all that he does, but he perseveres until he achieves.
M: Susan is very wise. She’s a creative and strategic thinker. She’s my most trusted adviser.
7. What advice do you have for someone who is afraid to date or get married?
S: Don’t be afraid, be committed. Marriage is about unconditionally loving, sacrificially living, and intentionally committing.
M: Marriage can be challenging, but it can be tremendously fulfilling, meaningful and joyful.
8. Whatʼs something your spouse does that makes you proud?
S: He gave up a lucrative profession (he was a lawyer) to help families love well through Family First.
M: Susan is often coaching our adult children on various things. She really is an amazing teacher.
9. Whatʼs the best relationship advice you ever received?
S: Love your neighbor as yourself.
M: Love your spouse well. That means always give to her selflessly and sacrificially.
10. What advice do you have for the busy couple to stay connected even if their schedule is polar opposite?
S: Get our new books Lists to Love By for Busy Wives and Lists to Love By for Busy Husbands. We are super busy people and we wrote them for you. It is our hope you can take what we learned and your marriage will be better off from the start.
M: Schedule weekly or biweekly date nights together and stick to them.
11. What advice do you have for couples looking to start a business either together or apart? What would you do differently now?
S: That would be another book. We started Family First together 26 years ago. It makes your relationship more complicated. Make sure you can keep your relationship a priority. I sometimes feel like the lines are blurring because we are always working on our family and Family First together!
M: Expectations are key. Make sure you each have clear roles and responsibilities and that you know what to expect of one another.
12. When starting a company itʼs near impossible to work “normal” hours. Whatʼs your rule of thumb for bringing work home?
S: I don't work from home—wish I did!
M: Don’t bring work home unless necessary. And, when you do, try to do that work after your kids have gone to bed so you can be sure to spend a lot of time with them.
13. What are some boundaries or tactics you have implemented in your relationship or business that strengthened your relationship?
S: We do not talk about work at home. It is hard but we stick to it.
M: I’m careful not to travel or have meetings alone with anyone of the opposite sex. It is a boundary I’ve established to keep away from any kind of temptation.
14. What prompted you to write your most recent books? Tell us the heart behind List to Love by for Busy Wives and List to Love By for Busy Husbands.
S: We know from what we see and hear from our Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM and personal blogs what people are struggling with. We want to help them, but people don’t have time to focus on relationships. And many of them haven’t seen good relationships modeled in their families. We put the books together to help people work on loving well daily. We broke it down into categories, kept it simple and wrote it from his and hers perspectives so they can do it together or alone.
M: Susan and I have been writing for over 20 years. During that time, we’ve found that people are getting busier and busier. We wanted to craft these two books, Lists to Love By for Busy Wives and Lists to Love By for Busy Husbands, in an easy to read, yet meaningful, format of lists that will provide practical advice on how to love one another well.
For more Lovespiration from Mark and Susan be sure to check out their other sites listed below and to follow them on all social channels!
www.MarkMerrill.com | www.twitter.com/MarkMerrill | www.facebook.com/MarkMerrill | www.AllProDadBook.com
www.susanme.com | www.facebook.com/SusanMerrill | www.instagram.com/susanmerrill | www.pinterest.com/susan_merrill | www.twitter.com/susan_merrill
www.familyfirst.net/ | www.ListsToLoveBy.com