Jessica and Jep

4 Tips for a Stronger Marriage

By Jessica Robertson

Jep and I saw each other for the first time around February 2001 at our mutual hair stylist. I was leaving as he was arriving and we both said "hello." That was it. Then we saw each other again about a week later at a concert. That was the first time we actually said more than a word to each other. I started hanging out with him and all his friends that March, but we didn't admit to liking each other until the end of May. We started officially dating in June and were married on October 7, 2001, when I was 20. We were so young! Now Jep and I have been married for almost 12 years and, as you probably know from watching Duck Dynasty, we have four beautiful, sweet children: Lily, 10; Merritt, 8; Priscilla, 6; and River, 4. We are blessed beyond measure. I use to say "Even if we never have money, we are rich in love!" That was true then, and it's true today.

Here are four ways Jep and I keep our marriage strong. I hope they can help you as you look to strengthen your own relationships.

Be Loyal to Your Spouse

Be committed to each other, even when it seems like the rest of the world views commitment and loyalty as a thing of the past.

Forgive Your Spouse

When I struggle with forgiveness, I think of how God forgave me by not holding the past against me. Then I can't help but forgive. Never be too stubborn to say, "I'm sorry."

Respect Your Spouse

Showing respect can make or break your spouse's confidence. A look, a smirk, a rude comment, even the tone of your voice can speak volumes. Build up your spouse; don't bring him or her down.

Cherish Your Spouse

We sometimes forget to nurture the relationships with our spouse the way we do with our children. We get so busy being a mom or dad that we lose sight of this very important need. Go above and beyond to spend as much quality time together as possible. Jep and I try to go on a date a week and it has really helped keep our relationship strong.