We sat in our very first couples bible study at church and the first question asked was “who thought marriage was going to be like a fairytale?” Kevin and I watched as hands shot up all over the room. Honestly, we were in shock. Neither of us had any expectation of fairytale, however, it showed us something very important. Different people have different expectations for marriage.
Whenever I see a couple that is obviously very in love, I wonder what they’re doing every day that keeps their relationship so fresh and happy, no matter how old their relationship is. I wonder how much grace they have shown each other through hardships, and I wonder how deep their passion and friendship for each other has grown since day one. I wonder that “happy” means to them… so as you read this, understand that you and/or your spouse might have different expectations of “happiness”. I really believe through communication, you should find your expectations and work around that with each of these areas:
Listen To Each Other
Life is extremely busy. Sometimes, we forget to actually stop and listen to each other or even speak for that matter. Make sure that you are actively listening to your spouse. Listening can clue you in to a lot going on in your spouses life and open the doors of communication wider than they have ever been.
Compliment your spouse. Be sure to compliment them often with thoughtful comments about their appearance, their attitude, characteristics you love about them, etc make all the difference. You can compliment them on how good of a husband they are, how good of father, or even the great job they are doing a work. Letting your spouse know how much you admire and appreciate them is so important. You can also do this in fun ways like notes in their lunch, notes on the door of the house, texts in the day, an email or even in person. The possibilities are endless.
Resource: 25 Text Messages For Your Husband
Make Time For Quality Time
I cannot highlight this enough. Put technology down, put kids down and make time for each other. My husband and I do this every night after we put the kids to bed. We watch a movie together, play a game or just even lay in bed and talk to each other. Some nights we even involve our phones and play games against each other.
Set Aside Time For Yourself
This might not be something you think of immediately, but its important to have you time as well. If you don’t, you can start to feel like you give and give and never just rest for yourself. I do this in the morning when i’m driving and praying or having a quiet time. Time for myself has looked different throughout our marriage, but I always try to squeeze it in.
Make A Budget Together
Finances are a huge source of conflict in marriage so attack this area of your marriage and set up safe guards. I highly recommend making a budget together and sticking to it. Kevin and I have made a budget together every month of marriage and I can count on one finger the number of money fights we have had.
Resource: 5 Principles of Finance in Marriage
Encourage One Another
This can easily fall with giving compliments, but be sure to differentiate between the two. Dreaming together and setting goals as a couple is something that has been so great for our marriage. My husband is great at encouraging me in my goals for this blog and as a mom. He compliments me by letting me know i’m doing a good job, but also encourages me to reach my goals.
Resource: 11 Ways To Encourage Your Husband
Physical touch is very important in a marriage. There’s a reason it is one of the 5 love languages. This can even be a touch of an arm or cuddling up for a movie. I love when my husband randomly holds my hand in the car or in bed at night. Simple gestures can go a long way, even when it comes to affection.
Be A Team
We are the happiest in our marriage when we are working as a team toward a common goal. Being a team in marriage also means being a good teammate. If your teammate is struggling, you try to pick up the slack. A team isn’t always 50/50… sometimes a person is struggling. Look for ways to be your spouse teammate.
Resource – 20 Ways To Serve Your Husband
Give Grace Daily
Forgiveness and grace in marriage can be flat out hard. Everyday might not be easy, in fact, I can guarantee that it won’t be easy. Marriage is hard, and forgiveness is essential. Daily. Give Grace to your spouse.
Resource: 3 Steps To Forgiveness in Marriage.
Pray With Each Other
Prayer is one of the most powerful and meaningful things we can do for our marriage.
Not only are we told to pray in scripture–we’re told to pray without ceasing. There is great value in praying together. I know that if you haven’t done this a lot in your relationship, it can be awkward. Lets be honest, you are baring your sole and confessing your sins during prayer. You are talking to a holy God who is all knowing and all powerful. This makes prayer very intimate and venerable, so of course, it can be a bit of a struggle to do this with someone else at first. But, trust me, it is powerful.
Resource: How To Pray With Your Spouse
Oh… laughter. “Laughter is the best medicine.” I have no idea who first said this, but it is so so true. Laughter can do so much for your personal attitude throughout the day and in your marriage. There is so much happiness and fun in laughter. This might not be realistic every day, but it is a good habit to have fun and laugh with your spouse.
Resource: 16 Ideas For A Fun Marriage
Keep Christ First
Most importantly, keep Christ FIRST in your life and in your marriage. Invite him into your marriage to transform it and renew it. The power of daily prayer in your marriage is HUGE! and..
Nothing surpasses the power of Christ. He can heal any marriage, transform any heart, move any mountain and bring you to life.