In Parts One and Two of this series, I talked about the importance of the mundane ways we must work on our marriage every single day. In this post (Part 3) I share 10 more ways you can grow your marriage today.
This list is far from exhaustive, and at the same time, I know this 3-Part series could really be a 10-Part series! Rather, it’s my hope that you wouldn’t simply breeze through the lists, but that you’d identify a few ways you can grow your marriage. Pick a few strengths and celebrate, and find a few ways you can take some ground.
Don’t be like the foolish person who looks at his reflection in the mirror, walks away, and forgets what he looks like (James 1:22-25). Rather, be a man or woman of action and identify some ways you and your spouse can improve your marriage.
10 More Ways to Grow Your Marriage Today.
12. Get rid of the TV in your bedroom.
I wrote a full post on this a few years ago, so you can read more here. If you get rid of the TV, you’ll have more time together to read, pray, and do other stuff together (#BusinessTime!). You’re welcome.
13. Be present and involved in the lives of your children.
No passive parents allowed! Ask your kids questions. Spend time with them as often as you can.
A great challenge is to spend 15 minutes of one-on-one time with each of your kids a few times every week. Read a book together, go for a bike ride, or take them on mommy and daddy dates.
One of my kids loves it when we workout together. Another of my boys would not be blessed by that. You know your kids and what makes them tick, so be intentional in how you spend your time together. When you invest relationally in your kids, you in turn strengthen your marriage.
14. Change your mindset towards your marriage.
Romans 12:2 says we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We can change our marriage largely by our attitude.
For example, love chooses to believe the best instead of assuming the worst (1 Corinthians 13:7). When your change your attitude and mindset towards your spouse you can choose to trust and ask for clarification instead of by default assuming bad things about them.
15. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
In marriage, you should be able to talk about anything and everything. Communicate throughout the day (text, talk), and make intentional time every day to talk face-to-face.
Relationships will not grow without communication.
16. Be diligent to resolve conflict and disagreements.
Along those lines, make sure you are quick to resolve conflict with one another. Keep short accounts (Ephesians 4:26-32), and be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).
One of the most challenging and frequent problems I see in couples is when they refuse to deal with their issues. Instead of resolving conflict, they brush it under the rug and ignore it. We’ve got to deal with our issues before bitterness and resentment set in. One of the best ways to work through your challenges is through an incredible marriage ministry we started at Watermark called re|engage. re|engage is now hosted in over 250 churches across the country.
17. Have a weekly meeting.
There’s nothing romantic or sexy about it, but our weekly meeting helps ensure we’re on the same page with each other about commitments and schedule for the week. Every week on Sunday, Kristen and I sit down with our calendars to make sure we know each other’s schedules and activities for our kids.
Even better, go for a walk and discuss weekly questions like my friends Tim and Emily Loerke. Their weekly questions conversation is not the only time they talk, but it’s one of the most important, sometimes mundane, steps they will take every week.
18. Embrace your weaknesses.
None of us are perfect. When we admit and confess our areas of weakness, we get the opportunity to depend on the Lord (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) and the opportunity to pray for each other (James 5:16). My battle with wellness, weight, and eating provides me with an opportunity to draw near to the Lord and to Kristen. These weaknesses provide ways to grow our marriages through shared struggles.
Marriage gives us the chance to be naked without shame with our spouse (Genesis 2:25). So often our pride gets in the way (see #4 in Part Two), but when we’re open about our areas of weakness, it provides an opportunity to grow in our marriage. We draw near to one another when we’re real. Nobody likes a fake.
19. Find community.
Married life is better together. God gives us the gift of community to bear our burdens, encourage us, to help us grow, and so much more (Galatians 6:2, Hebrews 3:13, Proverbs 27:6).
Kristen and I have been in a married small group with the same four other couples for almost a decade. They help us grow, love us, encourage and challenge us. I hope we do the same for them. Don’t miss out on part of God’s provision to help you grow spiritually and in your marriage.
20. Pursue each romantically.
Date your spouse. Give them a massage or rub their feet and snuggle on the couch. Don’t expect anything in return.
For example: Husband—When’s the last time you gave your wife a back rub just for the sake of serving your spouse?
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21. Pursue your spouse sexually.
This doesn’t contradict #20 at all. Both of you should initiate with each other sexually. His body belongs to her, and her body belongs to him (1 Corinthians 7:3-5). Enjoy being one flesh with each other, and make that 0.625% of married life count!
Build Your Marriage in the Mundane Moments
The possibilities are endless. And it’s not too late to build something great. You have opportunities every single day, in the little mundane moments of life.
You didn’t get married to just be average. And you’re smart enough to know you won’t have an amazing marriage by accident. Do the small things that no one else sees so you can build something great. The seeds of greatness are planted in the daily grind.
Choose to be faithful every day in the mundane process. Keep showing up. Be humble. Do the mundane work. It’s worth it and there’s too much at stake.
- What’s one step you can take out of the 21 options listed above? What mundane step can you take today?
- What’s one step you’d like your spouse to take? Communicate your preference to them (see #15 above).
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