In Part 1 of this 2-part series on marriage hacks, I shared three simple but surprising ways you can grow your marriage. In Part 2, instead of discussing unique, surprising hacks, I’m sharing four “automated” marriage hacks you could implement to grow your marriage.
I know automated is not the most romantic or sexy word you think of when you want to grow your marriage. The definition of automated in dictionary.com isn’t even very helpful: “The technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum.”
I thought one of the first rules of vocabulary is that you can’t use a word to help define the same word. Apparently Dictionary.com doesn’t play the same set of rules. Anywho…
You and I rely on automated hacks all day long.
- You might have an alarm set on your iPhone for the same time every morning.
- Your radio is preset to the same six stations (for those of you who don’t have an mp3 aux cable input in your car).
- Maybe you use templates in Outlook to write emails. If you don’t, you should look into them—game changer!
- Trash pickup: every Tuesday and Friday morning, the City of Richardson comes by to pick up our trash. I don’t have to call them to swing by – they come by automatically. Granted, I still need to bring the trash from my garage to the curb, but the pickup is automated by the city according to the schedule for my neighborhood.
We can do the same thing—we can use automated hacks to grow our marriage. I’ll share five below, but I know I’m just barely scratching the surface.
Set a regular reminder to pray for your spouse.
Kristen was born on May 3. The year is irrelevant, although she is three years and one day older than me. Every Sunday at 5:03 pm (5 for May, :03 for the date she was born), my alarm goes off as a reminder to pray for Kristen. This isn’t, of course, the only time I pray for my wife, but the alarm gives me a set time each week when I know I’ll pray for Kristen.
Bonus Prayer Idea: If you have trouble praying consistently with your spouse, print out a piece of paper with the word “PRAY” on it, and then put it on your pillow when you wake up in the morning. When you go to bed that night, agree with your spouse that you won’t make love, watch TV, or read until you pray together. Put the sign on your nightstand and repeat again the next morning. This has helped me get in the habit of praying more consistently with Kristen.
Set a monthly reminder in your calendar to schedule a date with your spouse.
Life gets busy and those one-on-one dates slip right past us. Set a reminder on your calendar every month to set up a date with your spouse. Use the reminder as a trigger to find a sitter, book a reservation, and find a creative way to date your spouse.
Buy season tickets.
This past year, Kristen and I got season tickets for the Dallas Summer Musical series. For a very low price, we got two tickets for seven shows, including Les Misérables, School of Rock, and The Lion King. It was such a great, consistent date night for us. We got tickets with friends, so it also gave us some time to connect with people we love. Next year Hamilton is part of the summer series!
The automated part of buying tickets is that we had seven date nights on the calendar without having to think of new ideas. Maybe it’s not musicals for you. Instead, get tickets for your favorite college football team, basketball team, or even movie passes.
Serve together as a couple.
This is one of our favorite hacks. We get to use our gifts together, maximize our time, grow our marriage, and get to serve others. We’re currently leading a small group of five newlywed couples. We love spending time with them, and we’re making our time count as we seek to be and make disciples of Christ. Almost every Sunday night, we spend time with our newly married friends—we don’t have to decide when and how to serve as it’s already been decided when we agreed to lead the newly married group of couples.
What would it be for you and your spouse? Leading kids at church, greeting couples, serving at a ministry in your hometown, or mentoring and pouring into other couples?
Babysit for some friends.
One of the best things we did when our kids were young was doing a babysitting swap with friends. We’d watch their kids one night so they could go on a date and then they’d watch our kids so we could get a date. It saved us money and gave us a chance to hang out with other kids from families we love. Every month, we knew we’d do a swap with our friends, Jay and Angela. The process was automated for both of our families.
I’m certain you can think of more ideas. What marriage hack can you and your spouse “automate” to help you grow your marriage?
- What’s one hack from the list above you could apply in your marriage?
- Choose one surprising hack from Part 1 and one automated hack from Part 2.
- For some additional hacks, check out the post 5 Quick Marriage Hacks by Kevin Thompson. Check out his marriage book Friends, Partners, and Lovers for some great counsel on how to keep your relationship strong. I’m grateful to Kevin for being one of the incredible folks who wrote an endorsement for my upcoming book, Ready Or Knot?.
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