One of my biggest concerns as a married man is that our home and marriage would become boring. I fear getting stuck in ruts and focusing more on the kids, crazy schedules, and to-do lists more than we do on our relationship with God or our marriage. I’m not minimizing the importance of kids and schedule, but I know when life gets busier, my relationship with the Lord and my spouse are among the first things to go by the wayside.
Today I want to help you with a few brief suggestions on how to not let your marriage fall by the wayside. Over the years I’ve learned it’s the small things we do in marriage every day that grow a marriage and it’s the little things we neglect over time that destroy a marriage. For the last 13 years in marriage ministry, I’ve watched way too many marriages die or shrivel up.
Last year I wrote a 3-part series on the mundane things we do every day to grow a great marriage. Feel free to check out the series. In this post, however, I’m focusing on one of those mundane things we can do to grow our marriage.
What are you doing to date and pursue your spouse?
1) Pursue your spouse daily
In his book Fun Loving You: Enjoying Your Marriage in the Midst of the Grind, Ted Cunningham shares about the daily, weekly, and annual getaway he does with his wife Amy. We don’t have time or space to recount all three types of getaways, but we can focus on the daily getaway. Ted recommends, every day, finding quality time in and around your home with your spouse.
Regardless of the age of your kid(s), look for small ways, every day, to get some alone time with your spouse. Ask questions, catch up on the day, align schedules and expectations, and pray together. You might even find some time for some adult funtivities. The small, mundane act of getting time together daily goes a long way in growing your marriage.
How can you find small pockets of time every day to engage with your spouse?
2) Practical, creative ideas to pursue your spouse
I draw inspiration from others. When I see someone do something great, I want to learn, grow, and be creative in the ways I pursue my wife. Here are three creative ideas I recently heard from friends. These are not meant to be prescriptive, but rather are shared to help you think of some creative ideas.
1. “We visited a small family vineyard near our house. The property was small, but the grounds were pretty. Plus, it had a huge outdoor patio area with fire pits and wooded scenery. We did a tasting with the owner’s daughter and then had a picnic in the vineyard. After that we just walked around and spent time chatting on the patio. It was super fun and we’d recommend it to anyone!”
2. “I planned a date night for my husband. We did all the things he loves including an outdoor picnic, basketball (I beat him at “Pig”), and then eating some pie at Emporium Pies!”
3. “I gave my husband a word to plan a date around. It was “air balloon.” He googled it and learned air balloons are originally from Paris. So he decked out his car with lights, a mini Eiffel Tower, scented the car with French lavender, and created a playlist of music that were clues to the date and the location we were going to. He bought balloons to represent hot air balloons, got a card with a hot air balloon on the front, and we played a trivia game he made up which we played during dinner. Finally, he took me to a really elegant French Bistro with the most delicious four course meal.”
What can you do to creatively date and pursue your spouse?
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3) One thing Kristen and I do that helps us pursue each other.
This one is especially great for those of you whose kids are all in school. A few years ago we discovered the date day. In a date day, I take a vacation day, we drop the kids off at their schools, and we get a full day together without kids. Lunches are cheaper than dinner and you get a longer date than you would during an evening out.
We usually explore Dallas on our date days and experience something we’ve never done before and eat somewhere we’ve never eaten before. Every year on our anniversary we take a date day and might do one more another time during the school year for our kids.
What’s one thing you and your spouse do that helps you pursue each other?
Wisdom From Martin Luther
Years ago I read this quote by Martin Luther:
Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.
What would it take for you to build a home and marriage where your husband was glad to get home and you were sorry to see him leave? Creative pursuit of your spouse will not solve all your problems, but it will go a long way towards creating the type of home Luther describes.
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