Do you sit around wondering why your marriage isn’t what you thought it would be? Are you ever hoping for a stronger marriage but aren’t sure what to do to get there?
Remember how last week I shared that it starts with you?
This week I’m sharing an important key to understanding how your marriage can be stronger.
Over the years, I’ve come to understand this important thing and if you will really allow it to work in your heart you’ll begin to see that it changes everything. This one thing that I’ve come to understand over the nearly 25 years of my own marriage has changed my heart and I know if you let it, it can change your heart too.
Instead of hoping for a stronger marriage. I learned what I can do to begin to grow it into a stronger marriage.
Love is an action word.
Have you ever thought about the word, LOVE? It’s a verb, an action word. Therefore, it requires action on your part to grow a stronger marriage.Love requires action on your part to grow a stronger marriage.Click To Tweet
Simply waiting for it to happen won’t make it happen. But, if you work toward your goal, you’ll start to see changes. It may take time, but with the right heart, you’ll see change.
Note: The right heart… I have seen women proclaiming that they lovingly serve their husbands, and perhaps they are serving. But, behind their husband’s back they are grumbling and complaining.
Which means, their heart isn’t truly, lovingly, serving. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. To lovingly serve you must do so without condition, without complaint, without expecting anything in return, simply because you love the other person.
20 Things You Can Do to Grow a Stronger Marriage
1 – Read your Bible
I know reading with your spouse would be an ideal way to grow your marriage. But, some men simply do not feel comfortable reading in-depth, one-on-one, with their wives. The more you push the more they may resist.
However, YOU read your Bible. Whether with him or without him,
“Study to show thyself approved,” 2 Timothy 2:15.
And, remember that if he doesn’t want to study WITH you it doesn’t mean he isn’t reading himself.
My husband often listens to the Bible while driving to and from work. That’s what works best for him. I admire his willingness to do that. And, if your husband isn’t reading, let your godly behavior serve as an example…
“…they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,” 1 Peter 3:1.
Being in the word studying, you will grow as a Christian. Your heart will grow to be more like Christ’s. As that happens you’ll begin to serve with gladness of spirit. It will become less about what you want in your marriage and more about seeking to honor your husband.
2- Ask for his opinion and really consider it.
And sometimes, not necessarily every time, heed his opinion/advice on what you are asking about.
3- Accept responsibility
When you mess up, when you say something hurtful, or forget to do something you said you would do, own up to it. Take responsibility for your own actions. Take responsibility for your role within the marriage and recognize that you too are responsible for the happily ever after that you seek.
Let go of pride, realize that sometimes the best thing for your marriage is to apologize and not hold onto a misconception that apologizing makes you wrong. The reality is holding onto pride, holding onto the need to somehow be right, only weakens your marriage.
Yes, I know you want him to listen to YOU. But, he also wants you to listen to him. So what, if he only ever talks about stock-car races. He wants to talk to you, and know that you are listening to him. So tune in to him, his likes, his needs, his conversation. Listen engagingly to him.
6- Choose Him!
Ladies, I know you chose him when you said, yes to the ring, and I do at the wedding. But, you must decide to choose him each and every day that you wake up. That might mean giving up something that you really, really, like to do because he finds it appalling, or, because it’s caused conflict in your marriage. Choose him, over whatever the thing is. In the long run, ask yourself if the thing is more important than your relationship with him.
If it is… you need to seriously consider your priorities.
Instead, be willing to give up whatever it might be that stands in the way of your marriage. Choose him. Make him your priority.
The one exception to this, is your relationship with God through Christ should always come first. But after that… choose him. He is your priority on earth.
7- Learn the Art of Silence
Sometimes, just sitting quietly with your husband does wonders. Yes, I know you want him to listen to you. But, how often do you listen to him? Really, listen? Maybe your thinking… but, he never talks. And, you might be right. But, it could be that he never talks because you never get quiet.
Try sitting quietly for a while and see what happens. It might take a few weeks of doing this, 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, before you really start to hear what he has to say.
8- Find out what his passions are, and do your best to understand them.
Maybe he loves football, or golf. Or, maybe he’s a woodworker, or fisherman. Whatever it is that he’s passionate about dedicate some time to learning about it, and then when he talks try, to listen, follow along, and participate in the conversation with him.
9- Set a time to check in with each other each day.
Agree upon a time, determine how/when to do this check-in. It can be just a 5 minute phone conversation to see how each other’s days are going, ask if there is a prayer need, or if something good happened.
It’s gives you a moment to remind each other that you love each other.
For us, he has a set time to call and check in with me. Sometimes though, business gets hectic and it’s not quite possible. So if after 15-30 minutes he’s missed the check-in then we’ve agreed that I can send a text asking if it’s a good time for check-in. This is what works for us. But, you may do something different, like an afternoon text or Voxer. Whatever works for you… that’s what you should do.
10- Schedule Time Alone
Let’s face it, while we have a romantic notion that our husbands will swoop in and sweep us away for a romantic getaway, the reality is, most men (I know there are a few who do) don’t think in such terms. They do, however, appreciate when you’ve put thought and effort into doing this for them.
So get out your calendar, call your best friend, or sister, and ask if they’d keep the kids for a weekend. I’ve found that if you offer to provide a weekend exchange, you keep her kids for 1 weekend, and she keeps your kids for another, you have a better chance of her agreeing. In a pinch, try grandma.
You could plan a romantic weekend home alone. Or, you can call up a B&B, a local hotel that serves breakfast in bed, or schedule a mini-vacation to a nearby destination spot. The goal is time alone with your man.
11- Be willing to laugh at your own mistakes.
Sometimes, mistakes are just so funny and it lightens the mood rather than inflames a difficult situation.
12- Own your Role
We are called to be submissive to our husbands. We are called to love them, obey them, and be keepers of the home, Titus 2:4-5. It’s up to you whether or not you will accept the role God has designed for marriage, or if you will kick against the goad.
If you want to grow a stronger marriage, then own your role. Embrace it with joy, conviction and prayer. You will come to know peace in the offering of your service to your husband.
Throughout the day, reach for his hand. Take his arm as you walk. Lean in to him for a hug. Kiss. Touch is powerful. It heals hearts, mends broken relationships, it connects us in a way that nothing else can.
Touch is a gift from God, and we often overlook it in our busy-ness. We can get used to sharing space with each other, but fail to reach out for each other. Be purposeful, and touch your husband, daily.
14- Fight Together
What I mean by that is when difficulties come, get in each other’s corner and fight for each other instead of against each other. When struggles happen, don’t blame. Fight! Fight for him. Take his side. Be willing to accept that you are in it for better, or worse.
He’ll make mistakes. You’ll make mistakes. But you’ll both face the consequences together. Be in each other’s corner and fight together for your goals, for yourselves, for your marriage.
15- Write him love notes.
It doesn’t take much to write a note and leave it on the bathroom mirror. Or, pen your love on a post-it and tuck it into his wallet. I’ve been known to leave messages in his desk drawer at work on occasions when I’ve visited. Leaving love notes for your husband is simple, but it’s one more way for you to affirm your love for him.
16-Share your feelings
Let him become your very best friend. I know you will still have a best girlfriend too. But don’t tell her anything that you wouldn’t tell him. Share your joys, fears, sorrows, and hopes.
If it’s something he can help you with, let him. If it’s something you need him to just hear… tell him that too. But don’t hold back your emotions, they are real, and true to who you are as a person. Let him get to know every part of your heart.
17- Recognize His strengths
You are both unique and talented individuals. You can’t do it all! Together you can share your strengths to accomplish more as a couple. But that means letting go of a false attempt at self-perfection and recognizing that his strengths can help you both achieve greater things.
18- Learn from Him
I’m guessing your husband is a pretty smart man. He picked you didn’t he?
He has a lifetime of experience that you don’t have. So allow him to teach you something and as you grow older together, continue to learn from him. You’ll be so surprised, and impressed by his knowledge and abilities.
19-Date your Husband
He may not be the romantic type. That’s o.k. you can add a bit of romance to the marriage. Did you know that as a wife it’s perfectly o.k. to schedule, plan and even execute a date night. Go ahead…
Here’s some ideas to get you started.
20-Have sex often with your husband.
You got married. It’s o.k. to be sexually intimate with him. We get so caught up in not talking about sex that we forget that it’s a beautiful part of the design God created for marriage. It’s in those intimate moments that you let go of your frustrations and irritations, and you connect with your husband.
If you fail to join with him, become one with him, often. You’ll be missing out of the physical, emotional and even spiritual connection that can draw you closer to each other. Instead, you’ll be opening a place in your heart for resentment, and frustration.
These 20 things that you can do to grow a stronger marriage are a guide based upon what I’ve learned in my own marriage. You may find others that work well for your own. These can simply be things you can do to get started.
Are there other things you do that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comment section below.