What Makes Marriage Strong and Beautiful: A Few Things You Might Not Know

What Makes Marriage Strong and Beautiful - A Few Things You Might Not Know

Love is a complicated infrastructure.

A thing you are either building up or letting fall into decay.

What makes it strong are the deeds done in the everyday walk of life.

What makes it beautiful is two unique people coming together and making their own unique kind of love.

It doesn’t come from textbooks or formulas, or to-do lists.

You’ve probably seen my parents from afar, either online here or maybe speaking at a conference somewhere. But I’ve lived around them for a long time, so in case you were wondering . . .

Here are a few things you might not know about my parents’ love:

They talk about everything.

Even tiny, inconsequential things.

Sometimes I wonder at them as they sit chatting away about a subject that seems to be of little importance. They mull it over, and in between second cups of coffee, they look at it from their different angles.

It’s a slow process, and I must confess, sometimes, as an observer, I grow impatient. Why talk about the small things of life? Schedules? Planning? Little worries and concerns?

And then it came clear to me one day . . . that to them, this was sharing life.

There are so few mountain top experiences in this life, and they could not wait at the bottom hungering for them.

They find their love, on Monday and Wednesday, and the week-end.

They make their love talking about the smallest of things.

They live their life confiding the tiniest thoughts.

They like going everywhere together.

Even to tiny, inconsequential places.

Again, this seems to me to be taken somewhat too far.

Going to feed the chickens? Let me come with you! Going to work in the garden? I’ll come.

No matter how small the destination happens to be – either of them is usually willing to tag along. It could be a trip to Home Depot, it could be to Costco. It could be to the tree nursery, or to the bank.

And all this takes place in little, dry, dusty Central Oregon.

But by their attitudes, you’d think they were going out for a round of champagne kisses.

They love touching each other.

Even in tiny, inconsequential places.

Dad and Mom like touching each other. Of course, since there are eight of us kids pretty much always around, they have to keep it toned down. But it seems to me that little touches are a thing too. Maybe brushing the back of a tired head, or stroking hair that’s gone a bit flat at the end of the day.

Sometimes I see them touching – without touching – by a look. It’s really understated most of the time.

It’s a slow burn of love, and it keeps on from day to day.

They take care of each other’s hearts.

Even in tiny, inconsequential ways.

If Dad is feeling worn out, Mom will often encourage him to go do something she knows will help him relax. Sometimes mom is feeling stressed,  and you’ll hear dad telling her to retire earlier than normal in the evening.

If one is down, the other will hurry to support. It’s like a friend thing.

Sometimes I get the feeling that they are just best friends. Not so much just lovers.

And, yes, in case you’re wondering, they argue.

And they get mad at each other . . . even sometimes for tiny, inconsequential things.

But all that never lasts long.

Their love is not perfect. It’s something much sexier than that.

It’s real.

What Makes Marriage Strong and Beautiful

With love,
Savoury Jacobson
(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
100 Ways to Love  by Matthew and Lisa Jacobson

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Creating a Romantic Refuge in Your Very Own Home {& Giveaway}

Creating a Romantic Refuge in Your Very Own Home

I am a hopeless romantic.

You might not guess that when you first meet me because I’m so terribly practical.

You can ask my kids. They’ll tell you.

Practical to a fault.

I make lists, organize the spice cupboard, and draw up chore charts.

Practical things. 

So you might not see that underneath all this sensible exterior, I have this rather romantic heart.

But it’s true.

I love beauty and elegance and adventure.

Flowers and art.

Quiet conversation and holding hands.

But I’m afraid these things don’t necessarily line up with our Real Life.

The one where we have 8 kids, the health challenges of his parents, and the pressures of work deadlines.

Bills to pay and errands to run.

Basically, just plain, everyday unromantic life takes over.

Or, at least it would if we let it.

But a few years ago I decided that life is too short and our relationship is too important to let that happen.

How to Create A Romantic Refuge

So I determined to create a romantic refuge in our very own home.

A sweet spot that the two of us can slip off to whenever we get the chance.

And then I make sure that this chance happens.

Sometimes it’s right before dinner when he arrives home from work.

Or maybe after the kids are in bed late at night.

In the summer months, it’s likely to be in the morning before the heat of the day sets in.

So you see, the “when” hardly even matters—all you need is a where and that is totally up to you!

And that’s also where all the fun begins . . . .

Creating a Romantic Refuge in Your Very Own Home

A Romantic Refuge

It takes less to create a Romantic Refuge than you might think. All you need is . . .

A place to sit.

Two chairs or a couch will work. In the summer, we have a couple of chairs designated out on the back patio. In the winter, it’s a cozy spot near the fireplace. We even have a sweet corner in our bedroom now for when we desire more privacy from the children. (Yes, that makes 3 “Romantic Refuges,” but this number grew over time.)

Touches of beauty.

Now don’t get stuck on this one because it takes sooo little to make a small space lovely. Truly. All you have to do is to make sure it’s clean, neat, add a few bits of beauty and voila! romance. Pick out some flowers, a pretty picture or two, and throw in a darling pillow and you’ve got it!

And loving conversation.

We have certain “rules” of what we can – and cannot – discuss in our Romantic Refuge. For instance, this is not the time to talk about our finances, or the children’s misbehavior, or problems at work. That is saved for another setting. Because this is the place where we talk about us and dreams and good things.

*Bonus tip: Do NOT put pressure on your guy or this will take all the fun out of it for him. You don’t even need to tell him that this is your “romantic refuge” because he might misunderstand and feel pressure to “perform.” Instead, simply entice him with a warm smile and something special to eat or drink. Communicate that there’s no agenda, other than enjoying being together.

Creating a Romantic Refuge

We Still Do Giveaway

So you’re ready to create your own Romantic Refuge?

Wonderful! Because I’ve got a surprise for you.

Remember how I mentioned  adding a “darling pillow” earlier?

Well, I have a total thing about pillows. If you ever come over to our home, you’ll see that I’ve got them scattered just about everywhere: bedroom, living room, patio—you name it!

And today I’m offering a giveaway for 3 of these very romantic, We Still Do pillows from Ever Thine Home!

I love this beautiful reminder of our promises to love each other . . .  for the rest of our lives.

A perfect start to a romantic refuge!

Ever Thine Home

Ever Thine Home is a lovely holiday and home collection begun by Barbara Rainey and a part of Family Life.  Not only am I thankful for their faithful ministry to families, I’m inspired by their beautiful offerings for the home. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when they offered to join me in this giveaway!

More here: Ever Thine Home

*And, as an additional gift to Club31Women readers, they are offering us a 10% discount on all items (which are reasonably priced, I might add!).  Just use the code: Club31ETH when you check out.

Creating a Romantic Refuge In Your Very Own Home

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can hardly wait to hear how your Romantic Refuge turns out!

Blessings on you both,
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 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

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Those Little Things That Speak Big Volumes of Love

Those Little Things That Speak Volumes of Love

I’ve determined that my husband Ted has a foot fetish.

Okay, maybe “fetish” isn’t the right word. Perhaps “preoccupation” or “fixation” better applies here.

When I mentioned this to him the other day, he looked confused.

Foot? Fetish? Huh? Yep, his expression said it all.

That is, until I explained. Suddenly this confused look of his was replaced with one of understanding. You see, I reminded him how often matters of feet make him feel loved.

Take, for example, the matching of his freshly washed socks. In our twelve plus years of marriage, this is one action that he’s consistently responded to with an enthusiastic “You love me!”

But that’s not all.

As quirky as it may be, Ted likes me to touch his foot with my foot in the morning before I get out of bed. To him it’s a nonverbal reminder that “We’re good. There isn’t anything strained between us.” It helps him start the day freshly reminded that I love him.

And, if I really want my hot-footed husband to remember that he holds my heart, I grab a bottle of lotion and rub it on his feet while we Netflix binge watch in the evenings. Nothing like a foot massage to communicate to Ted that I’m still glad that I’m his wife.

What about your husband?

Perhaps he doesn’t have a “fantastic foot fetish,” as Ted now calls it, but I have no doubt there are little things that speak big volumes of love to your man. If nothing immediately comes to mind, perhaps it’s time to sharpen your inner Sherlock Holmes skills.

How can you do that? How can you strengthen those powers of observation?

Well, let’s get a bit scientific and look at four ways you can train yourself to be an expert in the ways of your husband.

1.     Observe

According to an article by Time, seeing and observing are not the same thing. It’s one thing “to see” or, as Dictionary.com notes, “to perceive with the eyes; to look at.” It’s another thing to “observe” or, as this trusty online resource explains, “regard with attention, especially so as to see or learn something.”

How can you make sure that you’re not simply seeing your husband, but actually observing him? You can do this by teaching yourself to focus your attention on the right details. This is where #2 comes in.

2.    Record

One way you can focus on the right details is by taking field notes. It might seem silly to pull out a notebook to write descriptions and maybe even draw pictures – you know, if you’re the artsy type – of the ways you notice your husband feels loved, but it’s something that Family Life President Dennis Rainey actually recommends. He encourages:

Become a student of your spouse. Make a list of things that communicate love to your mate and write it in something permanent that can’t be easily lost or forgotten.

3.     Analyze

Next, you can continually analyze your data. What do your notes tell you about the ways your husband feels most loved at this point in time? Is it when you speak affirming words to him? Perhaps it’s through acts of service, or maybe physical touch. Look for patterns or common threads. You know, perhaps things like feet.

4.     Test

Finally, make it a habit to regularly test out what you’re learning. Come up with hypotheses based on your observations and put them into action. Have fun determining “If I do _____, then my husband feels loved.”

In an article at ThrivingFamily.com, Dr. Paul C. and Teri K Reisser note:

Your school days may be long behind you, but you never need to stop learning. Careers, hobbies, parenting – life is full of opportunities to grow and gain new knowledge. Unfortunately, there is one subject that far too many adults stop learning about: the person they married.

Let’s not be those adults.

Instead, let’s be wives who are experts in the ways of our husbands. Wives who can confidently determine whether or not our husband has a “fantastic foot fetish.”

Ashleigh

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Team US by Ashleigh Slater Team US: Marriage Together by Ashleigh Slater

Like a conversation with a true friend, this book is open, real, and honest. Ashleigh invites you inside her heart and home to humbly share wisdom gained from experiences she and her husband walked through….We highly recommend this book for couples of any age. ~ Matthew and Lisa Jacobson

*You can read my full review of Ashleigh’s book HERE: A Book Review – Team US Marriage Together

Ashleigh SlaterAshleigh Slater is the author of the book, Team Us: Marriage Together (Moody Publishers). As the founder and editor of Ungrind Webzine and a regular contributor at several popular blogs and websites, she loves to combine the power of a good story with biblical truth and practical application. Ashleigh lives in Atlanta with her husband Ted and four daughters.

To learn more, visit AshleighSlater​.com. You can also find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter at @ashslater.

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

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Why We Don’t Fight Over Finances: 7 Strategies That Have Seriously Helped

Why We Don't Fight Over Finances: 7 Strategies That Have Seriously Helped

So I’m not quite sure how to say this.

How I should put it.

But it goes something like this . . .

Sometimes life doesn’t go as we plan.

And maybe you think I’m talking about you and your plans.

But  I’m not.

I’m talking about us here.

For instance,

We didn’t plan on our daughter having to take Life-Flight out of the wilderness and over to the hospital when she suddenly went into anaphylactic shock.

We didn’t plan on my husband having emergency gallbladder surgery.

Nor did we plan on that same daughter having two more life-and-death ambulance runs back to the hospital.

No, this was definitely NOT what we would have planned.

Oh, and did I mention that we didn’t have medical insurance?

So basically, all of this added up to *ahem . . . . Well, let’s just say it put something of a strain on us.

As in,  FINANCIAL PRESSURE.

Financial Strife

Some of you know what I’m talking about here. Your reasons might not involve unplanned helicopter rides or a gallbladder turning gangrene (Did you even know that was possible??).

But you’ve had your own unexpected, unintended, and certainly undesired circumstances that have weighed you down.

Burdened you both.

It’s even possible that this financial struggle has invaded your marriage and taken it’s toll.

Financial trials are never much fun anyway and nobody really likes to talk about it. I mean, it’s not something you generally throw out at a party, or mention in passing at Bible study. Credit card debt, unmet needs, and unpaid bills are not exactly popular conversation-starters.

Yet it’s one of those “hidden” stresses that affects nearly everything—-even your marriage relationship.

Maybe even especially there.

Financial struggles can easily turn into financial strife. 

So other than winning the state lottery, or coming into a large inheritance . . .

What can a couple do to keep from fighting over finances?

Why We Don’t Fight Over Finances: 7 Strategies That Have Seriously Helped

7 Strategies That Have Seriously Helped Us

Determine to face the financial challenges together.

Remind each other that you’re a team—even more than that, in God’s eyes the two of you are as one (Eph. 5:31). So whatever problems or challenges you’re up against, you need to face them together. Get on the same page as much – and as quickly – as possible.

Don’t blame your spouse.

It can be tempting to turn on the other person and accuse them (either loudly or silently) of something they should have done, or should not have done. Resist the impulse to blame and instead, embrace the responsibility of going forward together.

Come up with a plan.

Financial pressures can seem rather overwhelming. Messy, ridiculous, and maybe even impossible. It might be that one or both of you don’t want to look closely at the problem and try to carry on as if it didn’t exist. Instead of ignoring or denying the issues, it’s better to come up with a reasonable, concrete solution.

Decide what you can do without.

Sometimes we get mixed-up with what we don’t want to live without, rather than what we actually can live without. We really can live without a family vacation, a second car, or brand new clothes. We don’t have to eat out and our children are not truly deprived if they’ve never been to Disneyland. (Can you guess how I know all this? 😉 )

Be willing to accept help.

We live in an I-can-do-this-by-myself culture, so often we end up trying to “fix” things by ourselves, when God actually calls us to live in community. He says we are “His body” and we are to work and walk together (Eph. 4:16).  Personally, we’ve been greatly blessed as people around us have offered to help in all kinds of wonderful ways. We are grateful and humbled by their kindness—-experiencing God’s goodness through His people.

Commit to prayer.

God invites us to lay our needs before Him. He also promises to give us wisdom, if we ask for it (James 1:5). We can convince ourselves that God isn’t concerned about our financial situation, or maybe even fall into an “we got ourselves into this, so we’ll have to get ourselves out,” but our Heavenly Father cares about our needs. Take it to Him in prayer.

Practice thankfulness.

It’s so natural to focus on all that is “wrong” and forget that we have much to be thankful for too. Instead of staring at that big bill from St. Charles Hospital, he and I can remind each other how relieved we are that our daughter’s life was spared. I’m grateful that I’m not a widow and his surgery was in time. We can list out all the many things that we do enjoy—some of the most basic gifts like food and flowers and love—and that alone eases the tension tremendously.

So I don’t know what your situation might be—if you’ve lost a job, can’t get work, have health issues, or unplanned expenses. Or maybe you simply haven’t handled your finances wisely. Whatever the case may be – as my husband often reminds me – this might not be what we had planned, but none of this comes as a surprise to God.

He knows our troubles and He cares.

And, above all, He wants us to walk in love together.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Phil. 4:6-7

*I would love to hear what else you might recommend! I also welcome questions, keeping in mind that my strengths are in marriage and family relationships, not financial matters. 

In His grace,
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Recommended Resources

Here are a couple of resources I can recommend.  This classic by Dave Ramsey The The Total Money Makeover:  A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.

And you might be interested in this free resource from Christy Fitzwater: Going Cash: Everything You Need to Know About Setting Up a Cash Budget.

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

When One Small Daily Habit Makes a Big Impact {On Your Lifelong Marriage}

When One Small Daily Habit Makes a Big Impact On Your Lifelong Marriage

It was one of those gray rainy days preceded by another sleepless night with kids that were up –again.  I curled up on my couch with my early morning cup of tea while I read my Bible, prayed, and tried to get myself in a good mood before the household exploded with ten little feet.

As my brain cells began to stir I started to think about my misery and my husband. In my exhausted, early morning mental fog these thoughts tumbled out-

I wonder if he ever thinks about how I feel- how hard life is for me with all these kids.

And that thing I asked him to fix last week, it’s still broken. 

And just once, I wish he’d offer to do the bedtime and homework routine without my asking.

And that suggestion I gave him about something that might help him at the office-he didn’t think it was very good.

I wonder if he appreciates my carpooling the kids all over every day and feeling like I’ve accomplished nothing…and, and…

As I sat in my pity-party, a question entered my mind. “Susan, what if he had said:

“Honey you work so hard; I appreciate how difficult it must be especially because it feels so so mundane to you.

What if he had fixed that broken thing right away.  

What if he had come home one night and said,” I’m taking over dinner and homework; you take a break.”

What if he had said, “By the way that suggestion you gave me for work; I took you advice and it was good.”

Then what?

What I quickly realized was that I would have simply thought of something else that did not please me.

I had fallen into a “picky trap.”  Pick, pick, and pick at the things my husband does or doesn’t do.  Rehearse them in my mind. Add to the list.

I also realized that I had become an “encore wife,” a person for whom nothing is ever enough.

No matter what he did I would think of something else I wanted.  There was no way he could satisfy me.

Picky wives who also want an encore are not very much fun to live with.

And I wanted to be fun.

When One Small Daily Habit Makes a Big Impact {On Your Lifelong Marriage}

The Daily Marriage Vitamin

“Please Lord, change my heart.  Make me grateful instead of critical. Remind me of things to appreciate in my husband.”

I began to say out loud the things I was grateful for in my man.  He gets up early to pray for the kids and me. He is a man of integrity. He is even tempered. He is reliable. He has self- discipline; doing things he doesn’t necessarily like to do.

That morning I discovered what I call the “marriage vitamin.“

Every day I try to thank God for one specific thing I appreciate about my husband. Occasionally, I even tell him.

No he’s not perfect, but neither is his wife.

And yes we still let each other down, ask forgiveness, and start over again.

The thing about marriage is it’s a lifetime of growing together, of iron sharpening iron.

We never will get it just right this side of heaven. Our God is more concerned about what we learn in the process than He is about us getting it all figured out.

Even with 45 years of marriage I still get lazy and fall into the picky trap. I still need that daily marriage vitamin.

Today I find myself praying more and more that I’d lighten up and not make a big deal out of something small. And I continue to pray that we’d laugh more together at the dumb things we do.

Today, after all these years we appreciate more and more that we simply have each other. God is good and He is using us to sharpen one another.  (Proverbs 27:17)

 Blessings,

Susan Alexander Yates

*What’s your daily Marriage Vitamin for today? Share one thing you appreciate about your husband!

Susan Alexander Yates

I’m mom to five children (including a set of twins) and grandmother to 21 (including a set of quadruplets!). My husband, John and I have been married almost 45 years. I’ve written 13 books and speak on the subjects of marriage, parenting, and women’s issues.  Some of my books include And Then I Had KidsAnd Then I Had Teenagers; Barbara & Susan’s Guide to the Empty Nest (with friend Barbara Rainey) and Character Matters!: Raising Kids with Values That Last (With John).

I write regularly for the blog: MomLifeToday.com, sponsored by Family Life. I’m a Tarheel. I love Monday night football, ACC basketball, shooting hoops with my grandsons, hiking and riding horseback with my husband, running and talking with girl friends.  My favorite time of the year is June when all my kids and grandkids are together for a week of “cousins and family camp” in the foothills of the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Barbara & Susan’s Guide to the Empty Nest: Discovering New Purpose, Passion & Your Next Great Adventure

Guide to the Empty NestYou’re done . . . but you’re not finished! And one more thing. You’re not alone. Feeling unsure? Scared? Expectant? Maybe even giddy? Is your nest empty–except for a bundle of mixed emotions? As you grieve what’s behind and daydream about possibilities, you’ll feel young again, ready for new challenges and adventures. Yet you may not know what to pursue or how to discover what’s next. Many women in this season of life wonder: Who am I now? And what should I do? How will my marriage be affected? Does anyone need me? How do I relate to my children? Is it okay to feel sad? Or thrilled? What’s next?

Barbara and Susan can be the friends you need to walk you through these new experiences. They’ll guide you to answers, and together you’ll discover a new purpose and passion for your next life adventure.

Available HERE: Barbara & Susan’s Guide to the Empty Nest

A Dozen Things You Can Do to Keep Your Marriage Fresh & Fun

A Dozen Things to Keep Your Marriage Fresh & Fun

It’s not always a party around here.

Not that we don’t have a good time or that we don’t love each other.

Because, of course, we do.

But there are some seasons that are tougher than others.

We both have so much on our plates that we begin to feel weighed down by the pressures and bills and time-constraints. Health concerns and relational-challenges. It all just keeps coming at us and life doesn’t feel as fun as it used to be.

And so a general heaviness sets in.

But we can’t let that go on like this for too long because it’s not only “not fun”  – it’s not really right either. It’s not good for our health, not good for our family, and certainly not good for our relationship.

So something needs to change!

The funny thing is that the solution doesn’t have to be all that dramatic or expensive. It’s often those simple or relatively easy things that help revive our friendship and restore that spark.

A small investment with a big return.

Now in case you and yours ever find yourself in such a season? Here are some things that Matthew and I like to do when we’re stuck in a rut or are feeling the strain . . . .

A Dozen Things to Do to Keep Your Marriage Fresh & Fun

A Dozen Things to Keep Your Marriage Fresh and Fun

1.     Go for a walk in the fresh air.

When we’re crazy-busy and don’t have the time, or if we can’t get too far from the house, we will simply go for a walk. We might only walk up and down our long driveway, or possible wander out on the trails that go out into the desert behind our house. As long as we’re holding hands – sometimes talking and sometimes silent – we’re happy together.

2.     Try a new place to eat.

Now this might just be us, but we love finding some neat little place to eat! Some place that we’ve never tried before. He and I especially enjoy all kinds of ethnic food – Thai, Mediterranean, Indian, Vietnamese – you name it! Yum.

3.     Watch a funny or fascinating movie.

While watching movies isn’t usually my favorite thing to do, I’ll confess that it can be rather nice to “check out” and get a good laugh from a comedy, or temporarily disappear into another place or time in a well-done film. Just don’t tell our kids that I admitted, that okay? 😉

4.     Cook up something new that you’ve never tried before.

I don’t know why this is, but trying out a new recipe or cooking up something special can turn an ordinary evening into a celebration. Caramel popcorn, onion rings, guacamole al fresco—we’ve tried them all! Five stars.

5.     Invite old friends over that you haven’t seen for a while.

Do you know those longtime friends whom you just love . . . but never seem to get around to getting together? Call them up! Ask them over and order pizza. Then laugh over old times and get caught on on new happenings. We recently went out for Thai food with friends we’ve known since before we married. Talked about everything. Sweet for the soul!

6.     Make new friends by asking interesting people over.

This is more my husband’s strong point than mine, but I’m wanting to grow in this. When you’re going through a hard time, it can be difficult to reach out when you feel like you’re merely hanging on.  Yet we’ve found that it can be “just the thing” to lighten things up to focus on new people and new friendships.

For the Woman Who Is Simply Weary of Serving - The Super-Homemaker

7.     Throw a party.

Small party or big party – it doesn’t matter! Open up your doors and let the festivities begin. Yes, it can require a bit more work (when you’re already feeling over-worked), but the benefits of fun and fellowship make it all worthwhile.

8.     Tell him something you’ve never told him before.

Share a wonderful memory you have from your childhood. Tell him about that camping adventure or that silly experiment you tried. Maybe talk about your favorite book or biggest accomplishment. Then ask him about his too!

9.    Step outside the usual routine.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be a “creature of habit.” I like my routine. A lot. But there are times that shaking things up and doing it totally different is just what’s needed! I might surprise him and suggest we watch a late-night movie (we’re usually in bed by 10pm) or challenge him to a boardgame together. Woohoo!

10.   Sneak away with only the two of you.

You have all kinds of reasons why you can’t. So many responsibilities, not enough time, and can’t afford it. I get it. I really do. But do it anyway. There is no better investment than in your marriage. Make it a priority, even if it’s not “screaming” at you in the way these other things are in your life.

11.    Lighten up with a good laugh.

I’m not sure I should tell you this, but the truth is that he and I are both big teases. He is worse than I am, but I find great satisfaction in catching him off-guard with a joke of my own now and then. We flirt, laugh, and play practical jokes on each other often. It’s one of our “secret” ingredients. :)

12.    Pray for one another.

When my eyes for him are clouded with the stress and strain of our situation, I ask God to give me “fresh eyes” for my husband. I pray that He will restore our love for each other and infuse new life in our relationship. He has always been faithful to answer that prayer.

So be sure and invest in your marriage. Don’t let the urgent and the heavy keep you from enjoying one another as God intended. Keep it fun and fresh.

Try one of these ways . . . or maybe all twelve!

In His grace,
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*What are some of the ways that you like to bring light and life into your marriage?
100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).