We all know that having a healthy marriage takes work. But what kind of work? What things can you do to grow your relationship with your spouse?
We have a few ideas—10, to be exact. All of these suggestions came from couples who have worked on their own marriages by attending re|engage. Some are questions for you to consider and discuss together; others are activities you can do. Our challenge to you is to pick at least one of these to do with your spouse today.
- What lies are you each tempted to believe about your marriage? How can you apply the truth of God’s Word to combat those lies? Read Ephesians 6:10-18 and discuss how you can defend your marriage against lies using the “Armor of God.”
- Think back over the communication you and your spouse have had this past week. Did you fall into some of your negative communication patterns? Own your part in the poor communication, ask for forgiveness, and discuss with your spouse how you could have communicated with them in a more loving and God-honoring way. Make a commitment to truly hear your spouse and to choose to believe the best about them.
- Disappointments in marriage come from unmet expectations. Instead of focusing on unmet expectations, share with your spouse ways in which they have exceeded your expectations. Encourage one another and build each other up! (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- This week, ask your spouse how you can pray for them and then be sure to do so. Knowing specifically how to pray for your spouse will allow you to understand their heart. Allow God to show you how to love and respect your spouse through His strength and joy.
- Each morning, for the next week, ask your spouse, “What do you need from me today?”
- Ask your spouse to tell you one thing you can do this week to promote greater understanding between one another.
- Set aside time to have conversations about sex. Ask your spouse what you can do to better serve them in this area.
- God gives us grace as an undeserved gift. When was the last time you initiated with your spouse and gave them an undeserved gift? What would it look like if you were intentional about it and did this on a habitual basis with each other?
- Think back over the past week and reflect on the moments you have had a hard time choosing humility in a situation with your spouse. Ask your spouse how you are doing at showing humility, and ask them to share ways you can better serve them in that way.
- Ask your spouse one way you could help (not force) them to be more like Christ. Then ask them how you could do a better job applying 1 Thessalonians 5:14 in your marriage. For example, is your admonishment too harsh? Is there too little encouragement?
What is the next step that you can take in your marriage? It might be letting go of hurts, having a hard conversation, working on yourself, attending re|engage, or serving in ministry to help others with their own marriages. Whatever it might be, talk about it, pray about it, and finally do it!