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5 Habits for Nurturing Your Marriage

Marriage is a gift from the Lord, and like any other gift, we can easily neglect it. Nurturing our marriages takes time, effort, and intentionality. And it’s never too late to start!

While there are endless ways to nurture your marriage, I pray the following five ideas will help increase your desire to protect, strengthen and enjoy this gift the Lord has given you.

1. Be Committed to Godly Growth and Change

We are being molded and shaped every day of our lives. We are influenced by the news, social media, our own experiences, and for better or worse, our spouses. Our views, perspectives, and ideologies tend to shift with time, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This becomes dangerous if we allow ourselves to be molded by the world rather than by God’s Word. This becomes particularly challenging when one spouse is being heavily influenced by the world and the other by the Word. A healthy goal for every marriage is to grow together in godliness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 says, “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Encourage one another to spend alone time studying and meditating on God’s Word and then share what the Lord is teaching you. Attend a local worship gathering together. Pray for one another and with one another. As you each grow in godliness as individuals, you will consequently find your marriage growing in godliness.

2. Shower Together Every Day

This is perhaps the best advice my husband and I were given when we got married, and it’s advice we’ve been sharing with others for twenty-five years. While showering together can be a fun segway to sex, we’ve found it to be about so much more over the years.

When you think about it, the shower might be the only place you don’t take your phone. Being in a shower with no distractions allows you to give each other your undivided attention. This will be a life-saver when you have small children.

The shower can also be a good place for hard conversations, as it requires humility to stand before one another naked and wet with hair full of shampoo and soap in your eyes. For many, the shower has become the highlight of their day. It’s a place to dream, confide, vent and problem-solve with one another. But the magic isn’t in the shower - it’s in the designated area with no distractions.

In Song of Solomon 2:16, we find the phrase, “My beloved is mine and I am his,” What better way to communicate this to your spouse than to prioritize the regular giving of your undivided attention?

If showering together isn’t possible for you - and this could be the case for various reasons - find another safe place and designate it a distraction-free zone. If you can make this a priority for even ten to fifteen minutes a day, your marriage will be better for it.

3. Share a Journal

Not everyone loves to journal, but this quick and easy exercise might open up a new avenue for good communication. Even if you already excel in communication, this can be a fun way to interact with one another. Leave a journal somewhere in your bedroom where you can both easily see it (helps remind you it’s there) and easily access it (so it doesn’t become a burden digging it out from under a pile of laundry).

The goal is to write words of encouragement to one another, ask each other questions, and then have time to put thought into your responses. Have you ever wondered if there’s something you could do to be a better spouse? Ask it in the journal. Have you ever wanted to try your hand at writing your spouse a song or a poem? Try it out in the journal.

This is a great place to flirt, problem solve, encourage, ask questions and share your thoughts. This is especially great for those who can express themselves better through writing. This might be a challenge for those who don’t feel as confident in their writing skills, but it’s the effort that counts.

Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” A shared journal is a perfect place to lavish your spouse with gracious words.

If you or your spouse is deployed or separated for any reason where a shared journal isn’t an option, write each other letters (there’s something special about handwritten notes). The point is to go beyond your normal, everyday means of communication.

4. Try to Out-Serve One Another

cute couple husband bringing wife breakfast in bed sick

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/PeopleImages

Trying to out-serve one another will look different in different marriages. A good place to start is by asking your spouse how they best feel served. You might be surprised by their answer. This might look very practical for some, like doing a chore that your spouse would typically do to give them a break. Or this might be surprising your spouse with a gift you know will bring a smile to their face or simply leaving them a love note. We have to remember that serving isn’t a one-size-fits-all action. You can serve your spouse by taking out the garbage, just as you can serve them by stocking their workspace with their favorite snacks.

The goal of serving one another is to remind your spouse that they are always at the forefront of your mind, that they are your favorite person, and that you care about the things they care about.

Philippians 2: 3-4 tells us to “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”

Trying to out-serve your spouse should be a fun, joyful part of your marriage. If it feels like a chore, then you’re doing it wrong. But if you do it and do well, your marriage will flourish, and the act of serving will start to feel as natural as a goodnight kiss.

5. Have Fun Together!

happy senior couple running along beach

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages

It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, especially if you have demanding work schedules or children. Caring for aging parents, dealing with chronic illness, or being over-committed with volunteer opportunities are just a few examples of things that can make our marriages take the back burner.

If you have to think hard to remember the last time you and your spouse had a good laugh together, then I’d say something needs to change. A great way to nourish your marriage back to health or keep it healthy is to have fun together.

Proverbs 5:18 says, “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,” Remind yourselves of the activities you once enjoyed together. Revisit those activities or try new ones! The point is, you got married because you once enjoyed being together - make sure you still do!

Whether it’s spelunking or binge-watching a favorite show, whatever it is, do it together. Don’t let all your conversations be about the business of life. Enjoy your spouse and allow your spouse to enjoy you.

Whether you’re a newlywed or you’ve been married for decades, it’s never too late to start nurturing your marriage. Not only will this bring glory to God and happiness to you and your spouse, but it will also reflect God’s goodness to a watching world. As you find new nurturing habits that work well for your marriage, be sure and tell your married friends about them. It’s a joy to work at helping your own marriage thrive and to help other marriages as well!

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/proud_natalia

Beth Ann Baus is a wife and mother of two adult sons. She is a freelance writer and author of novels, Sister Sunday and My So Much More. In her writing, Beth often pulls from her own experiences of abuse, anxiety, depression and OCD. Beth has a heart for homeschooling, women’s ministry, and is an ACBC-certified Biblical Counselor. She loves serving alongside her husband and pointing couples to the Word for strengthening their marriages and home life. You can find more from her at www.bethannbaus.com.

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