I always have just the slightest bit of hesitation when I sit down to write a blog post about marriage.
It’s not because my marriage isn’t great or because my husband and I aren’t getting along. I just know from past experience that if I write something about marriage, it’s like I’m inviting a “difference of opinion” with my husband sometime in the next 24 hours. But I had a few thoughts I wanted to share about building up our marriages, so maybe we’ll defy the odds this time!
Perhaps my thoughts strayed this way because we just entered a month focused on love and Valentine’s Day. Or maybe it’s because I see our daughters growing up before my eyes, and realize that I need to step up the praying for their future spouses! Either way, I came up with three things that I think can help us strengthen our marriages. (I’m sure there’s a lot more than three, but I figured that was enough for today!)
1. Pray together.
There’s no better way to build up your marriage than by being on the same page spiritually. Having a spouse you can share burdens and struggles with – and knowing he/she will pray for you – is truly a gift.
I don’t think this idea necessarily means you have to physically pray together all the time. But it does mean that your hearts are joined in asking God for His blessings on your life. You’re also seeking Him together about meeting needs, whether it’s a financial obligation, guidance for parenting your children, wisdom about upcoming decisions, etc.
2. Play together.
There’s lots of room for personal application with this one! True confession: I’m not a big adventure taker. So cliff diving or even roller-coaster riding would not fit into this category for me. But if that’s your thing, as my teenage daughter says, “You do you!” (And let me say that my husband is an adventurer, so some of our “playing” involves me watching him do those riskier things!)
My husband and I both enjoy getting outside and finding trails to hike and, especially if we’re out-of-town, pretty areas of the country to explore. You can determine what “play” means for your relationship. It could be a game of tennis, a walk on the beach, a day trip to a nearby town, or a rousing game of miniature golf. What you do is not as important as just taking time to relax and be together.
3. Dream together.
What dreams does your husband have for his job, for his ministry, for retirement? What hobbies does he want to have more time for?
This is going to look quite different in each season of life. When you have small children, a lot of dreams center around how you’re going to build, grow, and enjoy your family. But when, like us, your kids hit those teenage years, you start to realize that there’s life after basketball games and school plays and piano recitals. Your dreams take on a new look.
Maybe there are more opportunities to travel or time to attend a class you’ve wanted to take. But no matter what stage of life you’re in, dream together. Set goals and plan activities that you can look forward to together.
We’ve been married for 26 years, and there’s no one I’d rather pray, play or dream with than my husband! May God continue to knit our hearts together with our spouse’s, and bless us with marriages that bring Him glory.