7 Ways To Help Your Marriage Today

Guatemala 2013 027

A successful marriage does not happen by accident.  A marriage that works requires intention.  You have to be intentional in cultivating your relationship so it lasts and sustains the ups and downs of life.  Leanne and I don’t have a perfect marriage.  We have plenty of things to work on when it comes to improving our marriage.  But over the past 17+ years of our marriage, we have learned the benefits of being intentional, and we have discovered some tools which have helped to build up our marriage.

Today, I’d like to pass along some of the things we’ve learned so far.  And I’d like to encourage you to take action today with your marriage.  It will require intentional effort on your part, but it will be worth it.

7 Ways To Help Your Marriage Today

  1. Pray together.  We aren’t perfect with this, but we do our best to pray together twice a day.  Before I leave the house for work, we pause to pray together.  At bedtime, we pray together.  This simple discipline pays huge dividends.  Praying together keeps us on the same page.  Praying together helps us support each other.  Praying together gets us through good days and tough days.  Start praying together today.
  2. Make church a priority.  Church attendance doesn’t guarantee a perfect marriage, but I believe it’s a great place to start in giving your marriage a solid foundation.  A church family provides a place to grow and to serve with others.  A church can also provide encouragement or accountability when necessary.  This doesn’t happen by attending church on Christmas and Easter only.  Instead, church should be part of your regular weekly schedule.  Decide today to plug into a church together.
  3. Practice a regular date night.  Leanne and I do our best to go on a date weekly.  This was definitely a challenge when our kids were younger as we juggled finances and childcare.  It’s easier for us now as our kids can be at home for a couple of hours by themselves.  A date can mean going out for dessert, playing tennis together, or taking a walk.  Making our weekly date night a priority shows our kids the importance of  marriage.  And it gives Leanne and I a fun opportunity to connect each week.  Dating should not stop when you say “I do.”  Dating is a discipline for your marriage as well.  Schedule a date with your spouse today.
  4. Serve together.  Finding places to serve together has been helpful in uniting our marriage.  This happens through our H.O.P.E. group on a monthly basis.  And our trip to Guatemala was a great place to serve together.  Helping others together has been a great way to connect and encourage each other.  It’s also another great opportunity to be an example for our kids (and others).  Find a way and a place to serve together today.
  5. Listen to marriage and family focused programs.  I listen to a lot of podcasts.  Two podcasts in my regular rotation are the FamilyLife Today with Dennis Rainey podcast and the Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast podcast.  It may sound hokey or old-fashioned, but these programs are a great encouragement.  Each of these daily podcasts provides suggestions to help your marriage and family.  Filling our minds with positive information about marriage is important.  You can’t find many positive messages about marriage on television, in the movies, or in society today.  Listening to marriage focused programs like these is a place to slice through the negativity.  Go on-line today and download one of these podcasts or find our when and where you can listen to these programs on the radio today.
  6. Plan today to attend a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember conference.  The most popular post of all time on The Stretched Blog is Ten Reasons To Attend FamilyLife Weekend To Remember.  Leanne and I have been to a few of these conferences over the years.  I’m not going to sugar coat it.  These conferences can be a lot of work as you listen to speakers and spend time talking about your marriage.  But we’ve found these conferences to be so helpful in building up our marriage.  We’ve collected valuable tools for enhancing our marriage (books, activities, and other ideas).  FamilyLife has made it easier than ever to sign up for one of these Weekend to Remember getaways which are scheduled throughout the country.  Find a getaway near you by clicking here.  When you register, use the discount group code “Stretched01” to receive $120 off the regular price of the conference (per couple).  If you live in my area, the next getaway weekend if November 22-24 in King of Prussia.  Sign up today.
  7. Find a mentor couple.  Early in our marriage, we were blessed to hang around with people like Paul and Dorothy Keisling and Jeff and Glyniss Murphy.  Couples like these took time to invest in our marriage.  They spent time with us, and they showed us what marriage looks like through their example.  I remember sitting in the Murphy’s family room during the first years of our marriage listening to Jeff and Glyniss teach about marriage.  This may require you to be a little uncomfortable asking another couple to mentor you, but it’s worth it.  To learn more about marriage mentors, I’d encourage you to check out a book by Jeff Murphy and Check Dettman – The Solution for Marriages: Mentoring a New Generation (affiliate link).

What suggestions do you have for being intentional with your marriage?  What is one thing you can do today for your marriage?