April 29, 2013
Never threaten to leave or divorce your spouse when angry or even jokingly. It is a dangerous, cruel and cowardly tactic. It opens the door for doubt, fear, rejection, and mistrust to enter your marriage. Intimacy in marriage is created when you see the worst of each other, but know you are still safe in their love and lifelong commitment to you and your relationship.
April 22, 2013
Are you struggling with getting pregnant, finalizing an adoption, dealing with a miscarriage or something similar? This is a very sensitive and deeply personal journey to travel, and everyone handles it differently. Be sensitive to your spouse and keep the communication lines open, even when that means giving your spouse the space to be alone or to be openly emotional.
April 15, 2013
Take time to actually talk about sex! Explore what your spouse likes regarding physical touch, fun ways to spice things up, and frequency. Discuss what you especially enjoy and what may be challenging sexually given your current stage of life, stressors, and personal needs. The goal is to lovingly serve one another and enjoy being together intimately.
April 8, 2013
Plan a weekly "budget update" meeting to discuss finances, debt reduction, investments, and/or budgeting. Just a 10 minute conversation can keep you on the same page, reduce stress, and create a shared sense of ownership and stewardship of resources.
April 1, 2013
Be sensitive to your spouse when a doctor or dentist appointment is approaching. Ask if they want you to go with them, drive them to the appointment, or give them a call to ask how it went. Sometimes a spouse prefers not to discuss or talk about it. Everyone's comfort level is different; the key is to know your spouse and show your support accordingly.
March 18, 2013
Create a digital scrapbook of your relationship. Organize it by date nights, anniversaries or birthday, vacations, a specific shared activity or hobby, or by season. Turn the photos into a book for your coffee table!
March 11, 2013
Fill up the car with gas – don’t leave it for your spouse. Or surprise your spouse by filling up their car to save them time on the way to work or before they leave for a trip.
March 4, 2013
Be the loudest fan at your spouse's finish line! Completing a degree, finishing a project, getting a promotion, losing the first 5 pounds, running a marathon, completing the laundry & making dinner in the same day with a sick child at home...you know best how hard your spouse has worked to attain a goal, so be the one who's at the front of the crowd giving the loudest and highest affirmation.
February 18, 2013
Do what it takes to remember important dates, and to act accordingly with a thought-out card or planned gift, dinner reservations, etc. Put it on your calendar, set a timer, find an app...being prepared for special occassions doesn't come naturally for every spouse, but putting in the effort to make it happen will bless your spouse and your relationship. What important day did your spouse remember that really meant a lot to you?
February 11, 2013
When participating in an activity your spouse enjoys, give him/her the gift of a good attitude. Even if it's not your favorite thing, complaints, grumpiness, and a bad attitude will negate your willingness to participate in the first place. So bless your spouse not only by joining in, but by determining to have fun while you're at it.
January 28, 2013
Don't punish your spouse with a bad attitude or rude behavior. If you feel hurt or disrespected by something your spouse says or does, keep your cool, and kindly, with minimal emotion, let them know that you've just felt hurt or frustrated. Put yourself in your spouse's shoes to validate what they're feeling and try to understand why they may be having an "off" attitude, but don't harbor your feelings and then give a cold shoulder or blow up at your spouse later...you'll be just as guilty.
January 21, 2013
If at all possible, set up a time to visit your spouse at their place of work. Seeing where they work and meeting some of the people they work with will allow you to visualize where they are and what they're doing during the day. This is a great way to feel connected to your spouse, even when you're apart, and it will allow others to see you as a married couple who are interested in each other's lives and pursuits.
December 10, 2012
Even though we may sometimes deal with and/or show emotions differently, both men and women are emotional beings. Just because your husband is the rock of your family doesn't mean he can't be hurt by your words...and just because your wife can juggle twenty things at once doesn't mean she can also handle an insensitive husband. Think before you speak, and remember to communicate with your spouse in a way that shows your love, respect and appreciation.
December 3, 2012
Play together! Life is full of bills and chores and problems and work...so take time to play together! Break out the Scrabble board, go to the park and throw a frisbee, have a tickle fight, play hide-and-go-seek, or see who can clean up their spot at the supper table to fastest. Every marriage needs an element of fun with smiles and laughter.
November 26, 2012
This season, find out what kind of gift would bless your spouse. If careful-spending is important to your spouse, find out what your budget is. If your honey likes surprises, then put forth the effort to find or make something special, or to present the gift in a unique way. Or maybe you married someone logical - and he'd just like to tell you what he wants (or buy it himself!) And then some people prefer an experience or memory over something that can be wrapped - if that's your spouse, then take him to his favorite restaurant, plan a special outting, or bake her favorite pie. The key is to be a blessing to your spouse.
November 19, 2012
Be thankful together! With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, there will be places to be and things to do - but take a moment with your spouse to offer thanks for your marriage and all you've seen God do in your hearts and lives and relationship this year. An attitude of gratitude will set an example for your children and put your hearts in the right place to maneuver gracefully through the busy-ness of the holidays.
November 5, 2012
Vote together! Sometimes we become so self-absorbed in our own lives and problems that we forget about the power of living beyond ourselves and making a difference in the lives around us. So whether you're keeping up with the presidential race, getting plugged-in at your church, attending your child's PTA meeting, or serving in your community, grab your spouse's hand and get involved - you'll begin to appreciate your spouse in new ways!
October 29, 2012
Pray together! Marriage involves 2 imperfect people - so frustrations, disillusionments, and disappointments can quickly mount. Add to that the ups and downs of life, and becoming an emotional, irritable basket-case can easily ensue. When you feel the pressures of your marriage and life mounting, grab your spouse's hand or pull her in for a hug...and pray. Mutual surrender or gratitude and the posture of two humbled hearts before God can draw you together in the best and worst of times.
October 22, 2012
Read a book together! You can take turns reading out loud during a road trip or as part of your bedtime routine. Or get two books and read simultaneously over your lunch break or if one spouse is out of town. Choose the book together – a biography, a novel, the Bible, or find a book that covers a topic you’re both interested in like gardening, fitness, or starting a business – the options are endless and you’ll have fun learning something new together.
October 15, 2012
As it gets cooler outside, keep things warm in your home and in your marriage! Have an early morning coffee date with your spouse, make a fire in the fireplace and roast marshmallows, or plan a Scrabble marathon on a blanket in the park - complete with hoodies and a thermos of hot chocolate!
October 1, 2012
Our friends over at WeAreThatFamily posted a great marriage article today: "Ten Ways to Say 'I Like You' Without Using Words" We particularly loved #7: "Hush your mouth." Think twice before you SAY something negative, rude, deflating, or mean-spirited to your spouse. Sometimes the best thing you can do is "hush up!" (And check out the tee they highlighted! Thanks, WATF!)
September 24, 2012
Physical itimacy in marriage is vital to the health of the marriage relationship - and sometimes it's just a matter of giving that extra bit of effort in order to make the experience special and fulfilling for your spouse. Husband - when was the last time you offered to give your wife a foot rub or tell her all the reasons why she's the most beautiful woman in the world to you? Wife - when was the last time you got new lingerie to wear for your husband or took 15 extra minutes to do your hair and makeup...just for him?
September 17, 2012
Instead of accusing or attacking, ask questions...in a kind manner! This eliminates a lot of unnecessary hurt and anger. After all, so many times in marriage, an argument is a result of nothing more than a misunderstanding or communication error.
September 10, 2012
Holding hands with your spouse is a great way to reaffirm your enjoyment of each other, as well as show publicly to your children, friends, & anyone who sees you, that you go together. Holding hands can be an outward display of the inward choice you both make to stick together through it all. Plus, even a simple physical connection like holding hands can relieve stress, stir romance, and give a sense of safety and security.
August 27, 2012
Frame two photos - one of you and one of your spouse, when you were children. Place the photos side by side in your bedroom or hallway as a reminder to keep your heart softened towards your spouse. Children just want to be loved. And the truth is, adults are just grown children, still desiring love and acceptance. No one is perfect - allow your spouse to know your love, forgiveness, & acceptance.
August 13, 2012
Model a servant's heart to your children and your peers by how you treat your spouse. Instead of keeping track of who's done what, or whose turn it is, put your spouse first by serving them in the moment. Give them the biggest brownie, get a head-start on the laundry, get the children ready for bed, clean up after dinner, let your spouse choose the restaurant. In the little and big things of life, we can model a Christ-like attitude when we set out to serve instead of demand to be served.
August 8, 2012
What does your spouse excel in? Always kissing you goodnight? Playing with the kids? Offering a sincere apology? Tell him/her so - and give them the gold!
July 30, 2012
Resist the temptation to use your spouse as a scape goat for your frustration. Had a rough day? Just stub your toe? Anxious about a situation? Did someone just treat you rudely? Instead of taking it out on your spouse, take a moment to calm down and process your emotions. A spouse is better able to help if you simply communicate what they can do to help - such as give you a hug, pray for you, give you some space, or just listen.
July 16, 2012
What's the one thing you know would mean the world to your spouse...taking the kids to breakfast so she can sleep in one morning?...letting him play that pick-up game with the guys?...taking over laundry duty for a week?...giving a long backrub?...hiding a love note? Life is short. Love your spouse intentionally today!
July 9, 2012
Marriage is a life-long adventure of learning and loving your spouse! The next time you plan some alone time together with your spouse - dinner out, dinner in, a scenic drive, etc. - both of you take the time to come up with 2 or 3 fun get-to-know-you questions beforehand that you'd like to ask your spouse. Then take turns asking and giving your answers!
July 2, 2012
We normally remember to be polite to others - but sometimes we forget our manners when interacting with our spouse on a daily basis. So instead of barking or giving commands, say "please" and "thank you" to the person you've committed to love all the days of your life. Even if you're tired or irritable, these small words, when communicated with a kind tone and adjusted attitude, can relate love, respect, and appreciation. Love isn't a feeling - it's an action. And politeness is a great place to start!
June 25, 2012
Take some time to take care of...you! Being healthy and feeling good about yourself can be very becoming to your spouse! When you make the attempt to look and feel your best, your health, confidence and self-esteem are strenghtened. And when you feel good about yourself, it's much easier to love others - including your spouse! (And don't forget, it's okay to start slow. Whether it's adding a little excercise, makeup, or quiet time etc. to your day, taking small steps will encourage you in your efforts!)
June 18, 2012
Gossip is self-serving and produces division, pain, and bitterness - even in marriage. Combat this ugly behavior with a little self-discipline! When you're tempted to spread gossip, shut your mouth and open your heart until what comes out is LIFE-GIVING. Whisper why daddy is wonderful in your child's ear. Tell your sister about the yummy dinner your spouse cooked for you last night. Send your honey an email bragging on what a blessed husband / wife you are to have such a well-dressed, smart, thoughtful, etc. spouse.
June 11, 2012
Does your spouse have a special talent or interest - photography, running, gardening, golf, cooking, etc? Encourage him/her in it by being their biggest cheerleader. Show your spouse that his/her interests matter to you by giving a gift related to their talent, by being generous with your admiration, or by simply allowing them to pursue that talent / hobby with your blessing.
May 21, 2012
Liven up a Monday evening with a special treat for dessert! Here are a few ideas: Create an "Icecream Sundae" bar at home, surprise your sweetheart (and maybe the kids, too!) with an evening walk or drive to a local icecream shop, or pick up your spouse's favorite pint of specialty icecream at the grocery store on the way home!
May 14, 2012
Laughing with your spouse is a wonderful way to relieve stress and share a fun memory. But be sensitive. Sometimes a moment which seems funny to you may be the "straw that breaks the camel's back" for your spouse if he or she has had a rough day. Enjoy the times when you can share a laugh and embrace the moments when giving your spouse a hug - or just some space - is the best medicine.
May 7, 2012
Cultivate a spirit of generosity in your marriage. Generosity is "Liberality in giving" or the "willingness to give." Be willing to liberally give your love, forgiveness, affection, words of affirmation, and even your time and energy to your spouse. Never base your giving on what you might or might not receive in return. The beauty and power of a generous spirit is the joy that radiates from a pure motive.
April 23, 2012
Check out this interview with Union28 founders, Greg & Latonya! Dell with Ladydell Ministries caught up with them at the Union28 booth in Memphis recently where they attended a homeschool convention. Greg & Latonya share a few ideas on marriage (your spouse is not the enemy & how to pray for your marriage) as well as how Union28 was started! Click HERE for VIDEO.
April 16, 2012
Spring brings about change, and can inspire you to think about your dreams. Maybe there is somewhere you’ve always wanted to travel. Maybe you’ve dreamt of a career move. Maybe it’s the desire to have another child. Spend time sharing these things with your spouse and find something both of you want in life – then dream about how to make it happen. Shared dreams can help bond the two of you together.
April 9, 2012
Smile! A smile is a small, self-less act of kindness and respect that can make a big impact. A smile acknowledges another person - it lets them know you are happy to see them, that they are worth your attention, and that you are pleased by their presence. So the next time you make eye contact with your spouse, smile! (This even works over the phone - your spouse can detect when you're smiling, even when your face is unseen!)
April 2, 2012
Easter reminds us of new life and the great sacrifice Jesus made to die for our sins and offer us full forgiveness. In light of what Jesus did for us, consider extending forgiveness quickly and sincerely to your spouse the next time you feel hurt or offended. Forgivness isn't condoning an inappropriate action or behavior - it's the choice to not hold that wrong against the offender. Forgiveness invites new life into your marriage.
March 26, 2012
Husbands, a helpful invention has been the ability to record your favorite game and watch it later or find the rerun on the internet. If your wife isn't a sports fan, surprise her by recording the game and spending that time with her - she'll know you're making a sacrifice.
March 19, 2012
It's been said that a married couple's bedroom should be reserved for 2 purposes only...the 2 important "S's" - Sleeping and...you know the other one! If you watch TV, read, eat, or allow your children or pets in your bedroom, try going without these for one week and replace them with the 2 "S's." You might find that this simple change will increase your energy, intimacy, and refreshment.
March 12, 2012
Words hold the power of life or death - speak life! The next time you see your spouse, tell him/her TWO THINGS - something you appreciate about WHAT THEY DO (laundry, going to work, making dinner, etc.) and something you appreciate about WHO THEY ARE (a person of integrity, an easy laugher, a quick forgiver, smart, funny, etc.)
March 5, 2012
Give yourself some grace. Did you speak harshly to your spouse, act selfishly, or pout when you didn't get your way? We all have our moments, but it's in these moments that we can grow! Choose to forgive yourself, apologize and ask forgiveness from your spouse, then move on. And bonus! It's amazing how much easier it is to extend grace and forgiveness to your spouse once you learn how to first forgive and deal with your own shortcomings.
February 27, 2012
One of the best things you can do for your marriage; learn how to communicate effectively! Say what you mean and how you're feeling, but do so in a loving, non-threatening tone. Then listen to your spouse. It's amazing how often we assume our spouse knows what we want, how we feel, and what we need. No one is a mind-reader. Learning how to communicate can simplify your life and increase your intimacy!
February 20, 2012
Sometimes a hug - such a simple, selfless act of love - is the best medicine. Is your spouse feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, stressed out, unloved, or just having a bad day? A tender, tight, unrushed hug can remind your husband or wife that you're there for them - that they aren't alone and that everything will be okay. Sometimes actions speak louder than words.
February 13, 2012
Looking for a new, creative way to invest in your marriage? Check out this great list of "100 Ways to Make Your Marriage Rock" from our friends at WeAreThatFamily! http://wearethatfamily.com/2012/02/100-ways-to-make-your-marriage-rock/
February 6, 2012
Create a Daily Point of Contact - a scheduled moment in your day where you can focus on, connect with, and affirm your spouse! Here are some ideas: Give your spouse an intentional kiss and "I love you" before parting ways for the day, greet your spouse with a hug each evening upon his/her arrival home, call your spouse over your lunch break, pray together after you crawl in bed each night, shower together as part of your morning or night routine, or send a daily "love-note" email.
January 30, 2012
Here's something fun to try for a week...set up a ratio of "together-time" to TV-watching. So for example, "allow" yourselves 1 hour of TV for each hour you spend together doing non-TV activities, like going for a walk, talking, playing a game, having family devotions or dinner together, etc. Or choose another increment...maybe 15 min of together-time will "earn" an hour of TV. Sometimes starting small is an easier adjustment. The ratio can always be tweaked the following week!
January 16, 2012
In honor of MLK Jr's legacy to stand up for what's right, make a commitment to do what's right when it comes to honoring your marriage. This can be a great conversation between you and your spouse! Find out what's important to each other (not being demeaning in public, guarding what you view on the internet, speaking respectfully in disagreements, etc.) and then discuss regularly. It's not about being perfect; it's about building trust and intimacy through honesty, respect, forgiveness, and cheering each other on!
January 9, 2012
Looking for a good New Year's Resolution? Pick one evening a month to set aside for just you and your spouse - maybe the first Friday of each month or the10th of each month - choose a day or date you can look forward to. Then put it on your family calendar...children notice when mommy and daddy like and prioritize spending time together.
December 12, 2011
Communication involves listening and speaking in a loving manner. Practice speaking in a way that encourages your spouse to listen. In the heat of the moment, put the dramatics aside and speak in a controlled manner with kindness and a guarded tongue. The goal is to facilitate understanding not to start a war.
December 5, 2011
Your body language makes all the difference when interacting with your spouse. This week, practice listening with your face – communicating love and respect by giving your full attention with a good attitude.
November 28, 2011
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season tensions can mount and stress can run high. Patience is often replaced with impatience and we can easily be offended by our spouse’s words and actions, even when no offense was intended. This Christmas, give the gift of grace to your spouse; it may just be the best (and most appreciated) gift you give.
November 21, 2011
During this week of Thanksgiving, don’t forget about the one you married. Show some love by letting your husband/wife know “why I’m thankful for you”. Plan a quiet moment to pull your spouse aside and surprise him or her with a list of all your reasons. Get creative or keep it simple. Write a poem, present her with a card or whisper it in his ear.
November 14, 2011
Love in marriage should be given unselfishly and unconditionally. This is easier said than done, but in the end, it's a choice - we choose to love because we've made a covenant with our spouse that says, "I do" despite the circumstance, or a bad attitude, or a rough day. "If you're loving your spouse only to get love in return, that's not love, that's trading." - Gary Thomas. Trading is for baseball cards & recipes...in your marriage, choose to give love based on your promise, not your expectations. This kind of love sets you free!
October 24, 2011
Love your spouse with the sense of sight! Make a decision to guard your eyes from that which would hinder your marriage or dishonor your spouse. But in the privacy of your marriage relationship, delight in seeing each other and in making yourself attractive for your spouse. Be willing to go the extra mile - a spouse will usually notice when you make an effort to shave, add a little makeup, or wear his/her favorite color, even if they don't mention it. When you take time for and pride in yourself, it shows your love for your spouse!
October 17, 2011
Love your spouse with the sense of hearing! Never underestimate the power of allowing your spouse to hear you speak words of affirmation and affection in public and in private. Even if you need to have a difficult conversation, speaking in a loving, non-threatening manner invites your spouse to listen. When your speech is seasoned with love and respect, walls come down, trust is built in your relationship, and intimacy deepens. Scripture says the tongue holds the power of life and death, so set a guard over your tongue and speak LIFE.
October 10, 2011
Love your spouse with the sense of touch! Whether offering a hug, stealing a kiss, squeezing his shoulder, or stroking her hair, let your spouse know that he/she is safe with you and that your touch can be trusted and desired as a means of encouragement, affection, and love...and allow your children to see these interactions - it will reassure them of your love for each other and boost their confidence in your love for them.
October 3, 2011
Love your spouse with the sense of smell! This doesn't have to require high maintenance or expensive perfume; besides, you know what your spouse likes - a certain after-shave, a particular scent of lotion...or what about giving the gift of fresh-baked cookies, a flower, lighting a scented candle or offering an apology for a stinky attitude...the gift of a pleasing aroma in your home and in your heart can relieve stress and communicate love.
September 12, 2011
Love your spouse with all 5 senses - today we're talking about taste! What food does your spouse crave or consider a treat? Go on a surprise date to her favorite restaurant, pick up his favorite game-time snack at the grocery store, or invite your spouse home from a hard day's work with a freshly baked goodie, right out of the oven! Grab a quick mix or try this amazing homemade brownie recipe!
August 29, 2011
Do you catch yourself thinking nice things about your spouse but not verbalizing them? Is your spouse sometimes hard-to-please or just difficult? Don’t let that be your excuse to not honor and uplift them as your marriage partner. Kindness begets kindness.
August 22, 2011
Plan a “work and play” date on a Saturday! Clean out that closet or garage together…then plan a nice dinner out just the two of you or with friends…something fun to look forward to while working!
July 18, 2011
July 11, 2011
June 20, 2011
(from this article: http://wearethatfamily.com/category/i-love-my-hubby) "Sometimes married people argue, but it's HOW you argue that matters. No name-calling, putting-down, or mean-ness allowed." Learning how to communicate - just saying what's concerning you in an unemotional, loving tone that invites a response & not retaliation - is worth the effort!
June 6, 2011
May 23, 2011
May 16, 2011
Try some spontaneity! Give an unexpected kiss, try a new recipe, switch sides of the bed, or go for a game of putt putt golf on a weekday evening! Adding something out-of-the ordinary can help keep your relationship fresh and fun!
May 9, 2011
May 2, 2011