While I haven’t been married long, I have learned these three secrets for a strong marriage. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean my marriage is perfect. We still argue, we still snap at each other and we still get upset. But it doesn’t happen often. Or at least as often since we figured out the secrets for a strong marriage.
Although I married my best friend, it still wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. You have to learn how to share your life with another person after always doing it on your own. It’s a huge adjustment to make for anyone. But God uses our marriages to teach us to be more like Him. Whether it’s to be more patient, more meek, more kind or more understanding.
regular date nights ~
Sometimes when you don’t make a point of spending time with your spouse, it feels like you grow farther and farther apart. I always say it feels like I have a roommate instead of a husband. But I know it’s not always easy to find time for date nights. Especially when life gets really busy, it’s the first thing that gets pushed off the list.
I know it isn’t always easy to get out of the house and go on a date. Sometimes it’s impossible to find a sitter for the kids. Other times there isn’t enough extra money to go do anything. But you don’t need a sitter or have to leave the house to have a date night. There have been so many nights when Jake and I decide to have a date night after the kids are in bed. Even something as simple as watching a movie and playing board games.
It doesn’t matter what you do or where you do it to have a date night. The only thing that’s important is spending intentional time with one another. If you take the time to pay attention to each other and spend quality time with them (like I bet you used to when you were dating) it can make a world of difference in your marriage.
set aside time to talk through any issues ~
I once read a marriage book (I can’t remember which one) where every once in a while before bed the husband or the wife would ask “Do you have any chips?” They were referring to a chipped tea cup. When the chip in the cup was ignored a crack would grow and spread until the cup broke apart. But when the chip was found early enough, it could be repaired and last for years. So when you have an issue with something your spouse does or says (or the lack thereof) it needs to be addressed. If left unresolved it can continue to hang over your marriage and build up until the anger and bitterness eventually spill over.
In my own marriage, I have a hard time telling Jake when I’m upset about something. Usually it’s just hard for me to put into words exactly why I’m mad or hurt. So I just don’t, which only makes my bitterness grow. Eventually, I don’t want to talk to him or even be around him and he has no idea. Because I never said that there was something bothering me.
If you plan specific times to talk to one another about any issues either of you could be having, you’re setting yourself up for better communication. You have time to think about the things you want to talk about and a kind way to explain why it hurt or upset you. You also have time too cool off so you don’t say something you’ll regret if you’re really upset about something.
pray together ~
Matthew 18:19-20 says “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”
Praying with your spouse is a cornerstone of a Christian marriage. Prayer is our most personal connections with God. Sharing that in your marriage not only strengthens your relationship with God but also with your spouse. Praying together creates an intimacy and closeness like no other.
Jake and I were pretty much baby Christians when we got married. We knew and loved God but didn’t have much experience in His word and lacked a lot of biblical wisdom. While we didn’t know much, we knew we needed to be praying together for God to lead us where He wanted us to be.