In my poll this week, an overwhelming majority of you asked for healthy marriage tips and advice! Today is the birthday of one incredible man, my husband! Looking back today at pictures of our relationship and wedding brought back so many precious memories, so I thought I’d share some of the things that contribute to the health of our marriage while it was on my heart! So here are 10 Tips for a Healthy Marriage.
(Also, more wedding photos at the end of this post <3)
10 Tips for A Healthier Marriage
- Be Covered by the Veil of Christ
Cheesy as it may be, the veil photo above is representative of the most important, most key foundation in our marriage: to be covered by the veil of Christ. He is the Spirit that bonds us together and makes us unbreakable, the Spirit of God. Having Jesus at the center of our marriage creates a covering and protection like no other. My absolute number one ☝️ piece of advice if you don’t read anything else in this post, is to make Christ the center of your marriage.
Many of you share my Christian faith. No Christian marriages are perfect, but if you truly surrender your will to God’s will for your life, together as a couple, I can promise you, breakthrough can happen in every area of your life, and you’ll be unstoppable, together. I can testify that God rescued me at 24 years old, and he restored my life. I’ve seen nothing but blessings since I committed my life to him.
My practical suggestion for those of you who share my faith is to pray together for 5 minutes a day. Keep it short, but prioritize it. If you miss a day, don’t miss two. Recently, my husband and I started a parenting devotional together. It’s a daily devotional on the Bible app that takes about 5 minutes, called Parenting By Design. We each do it separately, and we comment on it, so that we see each other’s response. Don’t get overwhelmed by the time it takes to connect with God every day. Just start by doing a little and committing to doing it every day, even if it’s just a 5 minute devotional and prayer.
- Celebrate Each Other
Some couples don’t feel comfortable giving or receiving praise or words of affirmation. It’s so, SO important to communicate to your spouse that hey “I see you,” and let them know you notice how hard they are working. Say it out loud! Don’t be shy. We generous with your words of praise. Even if you don’t feel like it, speak it. It will change the atmosphere, and it will change your marriage, if you consciously make an effort to lift each other up!
- Shared Activities and Recreation
We learned in premarital counseling that men and women are different. I like to gaze into each other’s eyes and talk, but my husband isn’t as comfortable with that. And that’s okay! That’s how God made him. Men enjoy a shared activity. And they crave recreation! So, learning this, I started making an effort to do a recreational shared activity with my husband, in his comfortable place, and when I started doing that, he started opening up and chatting so much more than he did when I tried to make him sit and talk to me! We try to go on a long walk almost every day if the weather is nice and just reconnect. If we can’t do that, then we cook or clean up together, anything where we can do something as a team.
- Same Bed Time = Talk time.
Get in bed at the same time each night, talk for 10 min with the lights on, so that you can look at each other for a little bit each day. Don’t forget to “see” each other. We used to chat in the dark as we were falling asleep at night but we realized we weren’t taking the time to look at each other all day long! So we decided to leave the lights on for 10 min after we hopped in bed and just talk and chat about the day. It really makes you feel so good to see and be seen before you go to sleep at night (or do other things). 😉
- Separate But Connected Bank Accounts.
Money is a tough topic for many couples. Separate but connected accounts may not work for everyone, but if you’re constantly arguing about who’s spending what, maybe give this a try. You’re both responsible adults and you know how much you can spend. If the other spouse can’t see each transaction, it may be a huge stress relief for you both. This works for us, because we both earn separate incomes, and we both pay bills at comparable percentage of our income, so that we can each have about the same amount of spending money each month. We connected our accounts so that we can transfer each other money when needed, but we each feel like we have a little independence and our own money to spend. We also aren’t confused or surprised about what’s coming out of our account each month. It works for us, but you do you!
- Create Fun and Laughter!
Laughing is so important. I am a pretty focused and driven person, so sometimes I am too serious and I don’t relax enough to just enjoy the simple and hilarious moments. My husband is a ton of fun. If you’re not having fun together, create some fun by planning a silly date, or do a fun family activity like hide and seek in the dark in the back yard, a comedic movie, or create a food activity that everyone can decorate and make a mess in the kitchen! (But also require that everyone help clean up, lol). You’d be surprised by how much fun it is to just let go and make a mess together!
- Date each other weekly!
A date night once a week! Yes once a week, even if you have kids, budget for a babysitter and a dinner, and get away and go on a date! It’s SO important to keeping the romance alive, and you need a break from those kids to remain healthy! Kids need parents who are in love. They will be okay for a couple hours while you invest time into your marriage. You will thank yourself one day for giving yourself time to do this.
- Shared Responsibilities and Task Delegation
Delegate your household tasks! We have a 12 year older and a toddler, and I understand that if your kids are babies this may not be possible just yet, but, hear me out. I met a friend in college who’s mom made him do his laundry at 4 years old! My daughter is 12 and does her own laundry. Cruel? No!! You are a mom, and you will never have enough time to do everything for everybody! Should you feel guilty? Heck no!
Not only does delegating tasks take the burden off you, so you can do more things you can enjoy, or even get some self care in, it’s also teaching your kids good old fashioned responsibility! The younger you start, the less they complain, and the more they think of it as part of their life routine! Have them help with dinner, set the table, take out the trash, clean the dishes and load the dishwasher, and put away their clothes! I make my daughter organize her closet and drawers by herself when they get out of control! She will come out of her rooms with bags of clothes to donate! And you know what? This is teaching her a valuable skill that she needs later in life: to take care of your things!
If you don’t teach them now, they will go to college and not know how to do laundry, like I did. And their roommates will dislike the fact that they don’t clean up after themselves! These are important life skills that need to be taught, but also it takes the burden off you and your husband. If you don’t have kids, or if you have babies, try to share the household responsibilities as much as possible. Even if he works and you don’t, still kindly and sweetly ask him to do small things after he gets home and settled in. If you cook, ask him to clean up while you relax and take a bath! If you did a load of laundry, ask him to fold them and put them away so you can go for a run! Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself. Marriage is teamwork. Period.
- Get Away for the Weekend.
Leave the kids with your parents and get out of town! Save for it, budget for it, whatever you have to do. It keeps marriage interesting and exciting when you continue to go on adventures together!
- Gifts and Surprises.
Many people receive and understand love through gifts. It’s their love language. My daughter is this way. But many adults are this way and they don’t know it, or they may not want to admit it, because they don’t want to sound greedy, but purchasing or creating a meaningful gift for your spouse can communicate so much love to them! After all, God communicated his love for us by giving us the ultimate gift of his son Jesus, his most precious possession. And Jesus displayed his love by giving of and sacrificing himself, dying for us, so that we might live. Giving of yourself, your time, or giving surprises is incredibly meaningful, when done right. Take the time to think of a gift your spouse would really get excited about and appreciate. For my husbands birthday, I made him a video slideshow on my iPhone of pictures of us together over the years and of our family! It was easy, free, and your iPhone will create it for you in your “Memories” feature within the iPhone’s Photo app. It is actually really easy to do! Just click on the Search tab in Photos and search for photos of your spouse, and iPhone will create the video automatically, which you can edit and add to! Viola! A meaningful gift!
Marriage takes work. These tips are meant to give you ideas and reminders for reconnecting and creating a healthier atmosphere at home. If you are struggling in your marriage moreso than the usual martial concerns, consider marriage counseling! There is no shame in this, and in fact I think it wise to invest the time and really dig into your marriage to make it the best it possibly can be! Christian counseling can really help you navigate tough circumstances and work out deep problems rooted in your pasts that you can overcome! If you’re engaged, I highly encourage you to go through premarital counseling. We did, and it was life changing for us!
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