Being married over nine months definitely does not make me an expert in all things marriage. I feel like I’m learning something new every single day. There’s always some new facet about Zach that I learn, some quality and characteristic unearthed in him that makes me love him even more. Of course we have our days where we miscommunicate, it’s a struggle to get on the same page, and we have our bickering.
But I have found that marriage is one of the most beautiful, hard, precious and wonderful things I have experienced. It has stretched me, grown me and God has used it to show me new sides of his face.
As Zach and I have started sharing and living life together since our wedding day in December, we have found certain things that help us communicate better, stay connected, and growing closer to one another. And while we have only been married 9 months, these are things that we hope to carry on until the Lord takes us home, and things that you can try in your marriage as well.
Here is a short list of some of the things we regularly do in our marriage to keep things popping!
1. Compliment each other. Words of affirmation are near the top for both of our love languages, so it is important for us to build each other up with words. But even if words of affirmation don’t “fill your love tank” it’s always nice to hear a compliment! We have made it a habit in our nightly ritual before we go to bed to give a compliment to the other from the day, and then pray before falling asleep. It’s a little thing, but it means the world.
2. Kiss for 10 seconds, AT LEAST once a day. Remember how when you were dating it was hard to resist a kiss from your special someone? Well keep those flames alive in your marriage and give your spouse a smooch they’ll remember all throughout the day! Really, we all have ten seconds, and it can draw your hearts together.
3. Set aside a date night every week. Just because you are married does not mean you stop dating or pursuing each other. The opposite should be true! We need to be studying our spouses, continuing to learn and pursue their hearts. Your date doesn’t have to be extravagant, but set aside that intentional time with each other.
4. Play together. Whether it’s your favorite board game (ours is Scrabble), taking a hike (we love the mountains!), walking around town, or grabbing some water guns and having an all out water fight, don’t forget how to play with your spouse. Don’t forget how to laugh and have fun with each other. Laughter is some of the best medicine around, especially for marriage!
5. Grow together. Find something that you both can learn together! Currently, Zach and I are going through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and learning how to be good stewards of our money. Whether it’s something like that, or reading through a book together, or listening to something together, find time to grow together individually and as a couple.
6. Ask each other questions. Every now and then Zach and I will ask each other questions. Things like “how can I love you better?” and “what’s one thing I can do for you this week that will really mean a lot to you?” Learning to communicate is so vital and important, and you need to check up on your relationship every once in a while to get on the same page, and be honest with one another.
7. Set a goal together and go after it! I love goals. I love to set them, and I love to reach them (who doesn’t?)! When I married Zach, I was used to setting goals for myself, but since we got married we have learned that it is important to dream together and set goals together! So every few months we sit down over coffee and write out our dreams and goals. We dream big, and we also set goals realistically. It could be as simple as our goal of going to an apple orchard this fall to pick apples, or all the way up to something like paying off a credit card entirely. Goals and dreams are important to set and reach together, just as much as individually!
There you have it, just a few of the points that I have picked up on over the past nine months in our marriage. I feel so incredibly blessed by the man God brought me to marry, and I am thankful for the relationship that we have. Learn to appreciate what God has given you in your spouse, and build them up in that!
Take some of these ideas and try them yourself! And I want to hear from you, dear reader! What’s one of your marriage tips?