- Make Your Marriage A Priority
In many marriages more time and money is spent on the hobbies people enjoy than on the relationship they have chosen to have for a lifetime. I am not saying to give up your hobbies and things you enjoy, but if you are not putting more effort into your marriage relationship than you are your hobbies, you may have your priorities a little out of order. Making your marriage relationship your first priority will allow you to build your relationship, become the friends you are suppose to be and to move towards the one flesh marriage intended by God for you to get to be rewarded with. Putting time and energy into your marriage has exponential benefits, not only do you grow together, those around you see your example of growth and your children benefit from a stronger family unit.
Invest in your marriage by finding a retreat to attend, find a study group in your town that focuses on marriage enrichment, or read marriage enriching books together. The time spent can only lead to a better relationship, better communication, and better sex.
- Pray together daily
Praying together as a couple is an intimate act that brings you closer together. When you can sit together and tell God your garbage and ask for help, you can set aside who you and your spouse are and see God working in and through you both.
“Do you know that the divorce rate among couples who pray together daily is less than one percent? Why is that so? Nothing brings a couple closer together than bearing your hearts before God and each other in prayer, and yet fewer than four percent of couples pray together on a daily basis.
“It is only when a husband and wife pray together before God that they find the secret of true harmony: that the difference in their temperaments, their ideas, and their tastes enriches their home instead of endangering it … When each of the marriage partners seeks quietly before God to see his own faults, recognizes sin, asks the forgiveness of the other, marital problems are no more … They learn to become absolutely honest with each other…” ~ Excerpt from the book Pursuit of Passion by Jeff Murphy and Julie Sibert
You will never know what God can do in your marriage until you approach him about it together.
- Make Goals Together
Start your year off right by having common goals with each other. Sitting down to converse about the things you want to work towards can bring you together. Your spouse may be unaware of a goal you have and there may be marriage, family, or financial goals you could set together to be on the same page about working towards them. This is a great way to get to know your spouse’s dreams and there is power in working towards things together.
Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. ~ Mark 10:9
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. ~ Mathew 18:20
- Make Your Intimate Relationship A Priority
Being intimate with your spouse is the reason you decided to get married and it is commonly one of the first things to break down over time. I am not just talking about sex, but sex is a great result of intimate closeness with your spouse.
There is a closeness that only a husband and wife can share; Spouses have a special familiarity with each other that can only be gained through spending lots of quality time together. Our spouses are our best friends, chosen by God, because He knows more than we do about what we need in a life partner. Marriage is friendship at its most intimate and we should enjoy the honor of getting to walk through life with our best friend!
*an intimate remark: here she was sitting swapping intimacies with a stranger
Intimate talk is an important part of marriage. It happens in many different ways with our spouse and all are equally important and serve different purposes. God gives us many places in our marriages to have intimate talk with each other and it is important to make time to share these intimate moments with your spouse, as well as reserve them for your spouse.
*closeness of observation or knowledge of a subject: he acquires an intimacy with Swahili literature
We gain intimacy with our spouse as we gain knowledge of them. As our marriages grow, so also should our intimate knowledge of our spouse. This knowledge is a gift from God and it helps us in meeting our spouse’s needs, as well as helping them to meet ours. Intimate knowledge of our spouse builds up our love for them and allows them to build up their love for us. Try to always keep learning about your spouse and allow them to learn about you, the two of you are always growing and changing so there will always be new things to learn about each other.
*a private cozy atmosphere: the room had a peaceful sense of intimacy about it
Intimacy can be gained from the atmosphere you share with your spouse. For some people a romantic getaway at a Bed & Breakfast can be the perfect opportunity to build intimacy in marriage, while for others it may be sharing laughter at a comedian performance.
Another area where atmosphere can build intimacy is the atmosphere is your home. The attitudes you carry with you and the temperature and tone you each set emotionally can build or tear down intimacy in a hurry. You have control over the atmosphere in your home, make sure to set the intimacy temperature on high!
*an intimate act, esp. sexual intercourse
Sex in your marriage is a big deal, and for one of you it is most likely your number one emotional need from your spouse. Try to discover things in your relationship that may be holding you back, these could be as simple as the pajamas you wear, getting a babysitter, hygiene, electronics in the bedroom, or the type of contraceptive you are using. If you can pinpoint some of the things that may be causing distance, you can try to fix them. Sex is glue to a marriage, it helps keep you connected with your spouse.
The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality – the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it’s for the purposes of prayer and fasting – but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it. ~ 1Corinthians 7:3-5
- Pay Attention To How Your Mouth Influences Your Marriage
Paying attention to how you communicate is important in marriage. We need to be sweet to each other and to build each other up, but this is easier said (no pun intended) than done. It is so easy to tear your spouse down with your speech and it may not be what you are saying, but how you are saying it. It isn’t just about what you say to your spouse, it is about what you say to others and what you say to yourself. This year, try to find ways to purposefully build your spouse and your marriage up.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. ~ James 3:9-10
Have a blessed 2016!