As we look at the world around us, we can see that we live in a “give up and just start over” culture. For some of us, this mindset has carried over into our marriages, and because of that we’re seeing and hearing a lot of miserable people.
Before my wife Tori and I got married, people would say things to us like, “Oh, you just wait! Marriage will show you everything you hate about each other, and make you wonder why you even got married.” People would often give me a funny look as the next words out of my mouth would be, “I DON’T RECIEVE THAT!”
In all seriousness though, I do not believe that God created the beautiful covenant of marriage so that you could be miserable. I believe that God created marriage to pull the best out in you, not the worst.
So in the short time that I have been married, here are 3 things that I have learned that I believe will improve your marriage:
1. Make date night a priority
Life is busy. I get it. Between work, school, kids, relatives, sports, hobbies, and friends, there are so many things that fight for our attention. Right now I am in the busiest season of my life. I am in the middle of planting a church that launches in September, I am married, I run a design company, I have a staff to manage, and I am constantly meeting with and building relationship with people. Oh, and yes, I also have friends.
The point is we are all busy, but we will make time for what’s important to us. If we want to see our marriages be happier and healthier then we must set apart time to take our spouse out on a date. You dated in your efforts to get married; don’t stop now that you are married. Date night is simple: it’s a night where just you and your spouse go out to spend time together.
I know what your thinking…but it costs money and I will have to hire a babysitter. The average person spends $35-$50 on coffee alone. That’s plenty of money to hire a babysitter with. Now is the time to stop making excuses for why you don’t do it and begin setting yourself up to be able to do it.
2. Make sex a priority
I know what you are thinking, “Of course the guy who has only been married for a year is telling me to have more sex…what does he know.” You’re right. My wife and I have lots of sex, but contrary to popular opinion, it’s not simply because we are newlyweds. We have sex often because it is one of the greatest gifts from God apart from salvation!
Sex is a beautiful thing inside the covenant of marriage. When God created Adam and Eve, He didn’t say throw a party, or go out dancing he said, “Be fruitful and multiply.” In other words he said, “go and have sex; enjoy!”
Sex inside of a marriage is such a beautiful thing, however, sex should primarily be about pleasing your spouse not fulfilling your own desires. Husbands, your wife isn’t crazy for wanting to have long conversations after sex and/or wanting to cuddle. Likewise, wives, your husband isn’t crazy for wanting to have sex everyday. God put a sex drive inside of us so that we could enjoy it inside the context of marriage. It’s time for us to lay down our pride and have more sex. Your marriage will benefit from it.
3. Make creativity a priority
Nothing drives me crazier than the same old boring staleness of life. There is an electric excitement that comes when we live life spontaneously. God is the author of creativity, in the beginning God…. CREATED! It is a huge part of who God is and because we are created in His image creativity flows through us.
I believe that making creativity a priority allows you to look past the boring everyday and continue to discover new and exciting things about your partner.
I guarantee you are tired of every date night being dinner and a movie. Be adventurous and get creative! Go on a scavenger hunt, take a nature walk, make a jar containing notes about the things you love about your partner. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creatively showing your spouse that you love them and are thinking of them.
I will say this though, ladies: it is not the sole responsibility of your husband to plan everything. That is simply an unfair expectation to have that pressure resting solely on your husband. You taking the initiative to get creative will get you out of your comfort zone, and allow you to walk into uncharted areas with your spouse.
I hope that as you incorporate these three things into your marriage that God would grow you into a healthier and thriving couple.
Be fruitful and multiply,