My wife and I have been married for 21 years. I absolutely love her and by God’s grace we are still in love. Here are a few things that we do to stay close daily.
1. We kiss and hug and embrace and cuddle a lot!
Early on in our marriage we started to “get use” to kissing and hugging. We stopped getting up when the other person would get home from work. We would just say “hi.” Since then we’ve learned to get up and hug. Wake up and kiss. Sit down and snuggle.
2. We are goofy together.
We are constantly finding things to laugh about. When no one’s around we might put on some nostalgic song from the 80’s and dance like it’s 1999.
3. We dream together.
We’ve dreamt together almost from the day we met. What would it be like to be married? What would the best church in the world look like for us? What would it look like to start our own ministry? What would it be like to have kids?
4. We tell each other everything.
Secrets kill relationships. So we tell each other everything. It doesn’t matter how embarrassing, or uncomfortable it makes us. We talk about it.
5. We listen to each other.
Stop talking and just listen, it’s good for the soul and it’s great for relationships.
We take time to here each other’s stories, dreams, and fears.
6. We laugh a lot
Why so serious? You’re married. You are free to love each other, laugh with each other and enjoy each other. We laugh with family and friends. We laugh in the car. We laugh in bed. We just find things to laugh about.
7. We date each other.
We go out often just to discover more about each other. We believe that you can never know someone fully. We are constantly growing and changing. So, we try to update each other often, so that we are going through those changes together.
8. We never go to bed angry (almost never)
Okay. It has happened, but we do everything possible to stay on the same page daily. Workout all of our struggles daily. Forgive daily. Bring peace into our home, into our bedroom, daily.
9. When we fight, we have boundaries
There are certain things we never say or do in our fights. For example, we have never used the word divorce in any conversation, any fight–ever. That word is off limits- and so is name calling. Over the years we have made it our goal to fight with less intensity, shorter duration and more grace and forgiveness.
10. We try new things together.
We try new adventures. New foods. New places to hang out.
11. We respect each other
It sounds obvious, but we really try to value and respect each others’ points of view. Sometimes we disagree on parenting, God’s Word, business opportunities, finances, education, etc. Regardless, we try to respect the other person’s thoughts and perspective.
12. We encourage one another daily.
Hebrews 3:13 says, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Daily, I tell my wife how beautiful she is. I tell her how blessed I am to have her in my life. I consistently tell her what an amazing mom, wife and woman she is.
13. We serve each other.
A sermon I heard early in our marriage said, “When you get home from work, even when you are exhausted come home ready to serve, not to be served.” Almost every time I come home, I think about that message and try to serve my family. Matthew 20:28 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
14. We pray together daily.
Prayer is vulnerable, but talking to God together has drawn us closer. If you pray with your spouse 1 minute in the morning and 1 minute at night, that’s 365 days times 2 minutes a day = 730 minutes a year of prayer! 730 minutes divided by 60 minutes = 12 HOURS OF PRAYER!!! A little bit of prayer daily adds up!
15. We overlook offenses.
The bible says, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” It’s a difficult thing to do, but letting small thing go, brings harmony to the marriage.
16. We say “sorry” and “I forgive you” all the time.
Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Christ forgave us while we were still sinners. Christ forgave us before we ever asked for it. Learn to forgive like Him! Say sorry freely. Forgive continually.
17. We eat together as a family
This time helps us to stick close together. To hear stories. To ask questions. It might be old-school, but we did it before kids, and we still do it.
18. We don’t have a TV in the bedroom
This might not be for everyone, but I think it has helped us not be distracted as much. I think it has helped with connecting with each other in the bedroom. I think it has freed us from constant noise.
19. We ask questions about our relationship with God, others and ourselves.
One of our favorite questions is “How are you growing in your relationship with God?” Another is “How’s your walk with God going?” These can be tough questions, but we are there to build each other up.
20. We study God’s Word together.
This has changed a lot over the years. We have done couples’ devotionals. We have studied the Scriptures. We have memorized verses together. The key is find someway of exploring God’s Word together.
21. And yes we have sex often. That always helps when working on falling in love daily!
22. We say “I love you” ALL THE TIME.
23. We go to counseling when we need help with something.