You are on this site, reading, tweeting, and liking the posts because you want to improve your marriage and help others do the same, right? Good for you! Whether your marriage needs a tune-up or a major overhaul, sometimes it helps to catalyze action when we read a list of ideas and choose one or two that resonate with us. We suggest taking a moment and asking God to reveal to you what next step you can take to build your marriage. (Go ahead and say a prayer right now!)
What follows is a list of ten ideas we came up with to transform your marriage. Though they are in no particular order, we saved the best for last. Note that some of the ideas have links to additional resources. You may find that reading through this list will prompt some other creative ideas as well!
1. Practice forgiveness
The unwillingness to forgive leads to bitterness, isolation, a burning anger and deterioration of the marriage. Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. So make the choice (repeatedly if necessary) to not hold past transgressions against your spouse. Click here to read more on this.
2. Read a marriage book together
Go to your local Christian bookstore or do some online research to find a book that is well-rated and applies to your marriage. Reading together brings an expert right into your home with ideas, hope and encouragement. Even if your spouse isn’t willing to read with you, your immersion into Christ-centered counsel will help you cope and grow your marriage.
3. Attend a marriage conference
If you hear of a marriage conference coming to your community—make the investment in your marriage and sign up! If you don’t have one coming, then work with your church or local ministerial to have a marriage conference in your town. We’d love to come! 🙂 You can find out more by clicking here.
4. Give Grace
Intimate relationships are filled with opportunities to take offense or give grace. Your marriage is the perfect place to grow in extending the same grace that God has given you through Jesus. Be mindful of this daily.
5. Find a Christian counselor
There is wisdom in finding someone who will provide solid, Biblical insights and tools to help you gain traction in your marriage. God used a godly trained counselor to help us several years ago and we’re stronger because of their ministry to us!
6. Order a DVD series on marriage
You can have your own mini marriage retreat at home—just the two of you! It won’t take much research to find one that resonates with you. Maybe you’ll want to include a few more couples for built-in accountability!
7. Meet with your pastor
Your pastor isn’t a trained counselor so their ability to help long term is limited, but they are your shepherd. Meeting with them 1-2 times may be stabilizing and directional for your marriage.
8. Have a no secrets policy
Often marital breakdown results in a trust breakdown. Rebuild trust by allowing total access to your online world as well as your calendar and whereabouts. As Dr. Phil says, “People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.”
9. Do what you used to do
Dr. Willard Harley encourages couples to reintroduce to their marriage what they used to do when they were dating and falling in love. He has found great success in helping couples reignite their initial passion for each other. In turn, this has given hope and a foundation for rebuilding their marriage.
10. Pray together!
We saved the most important for last. Estimates are that up to 95% of Christian couples do not pray together. And yet this is the most powerful connector of couples. Even if you each simply pray a sentence out loud, it’s a great place to start.
What other ideas can you come up with and share? Agree on at least two from our list and put them into practice this week as you build your marriage!