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.
We are often alert to different trouble cues in our lives, aren’t we? When our car struggles to start or brakes begin to squeal, we know there’s a problem. If there’s a lump or bump on our body where it used to be smooth, we hurry in to get it checked out. When our normally bouncy healthy child turns listless and loses their appetite we can be sure they aren’t well.
But in our marriages we can often miss the cues to trouble in our relationship. We get busy, take the relationship for granted and grind our way through another day, week and month.
Here are five cues to trouble in marriage that every couple needs to guard against:
When our three children were little we worked with them on their table manners. Keep your elbows off the table. Don’t talk with food in your mouth. Don’t interrupt.
It took about 1/2 of a meal to realize there needed to be some reinforcement, but it had to have some fun in it. Heidi found a small, 4 inch, stuffed pink hippo that she introduced to the family (parents included). Whoever transgressed a manner, got the hippo in front of their plate. At the end of the meal, whoever had the hippo had to clean the dishes! For the most part it worked. The kids learned their manners, and they kept us in line on our manners as well!
We certainly don’t advocate a hippo or negative reinforcement for manners in marriage, but there are five marriage manners that we believe are important for fostering a healthy environment of connection and respect. Write them down, talk about them, and apply them this week to your marriage. Watch what happens!
We aren’t anti-social media, but we are all about using it wisely to build your marriage. Without careful controls on its use in marriage, social media can lead to unhappiness and even divorce. A University of Texas at Austin survey found that people who are heavy users of social media are 32% more likely to think about leaving their spouse. To build your marriage you have to guard your marriage.
Here are ten commandments of social media to read with your spouse. Print it, sign it, and post it in a place where you both can read it.