14 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage (Part 1)

1. Pray for and with your spouse EVERY day.
This cannot be emphasized enough. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “A couple who prays together stays together,” and it’s likely very true. There have been times when my attitude has not been right toward my husband and God has completely changed my heart in the middle of praying before bed with him. You cannot remain angry at someone when you pray for them. God gives you the ability and the desire to reconcile with somebody when you confess your sin to Him.

Perhaps you have the desire to pray with your husband and have brought it up on several occasions to no avail. Talk to God about it. Nagging your husband will only make him less likely to take the lead. It may take years of prayer, but it is God’s will that your husband be the spiritual leader in your home, so as you continually lift this matter to the Lord, He will answer. In the meantime, be faithful in praying for your husband daily. If you need some ideas on what to pray for him, see my three part series on “21 Ways to Pray for Your Husband” Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

2. Be quick to admit you’re wrong and ask for forgiveness.
This is something my mom modeled for me very well and thankfully I have practiced it in my marriage from the start. It’s tempting to allow your anger to fester and hold off apologizing until they apologize first, but don’t give the devil a foothold! Your unforgiveness harms not only your marriage, but your own well-being, too.

3. Never withhold forgiveness.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:15, “If you do not forgive others their sins, I will not forgive your sins.” Yikes! I think if we take a good hard look at ourselves, we will see we have far more faults that need to be forgiven than our husbands do. And Jesus said if we withhold forgiveness, He will withhold forgiveness from us! Being unforgiving harms us and our relationships here on earth, but clearly it will affect life after death, as well. Take Jesus’ warning very seriously and apply it to your marriage.

4. Compliment your spouse often.
We women like to be complimented, so why wouldn’t our husbands? If you notice he looks particularly handsome one day, don’t just think it in your head, tell him out loud. If you like his new haircut, make a vocal comment about it. If he impresses and enlightens you with new knowledge, tell him he’s smart. If he gets a promotion at work, compliment his hard work and celebrate his achievement with him.

5. Thank him often for all he does (even the little things like taking out the trash).
Have you ever met an ungrateful person? Perhaps you’ve worked with one or for one. Maybe you work hard and help this person day after day and have never once received a simple thank you from them. If you have experienced this, you know how it is to feel unappreciated and taken advantage of. Don’t do this to your husband! Make sure he feel appreciated. Be sure he knows that you notice how hard he works to provide for your family and help around the house in the little ways. A simple thank you goes a long way and may even motivate him to help out with chores more often.

6. Thank God for him daily.
This simple act will transform how you view your husband and your marriage. Rather than griping about everything he’s not and everything he doesn’t do, focus on the good aspects of his character and the things you appreciate about him. Yes, we should pray about all things, but make sure you tell God thank you for giving you your husband. Try to recall the reasons you married him in the first place and go from there.

7. Initiate sex.
Men want their wives to not only be willing, but eager. Show him you find him desirable by initiating love play every once in a while.

For 7 more ways to strengthen your marriage, join me next week for Part 2.

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