11 ways to make your marriage better today

Beth Marshall

Is it true married people live longer? Maybe you already know the answer to the joke: “No, it just seems like it.”   

Marriage can last without becoming torture or an endurance exercise. Maybe you’ve never been exposed to a “forever, till death do us part” marriage, and believe it only happens in fairy tales. But that’s the way God intended for marriage to be.

So, I posted a question to friends who’ve been married from five years to 44 years: What makes marriage fun, awesome and last forever?

Not surprisingly, much of their wisdom lined up with the truth found in Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Here’s what Philippians 4:8 looks like in their words:

1. Always assume the best for your spouse. 

Assume they got caught in a traffic jam instead of assuming they were late again because your date night wasn't important to them. Assume they didn't notice the trash can was overflowing because they haven't been home all day, instead of assuming they intentionally neglected it so you would have to do it again. Always assume the best for your spouse. It will change your attitude and your marriage.

2. Speak affirming words to and about your spouse. 

Don't nag or be negative about their faults. Focus on and praise the wonderful things about them and ask God to change what needs to change in them.  

3. No matter how long you've been married, you cannot assume your spouse can read your mind. 

Communication is key! (Proverbs 12:17)

4. Marry your best friend! 

Having your best friend along side of you will make the journey through life much easier. Who can you laugh with and cry with more than your best friend? Besides: lust doesn't last forever.

5. Marriage is not a competition.

(1 Corinthians 13:4-5) We used to compete about how much we had done, and resent the other one for not doing enough. We would either make our complaints known out loud or harbor it in our thoughts. Now we try to outdo one another in folding the laundry or emptying the dishwasher. The competition now is who can do the most and then we laugh and remember it's not a competition. We're on the same team.

Always assume the best for your spouse. It will change your attitude and your marriage.

6.  Never raise your voice.

(James 1:19-20) Lower it and slow it down when you are in need of a confrontation.

7. Keep up the pursuit. 

Have you become too comfy? It’s easy to get so comfortably married, you forget to clean it up for the one you love. Ladies, do you take time to look awesome to go out, but at home it’s a 24-hour pajama party? Maybe it’s time to rethink your priorities. And guys, even though it’s Saturday, it’s okay to take a shower. She’s worth it.  Which leads to No. 8...  

8.  Make it a goal to send one sex message a week.

And pray your boss doesn't intercept it! (Song of Songs 1:1-5)

9. Remember one day it will be just the two of you.  

10. When a storm comes in your marriage, never stand as strong as the mighty oak and not bend.

That is when the branches break. (1 Corinthians 13:7) Be like the willow tree and bend with the storm and give up a little. You will survive for the next storm. And there will be more storms. Love more. Forgive more and ask yourself, what would Jesus do?

11. Kids sleeping in your bed is the best possible birth control. 

Kick the little angels out. They’ll survive.

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