Five steps to take your marriage from good to great

Beth Marshall

Does your marriage feel like an exciting excursion, or more like serving a life-sentence? Marriage was created to be amazing.  

After more than 35 years of marriage, I can honestly say the majority of our 306,600 hours together have been good ones. You might be wondering why. Because we are extraordinary human beings who have everything in common? Hardly. My man and I are as different as night and day.

He loves numbers and making things balance.
I, on the other hand, think math is evil.

He loves it when everything is in its place.
My organizational style is more grubby casual free-spirited.

He graduated Magna Cum Laude.
I graduated Thank You, Laude.

No matter how different you and your beloved are, there is hope! If you’re traveling through a rough patch right now, hang on. These seemingly small steps could be just what you and your spouse need. 

(Spoiler alert: Some of the tips were taken straight out of God’s playbook — the Bible.)

Five Small but Significant Steps to Make Your Relationship Better Than Ever

1. Call out the good stuff.

Remember you are on the same team — and you want your team not just to survive, but to dominate! Philippians 4:8 is a perfect prescription for magnifying the goodness that made you fall for each other in the first place.

As I wrote this paragraph, my beloved texted, “Paul loves Liz.” Something as simple as a call or text can make your spouse feel the love, even when you’re not together.

2. Chill out and laugh more.

If your home feels more like a battleground than a peaceful sanctuary, it’s never too late to turn things around. James 1:19 suggests being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Wise words.

Stop being so serious. Laugh more. If you have friends who make you laugh till you cry, hang out with them.

Turn off your phone. Talking to your family at dinner is more important than tweeting about your family at dinner.  

3. Lean into what matters most.

  • God first. Spending time with the Lord first thing in the morning is something our kids have always seen their dad do (Matthew 6:33). What you teach your family by example will stick.
  • Marriage and family next.
  • Then work, hobbies, sports... and everything else.

4. Give your beloved lots of hugs, kisses, etc.  

Greet your spouse with a giant hug and kiss. The kids might act grossed out to see you show each other affection, but they’ll get over it. Nothing builds security in a family better than knowing mom and dad are crazy about each other.

Nothing builds confidence and security in a family better than knowing mom and dad are crazy about each other.

Consider reading Song of Solomon as a (mom and dad only) bedtime story. Physical intimacy is the one thing that separates marriage from every other relationship in life!

(Romance tip: Kids in your bed provide extraordinary birth control. Kick the little people out.)

5. Get away.

Plan two or three nights (or more) away from the routine of work and children. A fun and restful weekend together can remind you why you fell in love in the first place. 

Remember, we serve an extraordinary God who is for you and for your marriage. 

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