Today I wanted to get into an incredibly practical marriage blog.
My wife and I are list makers. Even though we do our lists differently, it gives us both a sense of accomplishment to check them off. I use my phone (Asana). She’s old school with pencil and paper. But nevertheless, we want to look over our days and week and feel we got done what needs to get done.
So today, wanted to give you a simple checklist to help with some items, I believe, should be on your weekly radar.
Every week, I believe EVERY couple should have…
- A Weekly overview.
- Anne and I have a standing appointment every Sunday night where we talk through our week. It’s a simple touch to keep our communication and expectations on an appropriate level. We talk through our personal schedules. We talk though family schedules. It’s here were we decide when dates, family connection, and downtime is needed. It’s amazing how this little AND SIMPLE action can clear up what to expect and keep our communication healthy.
- A Worship Point.
- Being a part of a church community TOGETHER is a huge foundational piece of marriage. Being together to worship, serve, and engage in your church will help build relationships necessary for your personal growth as well as marital growth. On top of that, your involvement in your church community can be a tremendous blessing to others. See yourself as a part of a greater body. You are necessary to others and others are necessary to you.
- A Date.
- I think every couple can carve out of your week an hour or two. Do a meal, get some ice-cream, or go for a walk at a park. A date doesn’t have to have much (if any) cost. Get out of your head that you need to do something extravagant (not that I’m against that) as a “date.” I’m speaking to time for the two of you to have that relational connection you need.
- Alone Time.
- From hobbies to leisure time, having time to yourself is necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I love time with Anne and she loves time with me. But it is healthy to have a few moments where there’s a bit of separation. Anne and I don’t watch all the same shows/movies. We don’t enjoy all the same hobbies. That doesn’t take away from our marriage. It adds to it.
- A Place(s) of Generosity.
- There is a true joy in being generous as a couple. When you give out of your time, talents, and treasure, you foster the heart of God (of which you were made in the image of). For almost two decades, Anne and I are faithful givers to our local church. We give to missions and benevolence. But we also look for opportunities to bless those in our community. Generosity will foster a depth of joy that so many people take for granted.
- An Intimate Moment(s).
- Sex and intimacy are not the same thing nor is Sex the source of intimacy. It should be seen as an expression of intimacy. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that healthy marriages have a consistent sex-life. What the frequency looks like isn’t up to you the individual. It’s what has been agreed upon by both you and your spouse (prevents one libido from lording over the other). But remember: Intimacy doesn’t always include sex. It is far deeper. It’s that intimate connection where you selflessly serving your spouse’s love language. Intimacy doesn’t have to fade in your marriage, it just looks different over time. Find what your spouse’s love language is and look to serve it without strings attached (expectations of reciprocation). When you connect the heart of your spouse, that is intimacy.
- (This is a bit more than a scheduled event. It’s more of an element that’s needed.) Couples that schedule fun moments are far healthier on EVER level (mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual). Anne and I will watch clips on Youtube in the evenings. Sometimes we’ll send them to each other over Facebook messager. Maybe you two like games and/or activities. It could be movies or books. Find what the other enjoys that fills your marriage with smiles.
- Heavy Encouragement.
- This should be a daily point instead of a weekly one. My rule I give couples all the time: Don’t let anyone out-encourage you when it comes to your spouse. For too often, people only speak up when they see something wrong. Why do we build that culture in our marriages? Catch your spouse doing something right. From accomplishments to even just the simple effort to attempt something, find ways to fill your spouse full of encouragement.
Obviously, this list isn’t exhaustive. There’s probably some other things you can add to it specifically for your marriage. But, in my opinion, these are essentials that I don’t think couples can do without.
Love Jesus passionately.
Love your spouse passionately.
Make both a heavy priority in your life.
Thanks for letting me ramble…