Bringing it All Together Six Quick Tips to Improve Your Marriage Immediately
I recently went out to take a quick ride on my bike only to find both tires almost flat. Naturally, I thought that the air pump that was on the ground next to my husband’s bike would be the fix that my tire needed. However, after about 10 minutes of trying to get the air from the pump into the tire I gave up. Never has putting air in a bike seemed so difficult! Unbeknownst to me, my husband’s new hobby also led to a complicated air pump purchase…nothing simple about this one. So, in my frustration I gave up and another day went by without me participating in my husband's new found love of biking.
As I was preparing for this series of posts on improving our marriages I thought about the bike riding incident (or the attempt at bike riding). Just a little shot of air to give us the lift we need. Isn’t this what we all sometimes lack? Our marriages sometimes need a little attention (like a pump of oxygen) to give our relationship a boost. With just a little time and attention to the little things we can receive some much needed energy and vitality to our relationship. So that is what this series is all about. I encourage you to focus on the man you married by implementing these practical and spiritual helps. Let's join together to see what the Lord does when we do it all in His name and for His glory.
Tip One: Make your husband a priority when he arrives home and when he leaves. Take a few moments upon your husband’s arrival home to greet him joyfully when he comes through the door and make him feel like you would when guests arrive at your house. Stop what you are doing or at least pause to look him in his eyes while you are talking to him. Ask about his day and greet him with a hug or kiss. Do the same thing when he is leaving. Stop what you are doing and say goodbye to him like you may not see him for a long time. This action will make him feel like he is very important to you (as he should be)! If he is the first one home and it is you coming in from work, then take a moment to pray before you walk in and ask the Lord to give you energy for the evening with joy in your voice as you greet your husband.
"A soothing tongue is a tree of life." Proverbs 15:4
Extra Blessing: Taking the above tip one step farther would be to bless him with his favorite drink when he arrives home. Have a cup of decaf coffee or iced tea waiting for him when he walks in the door.
Tip Two: Encourage him every day with your words. Find something positive to say to your husband every single day. Think of something to compliment him on whether it is how he looks or an action. Give him good feedback on something he has done or accomplished. It doesn’t have to be something major—the little things we notice mean a lot too.
Another suggestion would be to tell him how much he means to you. We all love to hear how important and special we are to our spouse so make it your duty to tell him. If you can only think of things to correct or criticize about him then you need to counteract this by making yourself say three positive things for every negative you have thought or said. Everyone needs encouragement and this husband of yours needs your respect, so if you can’t think of something nice to say then pray and ask the Lord to give you ideas. The Lord will honor your request because the Lord wants to love your husband through you. He can only do this with your participation!
"The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands." Proverbs 14:1
"The tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18
Tip Three: Ask your husband how you can pray for him today. Each morning before you two go your separate ways, ask him how you can pray for his day. What is specifically happening today that he needs prayer for? When you ask what it is that he needs prayer over, then be faithful to pray. Send him a text at the time of a big or difficult meeting, or make a quick call reminding him that you are praying for him throughout the day.
Remember to follow-up at the end of the day (see Quick Tip #1) about the prayer requests your husband shared earlier. Be genuine in your desire to pray for him, to follow up on what you prayed, and how God has answered. Praise God together for His faithfulness in the details of your day.
"Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
"So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another." Romans 14:19
Tip Four: Look to him for leadership. Even if your husband may not be leading the way God calls him to lead, you can help him to do this! There are many ways we can look to our husbands for his leadership and even encourage his leadership in our family. We can encourage his leadership by helping him step into that role and supporting him in it. You can do this by asking him questions about how “we” should handle situations regarding the children, ask him for guidance about “our” finances, and ask him to pray for you about certain issues or struggles you are having. You might give him an opportunity to help you decide in matters concerning your time management and whether you should make a commitment to certain activities. Another way we can help him in his leadership role is to respond to him in a positive way with our words so we send a message of validation. Doing these little things to support and encourage your husband’s leadership will go a long way in strengthening your marriage.
"Each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband." Ephesians 5:33
"When I am afraid I will put my trust in You." Psalm 56:3
Tip Five: Give him the freedom to fail. Yes, your husband will fail! Guess what? So do you and I. God loves us and encourages us on this journey called life in spite of our failures. So, give your husband this freedom to make mistakes without your criticism, sarcasm, constantly reminding him or complaining of the consequences (because they usually affect us too). You need to be your husband’s personal cheerleader when he fails. In other words…he needs to feel safe in life and know that he has a partner that will support and celebrate his successes, and be beside him through his failures too.
"Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble." Isaiah 35:3
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
Tip Six: Find one way to bless him each day. There are MANY little things we can do to bless our husbands every day. Make his favorite meal and tell him why you did it. Leave him notes of encouragement on his pillow or on his side of the bathroom mirror (with lipstick or dry erase marker). Watch his favorite TV show with him. Invite him to join you in a sport he enjoys like going on a bike ride or taking an evening hike.
Be creative and see what a difference something small can make. You will be amazed!
"For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Galatians 5:13
Final Thoughts: I hope you have been encouraged and challenged during this series. It is amazing what a difference a few, small gestures can make in our marriages. It is wonderful when we realize how important these little day to day actions can be. They change our perspectives and can change our partners as well. So, I am determined to do what I can to give my marriage relationship that shot of fresh air to pump it up just a little bit each day and week. I hope you are as well!
In His Love,