21 Practical tips to build a better marriage, Part 2

40 ROSE IMG_1431So yesterday was our 40th anniversary.

We’ve been Mr. and Mrs. for 40 months filled with amazingly wonderful moments and some ups and downs as two strong willed individuals got to know each other, let go of baggage (we brought a bit!) and then surrendered further to God’s grace, learning how to best love and honor one another.

These many months have moved my Michael and me into a becoming-ever-sweeter Promised Land of Holy Matrimony. And those wedded wilderness days — when past phantoms picked at wounds we thought were healed and triggered us till we stumbled — have served to ground us more in God, increase our confidence in Christ, and provide stories to encourage you and your husband.

Key elements in any marriage are time and effort.

Without constant attention and nurturing the radiance of all that it means to be husband and wife will be lost. But the pursuit of God and His holiness brings back the glow as joyful moments shared and memories made weave you and your spouse snugly together. Every conflict resolved deepening your intimacy with each other.

The spiritual side of marriage was discussed in this part one post, but since our unions are lived out on earth here are 21 practical tips that make marriage better.

Never take the moments with your spouse for granted. Consider each other precious companions because you are rare and unique gifts from God to combat your loneliness.

Mutual respect and affection goes a long way in receiving each other’s differences.

Kiss like you mean it. Often! Whisper I love you everyday.

Kill pride. It has no place in a marriage.

Look in each other’s eyes and really listen not only to the words your spouse is sharing but to the heart behind the words.

Little things really do mean a lot. Remember to run that errand he asked you to or pick up her favorite dark chocolate bar when you’re out filling her tank with gas.

And keep filling up each other’s tank, stoking the fires hot in all the best ways.

Seek to outdo each other in going lower to serve more.

Give each other back and neck rubs.

Cook his favorite meal even if you don’t like it.

Hold hands when you go for a walk.

Laugh out loud. A lot!

Snuggle on the sofa.

Shut off the lights, light some candles and close the bedroom door on the rest of the world, the worries, the deadlines, the bills.

Be the first to say you’re sorry.

Compliment way more than criticize. Your marriage is a judgement free zone.

Spend time together, as well as alone, with the Lover of both your souls.

Thank God for your spouse every day. Thank your spouse for being yours and tell them why you’re glad.

Protect your marital bond by remaining physically faithful as well as in your will, mind and emotions.

Pray for your mate and your marriage without ceasing.

Work together at being one.

As God’s prisoner, then, I beg you to live lives worthy of your high calling. Accept life with humility and patience, making allowances for each other because you love each other. Make it your aim to be at one in the Spirit, and you will inevitably be at peace with one another.
Ephesians 4:1-3

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18 thoughts on “21 Practical tips to build a better marriage, Part 2

  1. Congratulations, Sheila! I admit, I spent a few seconds feeling befuddled, because I mis-read your first line. I thought it said 40 years, and I was trying to figure all that out. I thought that you look darned good for whatever age that must make you! Haha. Happy 40th nonetheless! Great practical insights and great spiritual ones too (from yesterday). I just commented on Beth’s post about how often I *don’t* say things to my beloved (poor guy). And when I take it to the Lord, the Holy Spirit whispers things like, “Be grateful for your man.” or “There are a lot of lonely women who wouldn’t mind that problem, or that man.” Those “little foxes” are sneaky. Thanks for sharing your insights.

    • Thanks, Mary. And I must admit I have fun using that 40th “hook” although there was no intention to mislead. And so often my Michael and me — both divorced more than once and coming from brokenness since childhood — WISH we were celebrating 40 years! Although I would have been a bride at 15!! I am glad you found the post helpful and be assured that I write for my readers but also my own heart. We all need to keep encouraging one another to do life and love God’s way. Blessings to you and thanks so much again 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips for keeping a marriage safe and secure from the world that wants to ruin it! Marriage takes hard work. Sometimes, you work equally hard. Sometimes, one of you carries the weight. The key is to keep investing!

    • The key is to KEEP INVESTING in each other and the marriage. YES. YES. YES. And it does take time, effort, sacrifice and hard work. BUT the benefits are so worth the investment. Thanks so much for dropping in, Anita. Blessings in your stressings…

    • Thank you, Bev. So glad it helped! That’s what this site is for. All of us becoming better wives. And if you would like another list to check twice please visit my website, upper right hand corner, for 13 Secrets for a Marriage Strong & Sweet printable! Blessings to you and hubby…

  3. These are some great and useful tips! Marriage is HARD, but I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else. Looking back on how we’ve weathered storms together makes me proud that we made the choice to stay. They really do make your bond stronger.

    • Alecia — it is so powerfully great that you and your husband have that attitude: to weather the storms — together fighting the common enemy of marriage — and come out on the other side even stronger. Together. God bless your marriage with many, many wonderful years. Thanks!

  4. Woo hoo! I love the new site and the header has this “hot chick” who’s inviting us in! 😉

    I love your new start, Sheila. I’m certain this is going to build and build for you and Michael. I love this post too. I recently heard someone say that apologizing isn’t something they do as a couple! When I hear things like that, it always confirms to me why couples get off track. You and Michael have learned how to love well and I’m so excited about the ministry God is going to do through your lives! Hugs to you, girlfriend!

    • Oh sweet Beth. I have missed you and it’s so good to hear from you! And thanks for all the encouragement. And me and Michael we keep learning and practicing love every single day. And Michael says, Oh yeah! to your comment on the appearance of the header photo ( I think I just look like a mom!) 🙂 Anyway, I love you, friend. Stay warm and safe. Regards to Gary from both of us.

  5. Happy Anniversary! This is such a great post with solid (tried and true) advice… we just celebrated 22 years -that’s 264 months! 😉 And it just keeps getting better!

    • Denise! FIANCE!! What wonderful news 🙂 I didn’t even know you had a boyfriend. I was just thinking of you the other day because I haven’t seen you on My 500 lately. So glad to hear about this blessing in your life. Wishing you all the very best. Did you set a date? And thanks and glad you find the post helpful.