The post, "12 Ways Satan Attacks Christian Marriages," is one of the most widely read posts on this site. I'm not surprised, as Satan aims his arrows at our marriages. As I talk with couples with strong marriages, though, I've learned that their marriage-building strategies are really quite simple. Here are a few of them:
- Commit to work continually on improving your marriage. The strongest couples I know didn't wait until they were in trouble to make this commitment; they decided early on to prioritize marriage growth.
- Pray together every day. Even if it's for only a few minutes each day, something happens when husbands and wives talk to God together. Consider praying before you leave the house to start the day.
- Have a genuine conversation every day. Talk together each day, and not only about work or the kids. One couple I know got up at 6 every morning to have 30 minutes just to talk to each other every day.
- Know each other's love languages. If you know your spouse loves words of affirmation, give them. If quality time matters most, give it. Love means doing what's best for the other, not for me.
- Plan one way each week to show your spouse how much he or she matters. You usually don't need to think hard or spend a lot of money—just do something that says, "I'm thinking of you and love you." For example, my wife loves flowers, so I regularly make sure she has them in our house.
- Date regularly. Whether it's once a month or once a week, make the time and keep it. Most of us need to calendar this plan, but that's okay. Booking a date = prioritizing it.
- Avoid blame. Blame started in the Garden of Eden, and it's still happening. Some of us blame our spouse rather than take responsibility for our own wrong attitudes and actions—and that approach seldom promotes the renewal and reconciliation that most marriages need at some points.
- Go to a good church together. There's nothing like sharing God's grace and love to strengthen a marriage. Going to a good church together is a move in that direction.
What simple ideas would you add to this list?
Chuck Lawless is dean and vice president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is global theological education consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
This article originally appeared at chucklawless.com.
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