Approximate reading time: 7 minutes.
I hope you’re having a good year so far and are preparing for good things to happen to you and your family.
If you are reading this and you are not married, stay single; your pockets will jingle. Take advantage of your singleness and fall in love with Christ. Develop healthy friendships and enjoy your freedom. If you are not happy being single, marriage will not solve your problem.
Many singles believe that marriage is easy. But I’m reminded of the quote that says,
“Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.”
For some reason, things change after you say, “I do.” But in reality, they are supposed to change (but hopefully for the better).
Couples should always desire to improve their relationship. But how is that supposed to happen when there are so many things to work on? There are probably dozens of ways to improve a relationship. If there were a list, most of us would feel overwhelmed and not do anything. That’s why I decided to share just five habits that have helped my marriage.
Since we are still at the beginning of the year, and many of us are ready for a fresh start, here’s my …
5 Simple Habits for Couples to Thrive in 2022.
1. Pray together.
Notice this does not say to pray. It says to pray together. I’m assuming that you already pray, but if you don’t practice the habit of prayer, today is a good day to begin.
Many couples I’ve spoken with say that they just don’t feel comfortable praying together. I could understand that. But… if you want to grow closer to your spouse in the most incredible form of intimacy, spiritual intimacy, you need to start praying together. Here’s how:
Hold hands, or hug and say a one-minute prayer. Thank God for your spouse out loud. Ask God to strengthen your marriage. Ask God for protection, provision, wisdom, guidance, and all the things you need in your life. Pray for your spouse with details but make sure to be encouraging. You don’t want to put down your spouse or make him or her feel uncomfortable.
If you really want to grow in intimacy, take a few seconds in your prayer and look at each other’s eyes while talking to the Lord (if you’ve never done that, you will most likely feel uncomfortable at first). That would also be a good time to apologize to your spouse for stuff you have been arguing about.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed… Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
I like how Alisa Grace from Biola University defines Spiritual intimacy.
Spiritual Intimacy is about having a strong commitment to Christ as the foundation of your marriage. It’s the process of opening your hearts to each other as you open your hearts to the Lord. It the process of profoundly connecting to the core of your being to each other without giving up your own self. Spiritual intimacy may best be thought of as the power of the Holy Spirit being experienced and released in your relationship.
Most of the couples I’ve talked to pray, but not together. How about you?
Couples who pray together stay together.
When you pray together with your spouse you position yourselves to experience spiritual, emotional and physical breakthroughs in your marriage. Plus when you pray together you are in God’s presence where there is fullness of joy, healing, peace, freedeom, and so much more. Many times, the things that you have been fighting about will dissolve right before your eyes in prayer.
Prayer is powerful.
Take turns praying, and don’t be in a rush. Pray together out loud at least once a week, more if possible.
2. Eat together.
Although this instruction seems so simple, entire families (due to work, schedules, school, traffic, etc.) do not eat together. Do whatever it takes to eat together as a couple and a family. Start with one day a week. Make sure to turn off cell phones, TV, and any other distraction. Enjoy each other. Talk, laugh, fight, apologize and eat.
Research consistently shows that eating together helps to reduce depression and improve self-esteem. According to parents.com, eating together as a family regularly also improves communication skills and is an excellent opportunity to teach children good table manners and teach them about family values and traditions.
3. Go to sleep at the same time.
Want to improve your sex life? Go to bed at the same time as your spouse. It doesn’t make a difference whether you are an early bird or a night owl. Make it a point to be together with your spouse in your bedroom naked. Who knows what can happen? You tell me.
And don’t wake up your spouse in the middle of the night, “Honey, are you awake? you awake?” Be considerate and plan better.
Remember when you first got married, when you couldn’t wait to go to bed with each other? What happened? Many times what happens is that we forget that we are in a spiritual battle.
The devil works hard to get you into bed before marriage but even harder to keep you out of bed after you’re married.”
Don’t be a statistic.
Plan your sex nights if you must. And don’t let exhaustion be the cause of dead sex life and sexual frustation. It’s not your job’s fault, it’s not because you are student or are in ministry. It’s your fault.
Save energy for your spouse. Give yourselves to each other. Don’t hold back when you can freely give. Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their spouse sleeps.
4. Be more grateful for one another.
Life is short. Be nice to your wife. I like a quote I read a while ago that says, “When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing: either the car is new or the wife.” Enjoy the time you have with your spouse now. Create moments together. Go for a walk together. Go out on a date (or order in) together. Go to church together.
You have time right now to enjoy your spouse. Don’t wait. Keep it simple. I also like what Mark Twain said. “Sing like no one’s listening, love as you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like its heaven on earth.”