I’ve put together a list of things that I have learned over the years of developing a godly relationship, that can help to keep a relationship healthy and strong.
I am by no means saying that my relationship with my husband is perfect. In fact, I am sharing this list with you because we’ve been at some pretty low places in our relationship where we weren’t even sure we would stay together. But these are things that we have learned and put into practice from reading books, articles, and watching videos on Godly marriage and relationships. And we saw for ourselves how much these things can make a difference and really change things around for the best!
We still don’t get it right all the time, and our sinful nature likes to take over, but when we do our best to apply these things, and bring every situation to God, our relationship gets stronger in the end.
So without further ado…here are 20 ways to keep your marriage strong!
- Never leave without saying “I love you”
- Don’t leave without a kiss (Even if you’re angry with each other, it is a way to let the other know that you still care for them in that moment regardless of emotions)
- Don’t speak badly about him/her to anyone including family and close friends. Don’t vent to others when you are in a fight. Bring it to God, and He will give you the peace and answers you need. (Sometimes other people can make matters worse because they naturally want to side with you but it may make you feel worse about the situation. And they may end up having a lasting negative feeling toward your spouse even after the fight is over and you’ve made up)
- If he does something kind (like washing the dishes after dinner), but doesn’t do it the way you would (doesn’t rinse or dry them off right away), show him that you appreciate his kind deed regardless, and try not to bring up what he could’ve done better.
- Say “thank you” OFTEN. Whenever he/she does something kind or thoughtful, let them know that you appreciate it, it is nice to hear. (Especially if it is their love language) Don’t just assume that he/she knows.
- Protect your minds and hearts, and don’t watch or listen to anything ungodly. Fill your home with things that are of God: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8)
- This one goes back to #3 but a little more specific and I feel is so important. Do not talk about your marital issues with those of the opposite sex, as it gives the wrong idea and can mess with your emotions. Again, take it to God. What happens between you and your husband/wife isn’t everyone else’s business. This is a great way to show respect to each other, and yourself.
- Let them have space when they need it. Ladies, a lot of us could spend every second of every day with our man, trust me I KNOW. But what I’ve come to learn is that men aren’t exactly wired the way we are. Sometimes they just need some time to chill and do their own thing for a while. It doesn’t mean they hate us. A lot of times it helps them to think better and process all of the many emotions they tend to hold in.
I just want to throw this in there. My husband has 2 days off during the week and the rest of the time works the overnight shift. So, naturally I try to get in every bit of time I can with him. For a long time, I would get upset when he didn’t want to spend every second with me. I took it as him not caring about our time together, or just wanting to be away from me. But once I learned how men tend to process things, I realized that it is necessary and healthy for him to take this time. And usually, he wants me by his side when he is playing his game so that we can hold hands, but just be doing separate things. Most of the time, he actually talks with me about what is going on in his game and wants me somewhat included, so that’s always nice! So, we started intentionally setting aside a few hours on one of his days off to do this.
9. Listen to him. And I mean REALLY listen. Even if you couldn’t give a rip about the things he/she is into, it shows that you care about them and their love for those things and I guarantee it will mean the world to them.
10. If something that you do bothers or upsets him/her, don’t put them down for feeling that way. Even if you don’t agree that he/she should be bothered, they deserve respect just as much as you do. So saying things like “wow, that seriously bothers you?” or “a real man wouldn’t be upset about that”, are big no-nos.
11. FLIRT. Touch him/her. And I don’t just mean in a sexual way. Brushing your hand over his back. Playing with her hair. Grabbing his hand when you’re walking together. Coming up behind her and putting your arms around her. Little ways to show affection and let the other person know that you love being in their presence.
12. Support each other through everything.
13. Be each other’s biggest cheerleader whenever something great happens in the other’s life.
14. Greet him/her enthusiastically. Show them how much you missed them!
15. Talk about problems as they arise. Don’t hold them in and let them build. If things start to get too heated between you two, let the other person know that you just need a minute to cool down and you will be back so you can both figure things out. And then go into the other room, go for a drive, whatever you need to clear your head, and get in prayer. This will help you both so you’re not coming at each other with pure anger and can see things with a better perspective.
16. Pray with each other as often as possible. It is a special thing when your spouse raises you up in prayer. It is a beautiful way to love on someone.
17. Have a date night once a week if possible. It doesn’t even have to cost money. Even if it is just you two ordering your favorite pizza and having a movie marathon together. Just something to take your minds off of the stresses of the week and just focus on each other and spending time together.
18. Put the phone away when you’re with each other. Phones can literally ruin relationships. Ours did at one point a while back. There was a time when both my husband and I would be scrolling through Facebook while right next to each other, not saying a word. Then there were times when one of us would be using our phones while the other felt left out and unwanted. Trust me, I understand that this is a habit for most of us. We’re used to everyone being glued to their phones. But honestly, being on your phone when you’re with friends or family is a bit rude. So, it is the same with your spouse. It took us a bit to completely get rid of this habit, but now we never go on our phones other than to check the time or weather. And we get to enjoy and really embrace every moment together. You only get so much time with one another, so make the most of it!
19. Let your spouse know how proud you are of them. Often.
20. Encourage and verbally acknowledge the good things about your spouse. Speak life into them daily. Let them know that you see how hard they work and you admire that about them. How gifted they are in a certain area. How big of a heart they have. Even if they aren’t doing things perfectly or to what you think their potential is, the more life you speak into them, the more they will want to become even more of the amazing person you see them as.
That’s all I’ve got for now! I hope some of these were helpful. Again, we don’t do these perfectly all the time, but I just know from experience that the times when we do apply these, our relationship just gets much stronger and they get easier to do over time.
I wish you all the best with your relationships! Let me know in the comments what you think and if you do any or most of these and how it has affected your relationships!