Occasionally I run across a married couple who say they have a really great marriage, but they mention that they get stuck in the grind of day to day life. They get up early, rush around getting ready for work and school, and spend the entire day apart. Then they hurry in separate directions to different sports, music, or church activities, only to rush home again to feed everyone before finally falling into bed to get a few hours of sleep. Feeling like life is one crazy, hurried day after another is nothing new. In fact Ecclesiastes speaks of all the seasons of life, the toilsome labor, and the meaninglessness of it all. While we don’t like to think of our lives as meaningless, they can quickly become exactly that if you do not take the time to invest in relationships.
If you would like to invest in your marital relationship for the purpose of making your marriage more meaningful, here are 4 simple things you can enjoy together while strengthening and enriching your relationship.
Take a Personality Inventory
A personality inventory is an assessment designed to give you a glimpse into your personality and/or behaviors by filling out a brief questionnaire. After you and your spouse complete the quiz, take some time to go over the results together and review your results. Discuss the areas where you feel the results seem to fit and where they do not. Look at some of the limitations of your personality and then discuss ways you might work to overcome those limitations.
There are many choices when it comes to taking a personal inventory, but here are a few of our favorites:
Color Code – This appears to be the only personality inventory that we know of that is based on your motives and not just your current behaviors. This means that you will begin to understand the reason why you and others behave the way you do.
SYMBIS – “Save Your Marriage Before It Starts”, a pre-marital counseling assessment. If you are wanting to pursue this you should look us up, we are certified facilitators.
5 Love Languages – Your love language profile will explain your primary love language, what it means, and how you can use it to connect to others.
LOGB® Personalities – Based on the Award-winning book, The Two Sides of Love, you’ll find ways to see how value YOU are – and how to blend differences into a close-knit team and family!
Focus on Marriage Assessment – Based on research and the experience of Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley, Focus on the Family has created this assessment to help you evaluate the strength of twelve essential traits of your marriage.
Go on a Weekend Marriage Getaway or Conference
Spending a weekend together and focusing on different aspects of your marriage such as communication, parenting, finances, sexual intimacy, or just having fun together can enhance your relationship. If you’ve never attended a marriage conference or marriage retreat, we encourage you to try some of these:
Start Daily Devotional and Prayer Time
Research shows that marital satisfaction improves vastly (in all areas of marriage) when you and your spouse spend time praying together. If you’ve never prayed together, or if you’re not comfortable praying out loud, a couple’s devotional book can be a wonderful way to bridge the gap. Go on a date to your local Christian bookstore and look for a devotional book that speaks to you both. Discuss what time of day you’d like to set aside where you can focus on the devotional together. Here are a few we love:
Just Us: Finding Intimacy With God and With Each Other by David and Jan Stoop
The Love Dare Day by Day: A Year of Devotions for Couples by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick
Keep Dating Your Mate
Dating is about more than just going out on a date. It’s all the stuff that you put into dating your spouse. Remember when you first started seeing each other? You couldn’t stop thinking about them! You left little love notes in their pocket, made a mixed tape, bought their favorite candy, went out of your way to make yourself look presentable, and much more! At some point along the way you’ve probably gotten out of the habit of dating your spouse.
If you’d like some great ideas on how to date your spouse again, follow D8URM8 on Twitter. You’ll see two tweets each day, one for husbands and one for wives. Stay tuned to future posts from Marriage Awakening on how you can continue to strengthen your marriage and family.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 (NIV) Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun…
Matthew 6:21 (NIV) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.