1. Say “I Love You!” to your spouse at l east twice a day. Get into the habit of saying it when you leave, when you return and whenever you talk on the phone.
2. Touch often – a pat on the arm or back can be very healing. Hugs and kisses are even better! Practice hugging and kissing whenever you leave and return, like you did when you dated.
3. Keep your comments positive. Learn to think before you speak. Ask yourself if you would relay that thought to your spouse if Jesus were standing in the room with you. *Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
4. Practice forgiveness – Matthew 6:14,15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
5. Practice humility; learn to say “I’m sorry.” - Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 13:10 “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”
6. Practice selflessness – put your spouse’s needs ahead of yours. In Galatians 5, selfish ambition is considered an act of the sinful nature. Verse 22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Practice being “fruitful” with your spouse.
7. Plan at least 10-15 minutes per day (more would be even better!) of uninterrupted quality time with your spouse. Put your electronic toys away. Sit in a quiet area of the house and give each other undivided attention. Look each other in the eyes. If you have nothing to talk about, start with affirmations.
8. Don’t always put your children ahead of your spouse! Although your time with them is short, they will be much more successful in their adult relationships with healthy parental role models.
9. Plan a real date with each other at least once a month where you go out somewhere and are not allowed to talk about children, plumbing or finances. Talk about memories of your dating life with each other before you had children. What was it that attracted you to one another? What was it that made you fall in love? A weekend away from your home and children can do wonders in “rekindling” the romance.
10. Ask your spouse if they’d like your help doing a chore. OR – do a chore on your own that is not usually your responsibility (your spouse’s least favorite would be impressive!) Women especially don’t like to have to ask for help, but they love when help is sincerely offered. (ex: Men, cook dinner for the family. Vacuum, clean the bathroom, bathe the kids; Women, have the oil changed in your husband’s car, mow the lawn, wash the car, put the tools back after you borrowed them.)
11. Do something special for your spouse every day. (Flowers, a card, a love note, go to the mall with her, watch a football game with him, give them some quiet time alone, a phone call in the middle of the day, “rendezvous for lunch”.
12. NEVER go to bed angry at one another – talk it out, pray about it.
13. Pray together every day. The couple that prays together stays together!