Five Healthy Marriage Habits
There are many challenges and even more blessings in pastoral ministry. Certainly, one of the great blessings is the opportunity to be involved in weddings. In recent months, I’ve had the privilege to lead weddings for two fantastic young couples in our church family. It’s always a great joy to stand with the couple on their big day and lead them through the promises they make to one another before God and then present them as a newly married couple at the end of the service.
It’s equally as joyful and meaningful to meet with these couples prior to their big day to talk through the meaning and significance of marriage and to try to equip them with some tools to love, fight, and forgive well in their life together as husband and wife.
For these pre-marital preparation sessions, I’ve recently started using a course from Australian couple Keith and Sarah Condie. Between them, Keith and Sarah have many years of experience in many different areas, including psychology, theology, marriage counselling and pastoral ministry. Over the course of five sessions, they share biblical teaching and practical wisdom to build a safe and strong marriage.
If you’re married, whether for 20 years or 2 months, it’s important to pay attention to your relationship. We regularly and routinely get our cars serviced, why wouldn’t we go to the same effort and expense for one of our most significant human relationships?
To help those of us who are married, I want to share five healthy marriage habits from Keith and Sarah. These are small but meaningful steps we can all take to try to ensure our marriages are as healthy as they can be. If you are married, please don’t just read the list and move on. Ask yourself: How can I begin to do this? What do I need to start doing? Or stop doing? Even spend time in prayer after reading the list below, asking God to help you put it into practice or to keep it up if you’re already doing it.
- Find a time in the day when just the two of you can chat for approximately 15 – 30 minutes. If you have children, make sure it’s a child free zone!
- Try and tell each other one thing that you appreciate about them each day. This will help you notice the positives in your partner.
- When your spouse is sharing something of significance, try to avoid shifting the conversation to yourself, or telling them what to do. Listening is a powerful gift to another.
- Human touch has all sorts of benefits. But it’s easy to forget to embrace one another. Be more conscious and proactive to make the effort to touch. Hugs are great!
- Find a time you can pray for one another together each day.
With you on the journey,