A marriage is a living entity. It grows and changes over time. It is two people working together to in a symbiotic relationship. But, just as anything without proper sustenance, without proper care, it can become stagnant. That doesn’t mean it’s dead, it is still possible to grow a stronger marriage.
Daily, you have the freedom to choose. You can decide to work toward stronger marriage. And, you can choose how you will love your husband. It’s a powerful choice. Your attitude about your marriage can serve as an essential building block for a long-lasting marriage. One that is sustained by love, joy and peace.
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I’m a firm believer in Biblical marriage as the foundation. When the husband and wife are both walking together, striving together to honor Christ, allowing Him to be the cornerstone of the home and the family, you’ll find that peace is easier to embrace and having a stronger marriage is quite possible.
Perhaps, you don’t hold to the Biblical foundation of life. Even if that’s the case you can find some proven tips for how to have a stronger marriage in this 100 things post.
If you’ve followed along you know I wrote a series of 20 Things to do for Growing a Stronger Marriage. This post is a summation of all of those posts.
20 Things to Pray for a Stronger Marriage
- That together you will seek to honor God first.
- That together you will let Christ be the leader and you will follow.
- That you will seek the highest good for your spouse.
- That you will seek to place the needs of your spouse above your own.
- That you will develop a trust that your spouse seeks your highest good.
- That you will trust that they will place your need above their own.
- That in the marriage, the husband will be the head, and that he will faithfully lead in love.
- That in the marriage the wife will lovingly respect her husband’s role submitting to him as a way to honor his love and to honor Christ.
- That you will both be in agreement with family planning, and that God will bless your family in this way, but that you will both lovingly be accepting of God’s will, whatever that may be.
- That your physical desire for each other will remain strong through the years.
- That you will work together to train the children to know God’s word.
- That your love will endure during difficult times, and in those times, you’ll still seek each other’s highest good.
- Health and well-being for each of you, and faithfulness when/if times come when the health is not good.
- Thankfulness for HIS provisions for the family, asking in humility for needful things.
- Seeking to do right, regardless of cost.
- For strength and wisdom to do work necessary to provide for the family income.
- For wisdom to manage finances and provisions well, being good stewards.
- For forgiving hearts.
- For abiding joy even during difficult days.
- The slowness of anger and wisdom in communication.
20 Things To Do for a Stronger Marriage
1 – Read your Bible
I know reading with your spouse would be an ideal way to grow your marriage. But, some men simply do not feel comfortable reading in-depth one-on-one with their wives. The more you push the more they may resist.
However, YOU read your Bible. Whether with him or without him, “Study to show thyself approved,” 2 Timothy 2:15. And, remember that if he doesn’t want to study WITH you it doesn’t mean he isn’t reading himself.
My husband often listens to the Bible while driving to/from work. That’s what works best for him. I admire his willingness to do that. And, if your husband isn’t reading, let your godly behavior serve as an example…
“…they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,” 1 Peter 3:1.
2- Ask for his opinion and really consider it.
And sometimes, not necessarily everytime, heed his opinion/advice on what you are asking about.
3- Accept responsibility
When you mess up, when you say something hurtful, or forget to do something you said you would do, own up to it.
Let go of pride, realize that sometimes the best thing for your marriage is to apologize and not hold onto a misconception that apologizing makes you wrong. The reality is holding onto pride, holding onto the need to somehow be right, only weakens your marriage.
Yes, I know you want him to listen to YOU. But, he also wants you to listen to him. So what, if he only ever talks about stock-car races. He wants to talk to you, and know that you are listening to him.
6- Choose Him!
Ladies, I know you chose him when you said, yes to the ring, and I do at the wedding. But, you must decide to choose him each and every day that you wake up. That might mean giving up something that you really, really like to do because he finds it apalling, or, because it’s caused conflict in your marriage. Choose him, over whatever the thing is. In the long run, ask yourself if the thing is more important than your relationship with him. If it is… you need to seriously consider your priorities. .
7- Learn the Art of Silence
Sometimes, just sitting quietly with your husband does wonders. Yes, I know you want him to listen to you. But, how often do you listen to him? Really, listen? Maybe your thinking… but, he never talks. And, you might be right. But, it could be that he never talks because you never get quiet. Try sitting quietly for a while and see what happens. It might take a few weeks of doing this, 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, before you really start to hear what he has to say.
8- Find out what his passions are, and do your best to understand them.
Maybe he loves football, or golf. Or, maybe he’s a woodworker, or fisherman. Whatever it is that he’s passionate about dedicate some time to learning about it, and then when he talks try, to listen, follow along, and participate in the conversation with him.
9- Set a time to check in with each other each day.
Agree upon a time, determine how/when to do this check-in. It can be just a 5 minute phone conversation to see how each other’s days are going, ask if there is a prayer need, or if something good happen. It’s gives you a moment to remind each other that you love each other.
For us, he has a set time to call and check in with me. Sometimes though, business gets hectic and it’s not quite possible. So if after 15-30 minutes he’s missed the check-in then we’ve agreed that I can send a text asking if it’s a good time for check-in. This is what works for us. But, you may do something different, like an afternoon text or Voxer. Whatever works for you… that’s what you should do.
10- Schedule Time Alone
Let’s face it, while we have a romantic notion that our husbands will swoop in and sweep us away for a romantic getaway, the reality is, most men (I know there are a few who do) don’t think in such terms. They do, however, appreciate when you’ve put thought, and effort into doing this for them.
So get out your calendar, call your best friend, or sister, and ask if they’d keep the kids for a weekend. I’ve found that if you offer to provide a weekend exchange, you keep her kids for 1 weekend, and she keeps your kids for another, you have a better chance of her agreeing. In a pinch, try grandma. You could plan a romantic weekend home alone. Or, you can call up a B&B, a local hotel that serves breakfast in bed, or schedule a mini-vacation to a nearby destination spot. The goal is time alone with your man.
11- Be willing to laugh at your own mistakes.
Sometimes, mistakes are just so funny and it lightens the mood rather than inflames a difficult situation.
12- Own your Role
We are called to be submissive to our husbands. We are called to love them, obey them, and be keepers of the home, Titus 2:4-5. It’s up to you whether or not you will accept the role God has designed for marriage, or if you will kick against the goad.
If you want to grow a stronger marriage, then own your role. Embrace it with joy, conviction and prayer. You will come to know peace in the offering of your service to your husband.
Throughout the day, reach for his hand. Take his arm as you walk. Lean in to him for a hug. Kiss. Touch is powerful. It heals hearts, mends broken relationships, it connects us in a way that nothing else can. Touch is a gift from God, and we often overlook it in our busy-ness. We can get used to sharing space with each other, but fail to reach out for each other. Be purposeful, and touch your husband, daily.
14- Fight Together
What I mean by that is when difficulties come, get in each other’s corner and fight for each other instead of against each other. When struggles happen, don’t blame. Fight! Fight for him. Take his side. Be willing to accept that you are in it for better, or worse.
He’ll make mistakes. You’ll make mistakes. But you’ll both face the consequences together. Be in each other’s corner and fight together for your goals, for yourselves, for your marriage.
15- Write him love notes.
It doesn’t take much to write a note and leave it on the bathroom mirror. Or, pen your love on a post-it and tuck it into his wallet. I’ve been known to leave messages in his desk drawer at work on occasions when I’ve visited. Leaving love notes for your husband is simple, but it’s one more way for you to affirm your love for him.
16-Share your feelings
Let him become your very best friend. I know you will still have a best girlfriend too. But don’t tell her anything that you wouldn’t tell him. Share your joys, fears, sorrows, and hopes.
If it’s something he can help you with, let him. If it’s something you need him to just hear… tell him that too. But don’t hold back your emotions, they are real, and true to who you are as a person. Let him get to know every part of your heart.
17- Recognize His strengths
You are both unique and talented individuals. You can’t do it all! Together you can share your strengths to accomplish more as a couple. But that means letting go of a false attempt at self-perfection and recognizing that his strengths can help you both achieve greater things.
18- Learn from Him
I’m guessing your husband is a pretty smart man. He picked you didn’t he?
He has a lifetime of experience that you don’t have. So allow him to teach you something and as you grow older together, continue to learn from him. You’ll be so surprised, and impressed by his knowledge and abilities.
19-Date your Husband
He may not be the romantic type. That’s o.k. you can add a bit of romance to the marriage. Did you know that as a wife it’s perfectly o.k. to schedule, plan and even execute a date night. Go ahead…
Here’s some ideas to get you started.
20-Have sex often with your husband.
You got married. It’s o.k. to be sexually intimate with him. We get so caught up in not talking about sex that we forget that it’s a beautiful part of the design God created for marriage. It’s in those intimate moments that you let go of your frustrations and irritations, and you connect with your husband.
If you fail to join with him, become one with him, often. You’ll be missing out of the physical, emotional and even spiritual connection that can draw you closer to each other. Instead, you’ll be opening a place in your heart for resentment, and frustration.
20 Things to Not Do for a Stronger Marriage
1- Belittle him to your friends, or family members. EVER.
He is your husband. Besides your relationship with the Lord, He is your #1 relationship on this earth. Your role as a wife is to build him up and seek his highest good. Putting him down, complaining about him, or making light of your relationship with him, is not a part of the godly role you’ve been called to as a wife. Ask yourself if what you are saying to belittle or complain about your husband you would say about Christ. Because chances are you would not. Remember that your role as a wife is to submit to him, as you would to Christ.
2. Allow others to tear him down in your presence.
Obviously, there may be times when it’s not your place to speak up. Ladies, you can’t call your husband’s boss and speak for him. That would be overstepping your bounds.
But, women tend to lump all men into a specific category. When you hear a friend, or sister try to lump your husband into a negative category, you can gently say… “Oh, that’s not my husband. He’s very helpful, or great, or ….” There may also be times when your children need to be reminded that they aren’t to speak ill of their father. Or, perhaps it might be within his or your extended family. Choose carefully, wisely, but don’t allow others to think that YOU think less of him. You should always seek to build him up.
3- Try to change him.
This may seem cliché but the reality is too many women try to change their husbands to fit their pre-conceived idea of what a husband should/shouldn’t be. He is who he is. Remember the things you found attractive in him. Remember the reasons you grew to love him. When you accept him for who he is and grow along side of him you’ll both have a greater appreciation for each other. And, remember that you can influence with your quiet, obedient, spirit.
No one likes to be nagged. If the table were reversed and he was nagging you all the time, you wouldn’t like it. So don’t be a nag.
“Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Proverbs 21:9.
5- Be Passive Aggressive
Over time it’s easy to grow complacent toward your relationship. And, when you have a discontent heart, resentment can build up. When you allow yourself to feel put out, or frustrated at every little thing that annoys you, you may find that you end up expressing your frustration in a passively aggressive way.
The best way to communicate your feelings of frustration is by honestly sharing them. Rather than saying, “Nothing!” when he asks what is wrong. Say, “I’m feeling frustrated because…”
Think carefully about how you are presenting yourself to him. Are you being passive, or honest? Are you being aggressive with your thoughts? Do you often think… I’ll show him!? Don’t get caught up in passive aggressive thoughts and tendencies.
There may come times when a couple may be struggling to communicate effectively. Sometimes it stems from hurts and other times it stems from selfishness. There can be a tendency to hide emotionally from your spouse. But, doing this only increases distrust. What’s better, even if it’s harder, is to begin the process of honestly talking it out with each other. Remember, that as husband and wife you should also be best friends, so start talking. Start listening, and ask open-ended questions, while also honestly sharing your own thoughts and emotions.
Lying is never, ever O.K. Not only is it a sin, well that alone should be a good enough reason to not begin lying in any area of your life, but, lying to your spouse causes division in your heart. If you are honest with yourself, you’ll realize that lying comes when you distrust the other person. Or, lying happens when you distrust yourself. The consequences of lying is arer greater than any temporary reprieve you might feel from lying your way out of a sticky moment.
Just be honest. Be true in every circumstance and allow yourself to build trust between yourself and your husband.
8- Forget to be Kind
It might seem silly. When your marriage is young you think every day will be full of romance and flowers. You imagine that each day will be full of kind thoughts, and kind deeds done toward each other. But, time passes. Days become weeks, and weeks become years. You get busy. He gets busy. Before you know it you are so busy that you’ve forgotten each other in the day to day activity and you may discover that kindness has slipped out of the relationship in the hustle and bustle of jobs, children, and community. But remember that gift? You can choose, everyday, you have a new chance to choose – kindness toward your love.
9- Keep a Record of Wrongs
When you keep in mind all the things that have ever been done — well, that’s keeping a record of wrong. You probably don’t write it down. But, you most likely have kept it written in your heart. And that is a bad idea. Why? Because it means you aren’t forgiving. To forgive… means to forget. Really, it does. It means letting go of hurts, sorrows, failures, and anger. It means remembering no more anything that was done that might have caused you any pain. To forgive means, to forget. Don’t keep a record of wrongs. Remember that you are not perfect and forgiveness goes both ways.
10- Avoid Financial Responsibility
Both of you are responsible for what happens in your finances. If you don’t contribute financially, you certainly contribute to the spending of the finances. It’s better to work together to manage your family finances. This can look like a lot of different things. Perhaps you pay the bills, while he balances the checkbook. Maybe he earns the income, while you manage the family budget. Or, it could be that both of you are earners and you work collaboratively to manage the budget. Whatever the case, the goal is to work together to be financially responsible.
11- Put Others First
You may not mean for it to happen. But it happens often. It can simply be putting children first, or a parent, or a career. Remember that besides your relationship with God, your most important relationship on earth is the one you have with your spouse. Children, grow up. Careers, come and go. Your parents, while they may need you at some point, you should do so with your spouses support. But, that relationship, the husband/wife relationship must be the 1st priority. Protect it with all your being.
12-Don’t Use Sex as a Weapon
It’s going to hurt both of you if you choose to use sex as a weapon to get your own way. Let that part of your marriage remain a special, intimate time. I refer you to 1 Corinthians 7, study it. Really come to understand what it is saying. Don’t allow yourself to use sex as a tool, a weapon to hurt your husband.
13 – Look Around
You’ve probably heard it said, that it’s totally O.K. to look at another person whom you think is beautiful as long as you don’t touch. But, this is wrong!
“but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” – Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:28.
Don’t be deceived. Looking at another with longing eyes may cause dissatisfaction in your heart. You may begin to desire someone other than the one you love. You open your heart to sin. Remember your first love, and only have eyes for your beloved.
14 – Take Your Spouse for Granted
Don’t let yourself assume that everything is going to be o.k., all the time. Remember that your spouse has emotions, feelings, and needs that are unique to them. You need to show gratitude for the work they do, you need to acknowledge when they do something for you. You need to be aware of how you are working together and check in with each other, often, to be sure you are both doing well within the relationship.
15 – Fight Dirty
When you find yourself in an argument, don’t fight dirty. Don’t bring up old mistakes. Don’t pile on frustrations. Don’t argue something that isn’t what the current discussion is about. Instead, stay calm and focus your thoughts on resolving whatever the disagreement is about.
16 – Exhibit Jealous Behavior
Again, this goes back to trust. To love, unconditionally, you must put all of your trust into your spouse. It’s hard, don’t get me wrong. But loving means trusting. Let go of jealousy, let go of worry. Simply place your trust in them, let them know you trust them, and watch as they seek to prove their trust, over and over again.
And, it must be said. They aren’t perfect, no one is… so learn to forgive as well.
NOTE: While the goal in any marriage is for both the husband and wife to work and grow toward each other in love, there may come times when trust is broken. Each situation must be examined through the scriptures to determine what God’s will for your life is. That being said, there is nothing that can’t be overcome when you turn to God for guidance.
17 – Compare
It’s easy to compare your relationship to your best friend’s relationship with her husband. Or, to compare your sister’s spouse to your own. But – don’t do it. Remember that you and your spouse are unique individuals and you each bring something different to your relationship. Your marriage will not look like someone else’s. Your marriage is your own. Your husband is his own man. Don’t compare your husband or your marriage to someone else’s. It’s not going to help you grow toward your spouse.
18 – Stop Supporting Them
Over time you can grow insensitive to their needs. You can grow hard and forget that they have emotions and they go through difficult things and need you to support them through those things. Sometimes, they need you to encourage them to try the next thing. Sometimes they need you to hold them and love them. Don’t stop supporting the one you love.
19 – Read Minds
Just because you are one doesn’t mean that you are able to read your husband’s mind. Just as he can’t read your mind. Of course, over time you learn each other, you grow to have an understanding of each other. But even still you can’t read their mind. You can guess at what they are thinking. And, you’ll learn certain signals that will allow you to communicate with just a nod, wink, or a gesture. But, you can’t read his mind.
20 – Make Idle Threats
Remember when you were a child and you were taught, “Be careful what you say.” This is true. Don’t make threats that you don’t mean. Don’t use threats as a way of getting what you want. Don’t use threats to hurt the one you love.
20 Things to Say for a Stronger Marriage
The song, “Oh be Careful Little Eyes*” comes to my mind when I think of what to say in marriage. Specifically, “Oh be careful little mouth what you say.” When it comes to marriage, I think the tongue is one of the biggest pitfalls. Speaking in anger is a great danger. Not speaking truth, also a great danger.
The words we speak with our mouths can be used to build up, or to tear down. If we want stronger marriages, we should seek to build up our love. It’s always important to consider the needs of your spouse as you speak. Remember they too have a heart, a soul, and feelings that can be hurt, or can be shored up.
- I love you. Say this multiple times a day, not from compulsion, but with intention.
- Say goodbye and hello whenever you part and return to one another.
- I’m sorry.
- I forgive you.
- Thank you.
- I’m honored when you….
- I admire your work…
- I appreciate…
- Can you help me with…
- I feel joyful when….
- I get upset/ hurt when…
- You are strong.
- I admire when you…
- I find your ___ attractive. (Yes, it’s a good idea to compliment your man!)
- I love when you say___________.
- I love when you__________.
- I appreciate you for working to provide for our family.
- I feel __ when you help me to ___.
- What do you think about ____.
20 Things to Decide to Grow your Marriage Stronger
- Decide that divorce is not an option.
- Decide that you will always be honest.
- Decide that you will choose him, every, single, day.
- Decide that you will seek to honor the roles that God has designed for marriage.
- Decide that you will serve your husband, just as you have chosen to serve Christ.
- Decide that you will be content.
- Decide that you will choose joy in each day.
- Decide to have a heart willing to listen in order to hear and understand.
- Decide that you will put him first, yes that means above the kids.
- Decide that you will do something unexpected to turn him on. (Yes, it’s o.k. you are married.)
- Decide that you will make his favorite meal(s) at least once a month.
- Decide that you will strive to be content with whatever financial, residential, or other circumstance you may find yourself in.
- Decide not to blame him when things don’t go as plan. Instead, realize that you chose to marry for better or worse and that TOGETHER you face life whatever comes. You own the difficulties as well as he does.
- Decide that together you will stand or fall.
- Decide every single day that you will love him, in word, in deed, in body, and in spirit.
- Decide that you will choose him whenever you are presented with a choice… choose him over any other thing.
- Decide that you will not allow others to influence your emotional well-being, your relationship, or your decisions concerning your marriage.
- Decide that you will speak only good of him to others.
- Decide that no matter what you will love him.
- Decide that today is the day to begin to make your marriage stronger. And tomorrow… decide again.
If you are like me, reading a series of how tos is easy. Implementation, is a lot harder. Especially when you are busy, day in and day out, taking care of kids, homeschooling, managing the household, etc.. But having a visual reminder that you can look at each day makes it easier. Which is why I’m offering you a free download listing all 100 things you can do for a stronger marriage.
A stronger marriage is possible. I know you can’t do it alone. But the reality is we can not change another person. We can only change ourselves and how we relate to and interact with another. This is true in marriage as well. We can not change our spouses. But we can decide how we will treat them, love them, and honor them.
When you respect, show love, and treat another person, even your husband with kindness, you stand a greater chance of their heart growing stronger toward you.
It starts with one spouse deciding to grow the a stronger marriage. It can start with you, and it can start today. You can choose.
Brighten the Mood in your Bedroom with these Items that Celebrates Your Marriage
- Perfect Marriage Distressed Sign
- Hello Handsome Good Morning Gorgeous Marriage Family Bedroom Quote
- Frankincense N’ Myrrh Hand Poured Natural Soy Candles
- Relaxing body oil
See the Entire Growing a Stronger Marriage Series
- 20 Things To Do for a Stronger Marriage
- 20 Things to Not Do to Protect Your Marriage
- 20 Things to Pray to Grow a Stronger Marriage
- 20 Things to Decide to Grow your Marriage Stronger
- 20 Things to Say for a Stronger Marriage