Today I’m excited to welcome Carrie Beth Tigges, writer, school principal, mother of four, and blogger over at Mommy Musings.
A question for my married friends: Do you want a strong marriage?
Me, too. I strive for it. Truth be told, I do really well some days.
Other days… not so much.
From the first days of my husband and my journey as newlyweds, I wanted to make sure my children (even while they were yet-to-be-conceived) knew of our love for one another and for Jesus.
Here are a few tips for living out a Christ-centered marriage in front of your kids (and behind closed doors!)
1. Communicate. You can never talk enough. Healthy communication is not just talking “at” one another about who is picking up which child when. It’s talking about your work, your day. It’s sharing what you are struggling with and why. It’s asking your spouse to pray for you. Let your kids see you communicate well.
2. Pray daily for one another and pray together. Seek the Lord and his wisdom on how to serve one another. Pray for your shortcomings in the marriage and how the Lord can strengthen you.
3. Be affectionate, especially in front of your children. They may gag and make faces, but secretly, kids want to see their parents hug, kiss and be playful with one another.
4. Always present a united front when it comes to issues involving your children. Disagree behind the door, but do not let children know they have an opportunity to divide and conquer.
5. Speak positively about your spouse in front of others, especially your children. Christ commanded wives to love their husbands and for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Belittling, criticizing and nagging does not edify your spouse or your relationship.
6. Tell your children your story. Let them know how you met, what kind of dates you went on, how you fell in love, what happened at your wedding, and why you still love each other. They need to hear from you about examples of a healthy, Christ-centered relationship. They need to hear you say why you still choose each other.
7. Keep the romance alive. Did you write letters or send cards when you were dating? Surprise your spouse with a note in their car, their purse or briefcase from time to time. Do you share a common interest (besides your kids!)? Look for opportunities to continue to share time.
8. Schedule date nights. Is money tight? Have a date night at home after kids are in bed. Trade off child-care with another couple once a month. Take the kids to a grandparent or relative and come home for your favorite non-kid meal.
9. Make time for physical intimacy. Kids should not “see” this part (obvs!), but they will certainly reap the benefits of a marriage where both spouses are lovingly nurturing physical intimacy in marriage.
10. Nurture relationships with other Christian couples. Encourage your spouse to have some “me” time with gals or guys.
11. Speak biblical truth to your spouse. Look for wisdom in God’s word when encouraging or even challenging your spouse about a particular situation.
12. Share with your children why marriage is important and what the Bible says about marriage. Share with them that there are good days and bad days. Talk about how you make it through bad days. Share when you have to show forgiveness. Be honest and real.
I don’t have a perfect marriage. No one does. I just really love my husband and want our marriage to be stronger a year from now. It won’t just happen – it will take work, intentionality, space, and grace.
What tips would you add to the list?