Here are five simple ways you can grow closer to your spouse.
Love and Respect
This just in: Men and women are different! I know that’s nothing new, but Paul tries to show us how they are different in Ephesians chapter five and specifically in verse 31: “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” For some reason–and I think God has wired men and women differently–when the husband loves His wife as he does himself, he will treat her with respect, and when the wife respects her husband, she shows him she really loves him. In other words, when husbands love their wives like they do their own body, they treat them respectfully, and that shows their wives that they really do love them. When wives respect their husbands, this sends husbands a signal that their wives really do love them. Showing love is respecting the wife; respecting the husband is showing love. Does that make sense?
I think having time together as a couple is so important. Why not find a babysitter for the weekend or a weekend night and spend it at a bed and breakfast? What did you do as a couple when you first dated? Try that again. Was it taking a walk together? Was it a picnic, like my wife and I used to have before we were married? For some reason, we stopped having picnics after we got married, and that’s my fault. I dropped the ball.
I surely think this might be one that’s overlooked. When a couple prays together, I believe they increase the chances of staying together. Take turns praying, or alternate back and forth. Don’t have a prescribed length of time; let it be spontaneous. I am not saying you shouldn’t be intentional and have a specific time of the day to pray together, but don’t worry about it having to be a certain length. Just pray with your spouse spontaneously, maybe when you’re sitting together waiting for an appointment. It’s important to be praying with and for your children while they’re in the room with you.
I don’t believe that we should have prescribed jobs for the man or the woman. In other words, I take out the trash, I mow the lawn, and I do the dishes. I sometimes cook, but if my wife prefers to do the cooking, then I won’t force it and insist on doing it. She doesn’t want me to do the laundry, and I respect that, but I also pick up my dirty clothes and put them in the hamper. If she wants to mow the lawn, I let her. When we clean house together, cook together, put clean sheets on and make the bed together, or rake the leaves in the lawn together, we seem to grow closer to one another. I’m not sure how this works. I only know it does, and that’s good enough for me.
When one of us is going to be gone before the other gets up in the morning, or if one of us will get home before the other, we always leave love notes like this: “Hi, sweetie. Hope your day went (or goes) well. I should be home around 6 p.m. You take care until I see you then. I love you.” Then we sign our name. We also make sure that if one of us leaves home while the other is there, the last words we say to each other are “I love you.” I never know when the last time I see my spouse will be, so I want the last words I ever say to her on this earth to be “I love you.”
I thank God for my beloved wife in my prayers on a regular and consistent basis. I know that our spouses are a gift from God, just as our children are, and we should be thankful to God for them and try to love and serve them and seek ways in which to grow closer to them because the marital relationship is much like that between Christ, the Bridegroom, and the church, His Bride.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman[ssba]
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