Married coupleA marriage is like a garden. A beautiful garden needs constant attention. It needs to be watered regularly. It requires the skilled pruning of the master gardener. Weeds must be pulled. And the plants need fertilizing. But a garden left to itself will soon be overrun by weeds and thistles. Bugs, though small, will come in and devour what could have been beautiful.

In the same way, we must tend to our marriage. Here are seven ways to cultivate a healthy marriage:

  1. Recognize that marriage is hard work, so give it your best efforts! A young family was discussing marriage around the dinner table. The older two children said they wanted to get married someday. But the youngest child said, “I don’t know if I’ll get married. Marriage is awful hard work. I think I’ll get a job instead!” After the laughter subsided, the parents had to agree with this six-year-old psychiatrist — marriage is hard work!
  2. Tell your wife you love her often (multiple times every day). She not only needs to hear it, but you need to hear yourself say it. Keep your romantic spark alive!
  3. Date your wife regularly. This is especially important once you have kids. Contrary to popular belief, the child is not the center of the universe. If he/she grows up believing that, you’ll have even bigger worries to deal with. As one a man said, “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother!”
  4. Look for concrete ways to serve each other selflessly. One of the biggest reasons that marriages get stale is because we become self-absorbed. The best way out that downward spiral is to serve your spouse lovingly, joyfully, and selflessly.
  5. Listen to each other attentively. Learn to listen to your wife attentively and with care. And when your wife shares problems with you that you can’t fix, don’t try to fix them. Simply love her, reassure her, hold her, and tell her things will be alright.
  6. Eat a meal together daily. We often allow life to get so hectic that we don’t even share a meal together. Mealtime (especially supper) offers a great opportunity to catch up.
  7. Pray with each other. These need not be lengthy prayer meetings! Simply stop and pray with each other. Draw each other into God’s presence daily and rely on Him.

Marriage is so holy, so special that God uses marriage to describe His relationship with us.

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:25–33

Personal Application

Which of these seven tips needs your immediate attention? Consider sharing this list with your wife and work
on your marriage together.

Jim and Wendell signatures Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton

We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5