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Sometimes marriage can seem overwhelming, especially if you and your spouse are having a rough day (or week or month).
Maybe you want to make some improvements, but you feel like you’d need to move mountains to achieve anything.
Well, take a deep breath and remember what Jesus tells us about faith:
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
You probably already know that mustard seeds are teensy tiny! But, according to Jesus, that teensy tiny faith can move that giant mountain. What an incredible assurance from our Savior.
With this in mind, let’s consider a few small things you can do that can make a big difference (and maybe even move some mountains) in your marriage.
Find out what chore or task he dislikes doing and help him out.
Some of the best advice I received early in marriage was to ask my husband the one thing he dislikes doing and find a way to make it easier for him.
For my military husband, that chore was going to the barber to get his hair cut every couple weeks. Since he isn’t allowed to have his hair long, I decided that the one thing I could do to help was eliminate the middle man and become his barber!
I watched a few YouTube videos on how to cut a man’s hair, bought some affordable clippers, and gave it a shot!
I was so nervous the first time, my hands were shaking a bit. Probably not very reassuring for my poor husband! 🙂 But he was a trooper and it turned out great!
Now, I can cut his hair in less than 15 minutes, including cleanup, and he doesn’t have to go to the barber anymore! As an added bonus, haircuts now cost us nothing. And since a typical trip to the barber was $11, the clippers paid for themselves in less than a month.
Find out if there’s a chore or errand that your husband really dislikes and then try to help him out however you can!
Spend some time thinking about his good qualities and then compliment him.
In marriage, as in life, it’s all too easy to focus on the negative. All the little things about your spouse that annoy you seem much bigger and more important if you allow yourself to focus on them.
Instead, make a mental list of the things he does right.
Is he great with money? Compliment his budgeting prowess. Did he spend some extra time with the kids today? Let him know how much you appreciate that and what a great dad he is. Maybe he’s been exercising recently. Make sure to tell him that you notice the fruits of that labor.
And, remember, you do little things that annoy him too. He’s much more likely to focus on your positives if you’re actively acknowledging his!
Initiate physical intimacy or say yes when he initiates.
If it’s been a while since you’ve done either of these, it may be time for some action!
This can be hard when you’re busy and exhausted, doing all you can to just make it through the day.
If that’s the case for you, here are a few things to try before turning out the lights:
Pray about it. Pray for the energy, the time, the strength, whatever it is you need in that moment to follow through. Sounds strange, the thought of talking to God about your sex life, doesn’t it? But it works. God cares about you. He cares about your marriage. And He created sexual intimacy for married couples. He wants you to actively participate in and enjoy sex! If you ever doubt this, read (or reread) Song of Songs. You won’t be disappointed!
Take a few minutes for yourself. This can be especially difficult if you have little ones running around. It may help to get your husband on board. Say something like, “Honey, I really want to have some *ahem* quality time with you tonight but first I need a few minutes to myself. Would you be willing to.. (insert task here: give the kids their baths, make lunches for tomorrow, read the bedtime story)?” Odds are, he’ll be on board, especially once he knows your special reason for asking. And then maybe take a hot bath, put on some lotion or perfume, light some candles, take that time to do whatever you need to feel relaxed, beautiful, and, yes, sexy. When your husband is done tending the children (probably exhausted from 112 readings of the nightly bedtime story) make good on your earlier promise.
Just do it. This one sounds kind of obvious, right? But, truly, just getting started is often the hardest part. If you make the effort to begin lovemaking, you’re much more likely to get in the mood than if you just fall into bed and curl up with your back to your husband. And the added bonus is that you’ll likely sleep better after than you otherwise would have!
Wake up with your husband in the morning (or stay up late if he works the night shift).
This one is especially hard for working wives and moms with small children, for whom every minute of sleep is a precious commodity. But making the sacrifice, even just a few days (or nights) per week, can make a big difference to your husband. Take some time to make him breakfast (even if it’s just pouring cereal into a bowl), get his lunch ready, and make sure he has what he needs to get through the day. Your efforts will not go unnoticed by your (probably equally tired) hubby.
Give him permission to indulge in a hobby or to just zone out for a bit.
Something I learned during premarital counseling from Mark Gungor’s Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage (incredibly helpful and hilarious!) is that men have this thing called a Nothing Box in their brains. They are actually capable of thinking about absolutely nothing for extended periods of time. And not only are they able to do this, but it’s good for them because it gives them time to recharge, in the same way you might recharge by talking over the day’s events with your best friend. So encourage a little Nothing Boxing. Your husband will likely feel more relaxed and better able to engage with you and the kids after he’s had some time to do.. well.. Nothing! 🙂
Now it’s your turn! Tell us about some of the small things you do that make a big difference to your husband and marriage in the comments below!