how to keep a marriage strong

5 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong

When I was a sophomore in college, I transferred from Duke to the University of Georgia. After finishing up football camp, I walked on campus in front of the student center and immediately noticed a woman wearing red pants and a crisp white top. She looked both classy and sexy at the same time. Out of all the women, she stood out. She might as well have had a spotlight on her. Eventually, I married her.

Remember what that felt like? Think back to when you first saw your wife or the first moment you knew you were into her. After being in a relationship for a long time with someone, it is easy to take her for granted. It’s easy to forget how to make a marriage strong. We need to be intentional to make sure the relationship doesn’t fall into a lull. Here are 5 ways to keep your marriage strong.

1. Keep the right order.

The best football teams have the right order. They consistently focus on doing the most important things well. Ask yourself: “Are my priorities in order?” Your kids should not run your house. When prioritizing your family, focus on your marriage first. Not only is it healthy for your marriage, but it’s healthy for your kids. The best way to take care of your kids is to take care of each other first.

2. Always be on the same team.

My wife and I are very competitive. In college, we were on opposite sides during a game night and it got ugly. We realized early that we had to be on the same team, and we took that into our marriage. Kids will always try to play parents against each other because that is the only power they have. Don’t let it happen. When she tells the kids no, you tell the kids no and vice versa. Always be on the same team.

3. Let things go.

Love your wife for who she is, not who you want her to be.

I have a habit of leaving drawers open. It drives my wife crazy. She used to think I was out to get her by leaving them open. It may seem small, but these little things in marriage can turn into big things if we allow them to fester. At one point, she realized that she may have to close drawers for the rest of her life. With spouses, change either doesn’t happen or it happens slowly. We need to give each other grace and let things go. Love your wife for who she is, not who you want her to be.

4. Have date nights.

If you want your marriage to be healthy, you need consistent time together. Breaking out for a date weekly, bi-weekly, or even once a month will give you an opportunity to reconnect. Not only will it be good for your marriage, it will make you a better dad. You will be fresher and more encouraged. So be intentional and make time to be together.

5. Remember your story.

Don’t forget what attracted you to this person. Think about how you met and what you felt. Remember all the effort you put into pursuing her to win her over. Your story is a great reminder of why she was worth it—and why she still is. The reality is that your story is still happening, and the pursuit never stops.

Sound off: What do you do to keep your marriage strong?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why do you think it’s important for Mom and Dad to go on dates?”