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Let me give you three practical tips on how to maintain and continue to build a strong relationship over the years.
These tips are based on the Word and things we have seen from working with families for 30 years.
Three Tips for Married Couples
 #1 Do Things Together (and For Each Other)
Try something new or enjoy each other's hobbies. The point is to do something together.
(Note: You may not like the same hobbies, but if it is important to your spouse, you should take time to learn something about it so they can share with you.)
Find something you enjoy doing together like going for a walk, riding a bike, reading a book or talking about something. Spending time together is a big part of building your relationship.
Laughter is great medicine and you will remember what you laugh at. A merry heart does good like a medicine. Do things and schedule things that are fun — things that will make you laugh. There is nothing I love more than to hear my wife laugh. I love her laugh, it makes me feel good and she likes to hear me laugh. When we laugh, we are enjoying the process of living. Everybody faces challenges, but let's all enjoy the process.
We have a relationship with God and we are saved, but God wants our fellowship too. He wants us to talk to Him and for us to listen to Him as well. The relationship with your spouse is no different.

That is what creates intimacy — especially over the years as you change, it has got to be more than just sleeping in the same bed, paying bills and sharing a mortgage payment.
Let's visit and get to know our spouse.
#2 Dream Together (Plan For The Future)
Dreaming together as a couple is important! It is probably one of the most important things you can do because when you dream and plan, you have something to get in agreement over. You can share the vision and work together.
Dreaming is something you used to do as a kid. Your best buddies and you would dream when you were in elementary school. You did it before you got married, you dreamed what your life would be like, where you would live, what you would be doing and how many kids you would have.
Don’t ever lose your dream. Do you want to maintain a great healthy marriage? Dream together!
Sit down and plan every now and then. Plan your future. Try a five-year plan, five-month plan or a five-week plan. The idea is to talk about where you want to be headed.
Most day to day conversations end up being about what happened at work, the fact that the transmission started leaking, the kids crooked teeth, the dryer door not staying shut, or one of the kids is flunking Algebra.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick. You've got to be able to dream about the future. It is also great because it takes no money. It is just dreaming, but I will tell you something, money follows vision, money doesn’t follow need.
You can get as detailed or a general as you want with your dreaming, but start simple. Just write a list down on a piece of paper. Five years from now, do I want to be living in this house? If I do, are there any changes I would like to make in this house in five years? Well, I would like to redo the kitchen so I’ll write that down.

Talk about the kids. Where are the kids going to be five years from now? Well, these kids are going to be in college. Where at? Let's start thinking about it, sometimes my wife and would keep that piece of paper on a corkboard in the kitchen. Every now and then, we would just sit down and look at it and here is all the things we kind of thought about the future, or we might think of something new.
The Bible says to write the vision; make it plain so that those that read it can run with it (meaning they can join in what the goal is).
#3 Pray Together (and For Each Other)
 It is really hard to lose it when you are praying together. That does not mean things will be perfect, but when you are committed to seeking God together and using His Word as the rule for your life, you are on the right path.  You don't have to make it some big ordeal.
You do not need to light candles, hum, hold hands and get quiet. There are times when you will just be like, “Hey, can you come here just a second? Let’s pray about this real quick," and that takes 30 seconds. Sometimes it will be something more planned, but never overlook the quick moments to get in agreement on something. You need wisdom, you are headed into an interview, or there's a decision to be made, etc. There is nothing too small or too big to be in agreement for.
There is an incredible bonding that takes place when praying together.  There’s a soul tie that happens that causes the intimacy to grow in your relationship.
Keep a prayer list of the things you pray about all the time.
Pray for your spouse.
I ask people in our marriage retreats, "How many of you men have prayed for your spouse in the last week?” I have them raise their hands and many times it is a very small number. How many prayed for your spouse the last month or the last year? How many remember the last time you prayed for your spouse?
Don’t think that it doesn't cost you. I need to be praying for my wife all of the time. She needs to be praying for me all of the time.

A marriage is a problem solving team. Praying together is important and praying for each other is also vital.
Let's commit to taking the "happy challenge."
Ask yourself, "What one thing can I do to make my spouse happy today?" It doesn't have to be a big thing or something that you have to buy.  Ask yourself, "Is there something that I can do to show them I care, to make their load easier, or to make them smile today?"
It could be anything. It could be making a cup of coffee or tea and taking it to them. It could be just doing a back rub for a minute or doing the dishes.
Think of one thing that would make their day, and don’t expect them to say thank you, hug your neck or take you to the bedroom.
You are not looking for a reward. It is something you do just because you love them.  Just do something for no other reason than the fact that they are special to you.
Jesus said “Don't tell me you love me, show me”. Love is not just a word — it is an action. In Matt. 23:11, we read that the greatest among us must be a servant to others and that those who humble themselves will be exalted.
These moments of serving each other build powerful memories over the years.
These are just a few simple topics that we have covered today, but they will have a huge impact in your relationship. Let's start visiting with our spouse, laughing with them, planning a future together and praying for each other. When we do, we are building a great marriage!

Copyright © Joe McGee Ministries
All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Joe McGee
Web site: Joe McGee Ministries
Joe McGee, author, national conference speaker, father, and former school administrator, is the founder and director of Joe McGee Ministries, Inc. and Faith For Families Ministries.

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