Autumn never fails to energize me!
I live in Texas where temperatures range from 80-105° much of the year, so when those cooler breezes begin to twirl through the trees, invigoration dances through me as well. ?
One way I’ve been inspired this fall is in my relationship with my husband, Josh. We’ve been married eleven years, and over the past year or so, I’ve been praying that our marriage would just get better and better with time. One way God has answered that prayer is by showing me ways I can have more fun with Josh, keeping our relationship fresh and alive.
Below are some ideas that I hope inspire you in your relationship with your husband (or future husband!). They may not all feel like a good fit for your particular situation, but my hope is that you can customize some of them to fit your preferences. And don’t be afraid to try something new! I’ve been surprised lately at the fun Josh and I have had trying things for the first time that had never entered our minds before.
Strong marriages are SO important to me: I believe God wants our marriages to be vibrant reflections of His love relationship with His bride, the church. With that in mind, I think investing time, thought, and intention into your marriage honors God and is good stewardship of your energy.
When I first saw these conversation starters on the Dating Divas blog, I was skeptical that Josh would want to do them with me . . . And I am SO glad I pushed past my initial reservations!
These cards have been more than worth the $7 I invested in them. Over the course of several (child-less) road trips and long car rides, we have had the best conversations — and have learned a lot about each other, even after over a decade of marriage. Topics cover family, romance, intimacy, quality time, and finances.
What surprised me most was that Josh was really into them. I thought he might think it was a silly idea, but he was often the one who initiated the conversations until we eventually worked through the whole set.
One tip: Don’t forget that this is a time to seek to understand each other better, not to argue about differing views.
Small Acts of Thoughtfulness
Ever had the kind of morning where you rolled out of bed late, fought slow traffic to get to work, and then hurried to your desk, your stomach growling?
How would you feel if you rushed up to your desk to find . . . a hot coffee and warm croissant waiting by your computer? Little acts of kindness can really make a girl’s day, right?
In the same way, you can brighten your husband’s life (or the life of anyone else you care about) by practicing even the smallest displays of thoughtfulness.
You don’t have to go out and drop a lot of money on a big gift or spend weeks planning the perfect getaway — though those things have their place. Small, 5-minute acts of thoughtfulness can go a long way.
- Cozy towels. When your husband is in the shower, grab a towel and pop it in the dryer. Then present him with a deliciously warm towel when he steps out. (He may wonder if you’re up to something, but ultimately, he’ll appreciate the gesture!)
- Sweet notes. Write a quick note to your husband telling him specific things about him you’re grateful for. Then slide the note into a pocket, wallet, Bible, or anywhere you know he’ll find it later.
- Thoughtful gifts. Order something off your husband’s Amazon wish list “just because” — or grab a few of his favorite snacks the next time you’re at the grocery store, and leave them in his vehicle or someplace he’ll find them on the way to work.
Fun and Flirty
Same as you, your husband wants to feel he’s attractive to you, and he enjoys your attention! Do little things here and there to remind him he’s something special.
- Next time you see your husband sitting on the couch, drop what you’re doing, walk over, and give him a long kiss.
- For that matter, give him a kiss anytime he’s least expecting it!
- Randomly give your husband a foot massage when you know he’s had a long day.
- When he’s not paying attention, save a sweet, fun, or flirty message to your husband’s phone as his wallpaper. The WordSwag app is great for this.
This one was actually my husband’s idea, and we’ve had so much fun with it. We bought a two-sided mini chalkboard from the wedding section at Wal-Mart that hangs above our bed. (Tip: a chalk marker writes SO much better than regular chalk on this type of chalkboard.)
My husband will write a sweet message to me at random times and hang it over my side of the bed. Then I’ll flip it over, write a message for him, and hang it over his side of the bed.
Of course, not everyone has a convenient shelf above their bed to do something like this, but a chalkboard easel on a bedside table or a dry-erase board in a bathroom drawer can serve the same purpose.
This isn’t something we do every single day, but we do keep up with it regularly and leave messages when the other isn’t looking. Such a fun way to let each other know you’re thinking of them!
Nothing seems to connect you to someone so well as simply spending time together. The larger your family and busier your schedules, the more difficult this can be. But you’ll never regret carving out time to just enjoy each other’s company.
- Take a walk. Take nature walks, or walk around the neighborhood together, even if it’s just for five minutes — and even if you have to bring small children along. (Josh and I found SO many beautiful places for hiking and walking in our area when we started seeking them out! These times together as a family have made for some of the best memories.)
- Talk. Use the conversation starters I mentioned above while on a road trip or long commute — or even while you’re strolling through your neighborhood.
- Play. Try playing a few games together even if games haven’t traditionally been your thing. Josh and I were never much for playing games, but now that our son is a little older, we’ve been playing board and card games together as a family once or twice a week. We just seem to enjoy it more and more over time.
Nothing (nothing!) will do so much for your marriage as good, old-fashioned prayer.
Your marriage may not be ideal right now. That’s okay! And it definitely doesn’t mean that’s the way your marriage will always be.
I’d venture to say that no marriage flows flawlessly from “I do” to happily ever after. Our marriage sure hasn’t! We’ve had our major, major trials. Because of God, and only because of Him, are we thriving today.
So pray, girls!
Pray for your husband; pray for your future husband if you’re not married.
In my experience, there is no prayer God answers so beautifully and powerfully as one for your spouse. As I’ve said before, marriage is a reflection of His relationship with you, His bride. He wants that reflection in your marriage to be beautiful and amazing as much as you do.
I have a prayer binder I was given last year that has been AMAZING for my prayer life, and especially in how I pray for my family. I don’t use it every day when I pray; sometimes I go a while without it. But it’s so helpful in praying thoughtfully, intentionally, and thoroughly for my husband.
You can make one for yourself or find printables and templates on Pinterest.
Something important to remember: While doing special things for your husband will probably inspire him to respond in kind, this isn’t guaranteed.
Romancing your husband, loving him, appreciating him . . . These things shouldn’t be done with the expectation that you’ll get something back, but with the intention of simply giving generously. It’s the same principle that applies in any of our Christian giving — whether that be of time, finances, or energy.
What ideas do you have for making your husband feel special or for connecting with him better? I’m always looking for new things to do, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.