By Natalia Drumm
Building a healthy marriage is hard work, and so often we spend a lot of time focusing on the things we must do to build a healthy marriage. But so often we stop talking about what to do in marriage once we are in a healthy place.
Speak and Show to Your Husband
I’ve found that just as it took a lot of work to build our marriage into a healthy and thriving marriage, it requires a lot of work to maintain a good marriage. Over the years my husband and I have taken note of things we do consistently to show each other we are working on maintaining our marriage.
Today I’m sharing with you five things I intentionally communicate to my husband and practical ways I show him these things.
1- You’re My Favorite. It’s a simple phrase, but every day I tell my husband, “You’re my favorite.” Of all the people on this planet, you’re my person. I chose you then and I choose you today. In the midst of all the chaos of our lives, I choose you to do it with. There is no one else I would rather spend my time and life with than you. As much as I love and adore our kids, you’re still my favorite!
Challenge: Send a text to your husband during the middle of the day and let him know, “Hey there! You’re my favorite human and I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you.”
2- I Respect You. The language of respect is weird and foreign to me, at least it was at first, but as I’ve seen my husband flourish from it’s power it has fueled me to speak it more and more. Simple statements such as, “I really respect how well you handle the kids when I’m stressed and at my limit.” “I value how hard you work for our family.” “I respect the sacrifices you make.”
Challenge: If speaking respect to your husband feels awkward at first, write a note to him today and pack it in his lunch, tuck it into his jacket pocket or wallet or place in his car or on his nightstand. Watch how he begins to flourish as you remind him of your respect for him.
3- We matter. Our marriage matters, to the kingdom of God, to our family, to our community. The work we are doing together to build a healthy marriage serves as an example and encouragement to those around us. Us as a team are more powerful than each of us individually.
Challenge: Take a moment today to consider ways in which your marriage influences your world and then share with your husband how much you value the power of your marriage.
4- You’re Sexually Attractive to Me. When the novelty and excitement of the early stage of marriage fades and the demands of life become challenging, kids make their arrival or busy schedules compromise the intimate aspects of married life, it’s important to remind our husbands that we consider them to be sexually attractive to us. While sex may be initiated more often by men than women, it doesn’t mean we get a pass at being intentional in building up and maintaining this aspect of our marriages. Ladies, telling our husbands that we are attracted to them infuses them with confidence, encouragement and security. Flirting is a powerful tool, and we used this tool well before marriage, and in marriage we ought to intentionally, consistently flirt with our spouse. Sneaking kisses, complimenting them physically and making passes at your husband help keep a spark alive when all the challenges of life try to stifle it.
Challenge: Flirt with your husband today! Sneak a kiss, initiate sex, scratch his back or hold his hand. Find some physical way to connect today.
5- I Thank God For You. Telling my husband that I pray for him daily and am grateful for him goes a long way in keeping my heart and mind tender toward my husband on a consistent basis. Yeah, we may have a fight that day, but having the discipline of thanking God for my husband each day helps me to reprioritize what is really important. I stop focusing on being right and work on being in a good relationship with my husband. Every one of us wants to be appreciated, and our husbands are no different. Reminding them daily that we are grateful for them, thankful they chose us, and give thanks to God for them daily encourages their soul. And oftentimes it spurs them on to reciprocate the gratitude and thank God and pray for us as well.
Challenge: Take a moment right now and thank God for your spouse and then let him know tonight that you were praying for him today and are grateful God blessed your life with him.
We never “arrive” in marriage because there is always something we can do better, something to do more consistently, and something we can improve upon. Building healthy marriages takes work, and maintaining healthy marriages takes a lot of work, but ladies, we are up for the challenge. And I promise you, the work of sowing into our marriages will be work well rewarded. God sees all the little and big things we do, and we can take heart that He is faithful to reward our work and bring about fruit at the right time.
Natalia is an assignment writer for Lifeway Women and serves as the Bible Study Content Editor at Living by Design Ministries. She also volunteers at Proverbs 31 Ministries on their proofreading team and leads a COMPEL Discovery Group. Natalia creates devotional study books on issues relevant to womanhood and living in the fullness of God’s design for womanhood. Natalia Drumm is a writer, speaker and teacher with a passion for building community and engaging women in the Word of God. She is married to her high school sweetheart, and they are raising three little boys in their home town of North Port, FL.