Tips for Nurturing Your Marriage


Closeup image barefoot couple legs at the beach

As I sit down to write this article on the importance of nurturing your marriage, I realize that it is likely more for me than perhaps you.  

I feel very convicted that I have not been making my marriage a higher priority.  It is like I know the why behind the importance, but the actual actions take time and energy, which as busy moms, are often lacking in our days.   With the scare my husband had with his appendix on Monday and the rush to surgery, I was really struck with how life can change in a matter of seconds.

The reality is, finding time to honor our husbands and share intimacy is extremely important in keeping our marriage a priority.   We can easily start to feel like roommates living under one roof with one goal in mind if we do not take the time to make our spouse feel special.

I am reminded of a very key point made by author Devi Titus in her book,  “The Home Experience” when she talks about honoring your husband:

Wives often mistakenly give to their husbands what they need rather than what he needs.  The Four B’s that husbands need:

Backed  (support, uplift, and encourage)

Bedded  (offer affection and sexual intimacy)

Boarded  (provide meals and a comfortable home)

Babied  (care for him when he is sick or feeling down)”

For those husbands who might be reading, she goes on to say what wives need:

“Loved  (both in words and actions)

Lead  (through kind direction and example)

Lifted Up  (encouraged, romanced, made to feel special)

Listened to  (without trying to solve all her problems)

Don’t you agree?

For me, as a wife, is seems rather simple.  If I can cover each of these areas in a day, then I would say that is a step in the right direction.   So what could that look like, without becoming overwhelmed with adding another “item” on my to-do list, let’s come up with some simple ways to incorporate fresh perspective our on spouses and creating that special connection that comes from dating.


Pray for your husband, ask him what you can pray for him in particular that day.  Find a minute to give him encouragement and praise for an area that you especially appreciate about him.  If he is having a rough day, take the time to encourage him with your words.


Finding time to be intimate can be tricky, especially for those of us with young children, but this just gives you more of a challenge to overcome.  I totally get it, by evening I am exhausted and I have learned it is best to give my hubby a time frame – if we are to become intimate it needs to begin before a certain time.  That may seem not very romantic, but open communication is important in a home with kids coming and going, a toddler and a husband that works out of town!

But being bedded does not always mean having to have sex, it also includes affection by hand holding, hugging, caressing and being close.  Sitting together holding hands can often be just as special.  It takes intentional actions.


Taking the time to create a nice atmosphere for my husband to arrive home to after being gone traveling is a huge blessing to him.  It is one way I can ‘date’ him in our own home.  We don’t have to go anywhere, but when I have the house picked up, candles burning or a nice meal on the stove, he is happy.  He knows I’ve been thinking of him – especially if it is a pie baking in the oven!  Fixing his favorite foods is an easy way to show him I care and am purposeful in serving him.


This one can be tricky if you have a man who declines help – but insist anyhow.  When they’ve had a rough day or are not feeling well,  be intentional to do something that will encourage him and make him feel better.  Maybe it is a cup of tea, a cold drink, a warm cookie or even letting him crawl back into bed to get some more sleep.  You know your spouse best, so think of those things in advance; those things that you know he would appreciate and finding comforting when he is a bit under the weather or feeling down.

It can be easy to procrastinate and always put off caring for your spouse.  We have our kids calling us all day and we tend to prioritize their needs above our spouses, because they are little, but our spouses our just as important and our relationship needs to be tended to and nurtured.

Just in time for Valentine’s day – a reminder for all year though!

5 Must Reads for Your Marriage



In honor of Valentines Day coming this week I thought it would be the perfect time to share my five must reads for marriage.   :-)

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts – Gary Chapman5L

This book has been a huge hit for our entire family.  You likely have heard of it before – but if you have not read it, take it out and re-read it.  I know that for myself I used it a great deal when parenting my children, but I often forget to really remember how my husband “feels” loved.  We get so caught up in our everyday life that we miss those opportunities to truly convey our heart to the one who holds our heart. 

How We Love – by Milan Yerkovich and Kay Yerkovich

hwlMy small bible study group read through this book two years ago and it has changed our lives forever.  This book takes a look at how you grew up and how that really has everything to do with relating to your spouse.  Even though I read this book two years ago, I still have a lot of work to continue doing, but this book gave both my husband and I a place to start using vocabulary in hopes of moving past some of the brick walls where our arguments would end.  It helps you understand the emotional hurts of your spouses past as well as your own and gives you some tools to move forward.

Wife After God: Drawing Closer to God & Your Husband  by Jennifer SmithWAG

I love this inspirational 30 day marriage devotional written just for wives!  I want to have a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with both my husband and God and Jennifer Smith does a great job being real, vulnerable and authentic in her words.  Having it broken down into a 30 day devotional makes it easy to read and simple to follow through on.  Jennifer Smith also writes at Unveiled Wife.

This devotional study was prayerfully composed with 30 days of biblical concepts and practical challenges to help you nourish your relationship with God and your relationship with your husband in marriage into ones that are captivating, intimate and extraordinary. Every day you will be presented with a biblical topic to help draw your nearer to your God and your husband.

SFScreamFree Marriage: Calming Down, Growing Up, and Getting Closer  by Hal Runkel and Jenny Runkel

The ScreamFree concept changed my life.  I have written about it before and even had a group coaching program based on the ScreamFree Parenting book as well – calming down, keeping your cool and growing up is the way to be in ALL relationships – especially in marriage.

The focus is really about improving yourself, not focusing on the other person.  I embrace that concept because so often we are trying to change the other person in the relationship and that gets us nowhere!  This book offers up some real life strategies to help build responses to often struggles in a more mature manner.  

The Love Dare by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick

Do you remember the movie “Fireproof” from a few years back?  This book was the basis for that move and was based on the concept of offering unconditional love – no matter what.  It is a 40 day challenge that can help you get beyond yourself and realize what giving love truly looks like.

This book will challenge you!

I encourage you to pick at least one of these and read it in the next 30 days.  Take a few days and pray about which one the Lord would have you read and then step out and discover what He may be wanting to teach you.

Have you read any of these books?

5 Scriptures to Pray For Your Marriage



Being intentional in marriage is extremely important.  I was reminded of this today as I read Marriage:  A Lifelong Journey (a devotional on the YouVersion Bible APP by Jim Daly.)  This paragraph resonated with me and I wanted to share it:

“Like a canoe, marriages often drift.  There’s no obvious conflict or struggle, just subtle distractions that lull spouse asleep.  Couples hardly notice they’re losing interest in one another until they end up somewhere they never intended to be.”  – Jim Daly

This is so true.  It can be easy to coast along and then before you know it, if you take your marriage for granted, even unintentionally, you are at a place where you do not want to be.  Alone, being room-mates or not engaged they way God created us to be together in marriage.

Being intentional can bring about a lot of “things” to do, but one thing we can do is pray for our marriages.  As I began my second time of reading “Wife After God” by Unveiled Wife, it all came back to me how I can let my marriage run on idle.  This will cause damage, even when I cannot see it.

As I begin an intentional journey of reading, journaling and praying for my marriage – just because, I thought you might want to as well.  My marriage is not in trouble, in fact it is great.  But it is when things are great that we must keep our guard up and be even more intentional.  This is where the enemy likes to wait and bait us.

Here are 5 Scriptures that I will be praying for my marriage – will you join me?

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.  Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.  Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.   Proverbs 4: 24-27

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23

Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.  Ephesians 4:2-3

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  Ephesians 4:15

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Weekend to Remember



When was the last time you truly spent intentional time on your marriage?

I get it, time, money, other resources….it is hard and a challenge.  But ladies… is so worth it in the end.  Maybe it is a regular date night, finding ways to connect together regularly investing in each other, doing bible study together or perhaps you are ready to take it one step further and learn from couples who have been doing this ‘marriage’ gig for many years.

That is what Family Life’s Weekend to Remember is all about.


My husband and I went to our first Weekend to Remember almost 6 years ago – less than a year after we were married.  Now, this being our second marriage, we knew we wanted to make this work and needed the tools and resources to be successful.  We had messed up the first time around, for many reasons and wanted to be united in our commitment and do whatever we could do be a true couple, together for God’s purpose.

That weekend changed our perspective on marriage, on our role as a spouse and what ‘oneness’ as a couple truly meant in God’s eyes.  It was a weekend filled with practical biblical information on how to build our marriage God’s way.

So when the chance came to go again, 6 years later, we decided to make it happen.  We gathered a few other couples who had never been before and set out to grow in our marriage.

We stayed at a lovely hotel that was local to use and had a great room with a view – it was perfect.  With 4 kids – we get little time away, so when it can be with a view like this I am one happy mama!  


Going to the conference was great, but actually being able to stay overnight in the hotel for TWO nights was pure bliss!

The conference runs from Friday evening until Sunday at noon.  It is packed with sessions on communication, learning how we fight and even a session on “marriage after dark.”  Yes, it was about SEX.


Our two mentor couples, Bob and Jan Horner and Rick and Judy Taylor had very unique stories and were both very entertaining – which is more fun for everyone!  Who needs a boring marriage conference?  They shared personal stories which really helped couples identify and made it easier to apply the principles they shared to each of our marriages in real ways.

One of the major projects we did during the weekend was to write a love letter to our spouse.  Now, we had done this 6 years ago, but what I found very interesting was that the letters we wrote this time, were very similar to what we wrote previously.  We didn’t look at the previous letters until after we did the one for this season, but it was a confirmation to us of what we truly cherished in each other.

We also had our workbooks from 6 years ago and were able to look back at some of the information and what we thought being “newly married” and compared it to what we felt now.  It was very thought provoking for sure.


We left the weekend each with specific action points to be intentional with.  This is important.  You can go to a ton of conferences about marriage or listen to a million podcasts, but unless you choose to make a point to pick certain things to change, nothing does.

One of the biggest take aways I got form this weekend was that my spouse is not perfect, but he is the PERFECT one for me.  I need to remember this daily, and be intentional in setting aside my selfish tendencies too.  

It is never too late to rekindle a romance, to think differently about your marriage or be willing to change.  If you are thinking you need a bit of a ‘tune-up’ in your marriage or maybe a complete overhaul – why not look or a Weekend to Remember conference near where you live?


Family Life is also offering a new one day conference for couples called “I Still do” and may be near your area and fit your schedule too.

Have you ever been to a marriage conference?  Did you find it helpful, if so how?

Finding Connection Together


Marriage – tricky, intentional, forgiving, exhilarating, adventurous and so beautiful.

Yesterday was my 6th anniversary and I chose to invite my hubby hiking in order to celebrate.  He had asked what I wanted to do, and yep, I chose hiking.  Now let me say, it probably wasn’t my first choice of what I would have wanted to do, but I am so glad it is what we did.  It brought back some really good memories for me, memories that had been buried under the current obligations with kids, jobs and hectic life.

Before we were married we did some hiking and I can specifically remember one of our first dozen dates included a hike that was pivotal in our relationship.  The conversation we shared during the 5 hours was uninterrupted and the experience showed us we could conquer something fairly difficult together.  This hike had us climbing to a height of around 3500 ft – not an easy task.  You can see how high we are from the distance of the ground in the one photo. [Read more…]