Using the Right Tools

“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens; it’s something that must be created.” 
Fawn Weaver
You can create an even greater marriage or revive a struggling relationship by using the right tools. Keep reading to find the tool that is the most needed for you!
TOOL 1: Affectionate Greetings
“Greet one another with a kiss of love” (1 Peter 5:14).

Notice your spouse each evening when they return home. Go and initiate contact with a smile, some happy words of greeting, and an affectionate touch. Stop what you are doing and make it a priority to reconnect with your loved one. Communicate that you’re glad to see them. A warm welcome goes a long way to encourage closeness.

TOOL 2: Expressing Appreciation
“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Every marriage has its ups and downs, but one sure way to shorten those down times is to give thanks for your spouse. Begin by listing at least six areas of genuine thankfulness you have about your relationship and your spouse. Be specific! Look particularly for things you might take for granted.

For example:
“I’m grateful for your hard work as a provider for our family.”
Or, “I’m thankful for your loyalty and faithfulness to our relationship.”
When those inevitable down times come, take out your list and review it. Then, from a renewed sense of gratefulness, share one or two with your spouse.

TOOL 3: Loving Truth
“…speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ…” (Ephesians 4:15 NLT).

Are there some changes you’d like to see concerning improvements or changes in your marriage? In order to get the best reception from your loved one, you’ll want to communicate these changes in a loving manner—avoiding accusatory or shaming finger pointing which will only cause defensiveness in your spouse.

Here are some sentence starters to get you going:
“It would be important to me if…”
Or, “It would mean a lot to me if…”
Or, “I’m looking forward to the time when we…”
Remember to be vulnerable about what you are actually feeling when you share. It may be difficult, but that vulnerability creates the best possible environment for a loving response in return!

TOOL 4: Repeat History
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:3).

Do you want to improve the friendship between you and your spouse? Recall some of the fun activities you enjoyed during your dating years. Surprise your partner by repeating history! Next, think about the things that your partner enjoys doing (even if you don’t) and ask if you can join in the fun. Finally, be sure to include your spouse in some of your own hobbies or interests.
Choose at least one of the tools above and plan to initiate the changes. Don’t wait for your spouse to go first! Each of these powerful tools can be lived out, regardless of your spouse’s participation. Have fun and enjoy focusing on the good.

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