A happy marriage does not just happen in the same way as good grades don’t just happen.  In order to have a happy marriage, both the husband and the wife have to nurture it.  The husband and wife have to put intentional effort into nurturing or growing the marriage relationship.  We nurture our children, our occupations, businesses, and hobbies.  However, nurturing the marriage with intentional effort is typically neglected resulting in the couple gradually drifting apart.

What do I mean by nurturing?  The word nurture means to care for and encourage the growth or development of.  In a marriage, nurturing is when you do things intentionally for the purpose of growing the relationship towards a happy marriage.  To nurture your marriage is to work at creating a happy marriage intentionally.

What do you do to nurture your marriage?  What have you done to nurture your marriage relationship?  There are some very basic things that you can start doing right now to begin nurturing your marriage.

Here are six tips to get you started nurturing your marriage relationship.

  1. Education – Learn as much as you can about the marriage relationship and how to make it a happy one. Learn about the psychology of the opposite sex.  Learn the love language of your spouse.  Practice or use what you learn without announcing it.
  2. Communicate – Talk to your spouse about things. Discuss your goals, hopes, dreams, ideas for the relationship, new sex positions, whatever.  Just have casual and yet meaningful conversations with your spouse about real life.  This helps to strengthen the bond and friendship between the two of you.
  3. Be Aware – Always be aware of the state of the marriage. Control the marriage every step of the way as best you can.  Do not let the marriage drift.  Always know where your marriage is or in what condition it is in.
  4. Care – Take intentional steps to strengthen the marriage. Do what will benefit the relationship even if you don’t feel like it.
  5. Maintain a relationship with God through Jesus Christ – It is God who gives us the power we need to be successful. It is God who sustains all things, including your marriage.  Allow him into your life so that He can be a part of the nurturing process.  Read the Bible together or discuss things you learn from your own personal Bible studies.  Pray together and actively practice what Jesus taught as recorded in the Bible.  Pray for each other and lay hands on each other when sickness comes.  Fight things spiritually and not just rely on medical science.  God is with you always to help you so allow Him into your life and your marriage.
  6. Conflict resolution – Resolve conflicts quickly and don’t’ allow them to affect the progression of your marriage towards happy. There will always be conflicts where 2 humans are involved.  However, remain diligent to pursue a happy marriage and don’t allow disagreements to hinder that progress.
  7. Prioritize your marriage – Too often we allow other things to become more important than our marriage relationships. We progress in our careers and our children do well in school. However, over those same years, the marriage relationship wanes.  You end up with a good career and successful children, but your marriage has fallen apart.  So, make your marriage a priority as you schedule time and deal with the issues of life.
  8. Date each other – When you and your spouse dated before being married, you went to the movies, went out to dinner, went places, and did things together. However, after the wedding day and especially after children come along, those activities cease.  Bring dating back into the relationship.  Have fun together.  Leave the kid(s) with relatives and go out and enjoy each other.  Keep the fire going else it will wane and die out eventually.
  9. Have more sex – It goes without saying that husbands need sex from their wives. Without that sexual relationship, it is almost impossible for him to perceive love from his wife.  To a husband, a wife that won’t have sex with him is a wife that doesn’t love him.  Even if there are medical conditions and the like that limits or even prevents sexual intercourse.  There are many ways that the couple can have sex together.  There are many ways that they can stimulate each other sexually even if intercourse is a problem.
  10. Show affection and be sensual/sexy – Show affection towards one another. Married life is not a business, but rather a relationship.  Show affection towards your wife in the way that she understands (know her love language).  Show affection towards your husband in the way that he can grasp (know his love language).  Tease him.  Men are visual creatures and you would prefer that he lusts after you than someone else I’m sure. So give him something to look at.  Tease him and entice him.  If your husband is fond of a woman’s buttocks then show him yours.  If your wife is fond of a man’s arms then show him yours.
  11. Take care of yourself – Previously I said that you should be affectionate and sensual/sexy. However, that works much better if you take care of yourself.  Men are indeed visual.  However, if he doesn’t like what he sees then he is not likely to look and is surely not likely to be stimulated by what he sees if he does look.  Exercise and take care of your body so that your wife can admire your strong arms, legs, abs, or whatever.  This doesn’t mean that you have to be Mr. Olympia.  It just means that you should take care of your body so that it is something desirable for your spouse.Taking care of yourself goes beyond looks though.  Being healthy will enable you to enjoy life more together and of course, to have better sex.  It is hard to enjoy life and do things together when one or both is sickly because of poor health habits.  Take care of yourself. Eat right and exercise and take care of the body that God gave you.
  12. Nurture yourself – A happy marriage starts with a happy you. It is difficult to nurture happiness in a marriage if you are miserable inside.  If your misery is because of your marriage situation, then build hope.  Imagine how it could be and work towards that.  Other than that, improve yourself while remaining true to yourself.  Learn more stuff.  Do things that make you happy.
  13. Complement each other — If your wife looks sexy, nice, or otherwise good, then tell her. If your husband looks good then tell him.  You don’t have to say it all the time because it can become monotonous after a while.  However, complement your spouse on what they do such as cooking a good meal, fixing something, dealing with a situation, etc.  Compliment and be nice to one another.
  14. Have a Vision – Know where you both are going and take steps to get there. I’m talking about goals and dreams here.  Perhaps you both decide that you would love to live in Hawaii.  If so, then begin steps to accomplish that goal even if it is many years away.  That gives you something to always be excited about achieving together
  15. Be Soul Mates – Many marriages are a couple that shares the same dwelling, not the same life. They are cell mates or roommates, not soul mates.  They exist in what I call, Household, Inc.  They pay the bills, raise the children, take care of the house, and do other things that they are responsible for as adults.  However, they don’t take the time to nurture their own relationship and instead of growing intimately together, they grow functionally together.  They don’t really know each other except what anyone else would ascertain by spending a lot of time spaciously with them.Spend time developing an intimate relationship and not just a functional relationship.  When the careers are over and the children are gone, then you will be left with each other.  If you are merely roommates, then you will simply be two people who share the same house and contributed to the job for the past 30, 40, 50 years.  If you took the time to nurture the relationship, then you are already together and ready to continue enjoying your intimate life.

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