1. Praying together. It takes minutes—but the effects of your prayers may very well be eternal. Even more, the spiritual and emotional unity with your spouse and with God are irreplaceable. Try it before your spouse heads out the door, right when you climb in bed, or by setting the alarm fifteen minutes early. Imagine the teamwork, vulnerability, and worship of a couple that whittles even a sliver of time to pray together! Check out this post to learn how.
  2. Carving out white space. Stuffing your schedule may be suffocating your marriage. Even “ministry” can suck the life out of our marriages if we’re so tired that we don’t want to relate, don’t want to engage when we finally have the chance to plop down in the love seat. Is your family, or your spouse, getting the dredges of what you’ve got? Just say “no.” Give the people you love the gift of energy, attention, and the time to breathe. Show them vividly that the measure of a person’s soul isn’t found in living with the least amount of margin possible, but in loving well. Here’s one tip to help make this happen.
  3. Devouring a book together—on marriage, or just for fun. Those long summer car trips are wide open spaces for going somewhere, in thought and conversation, together. Here’s a list of some of our favorites.
  4. Memorizing Scripture together. Charles Swindoll has said, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends!” (Need more encouragement? Check out this article.) So grab a partner. Make it a competition, a commitment, or a challenge. Making God’s Word a permanent part of your mind—and your mind together—is more than a superb example to your kids. It’s a restatement of where our treasure is, of God’s Word making us new every day. Check out these apps, this site, or this site for a leg up. Warning: You may never be the same.
  5. Date Nights in. Think quality time that’s low on prep! (Especially for folks having a hard time with #2 on this list.) Parents, pencil this in right after the kids’ bedtime, or at least shuttle them upstairs with strict instructions. And now–will it be Indian or Chinese? Or will you cook your masterpiece together? Will it be a movie, or will you bring it on with an ongoing board/card game tournament?
  6. Praying intentionally for your spouse. With the help of your spouse, hammer out a short list of requests. Then, make a consistent daily time—in your time alone with God; on the drive to work, perhaps; or every time you make the bed or take a shower—that you pray earnestly for your mate. Don’t miss the opportunity to go to bat for them, because it is such an essential, life-changing act of love. There’s even a chance you’re the only one wrestling in prayer intimately and regularly for your spouse and his, or her, heart, mind, body, and purposes.
  7. Dreaming big—about what God might have for your marriage. Cuddle up with a decent snack and a blank sheet of paper, and have some “sky is the limit” conversations about the mission God might have for the two of you. For some eye-opening ideas, check out Michael Hyatt’s post, Does Your Marriage Have a Mission Statement? and this one, Your Marriage Mission