Mark: One of the things Jill and I try to do every January is to talk about what we will do in the coming year to prioritize our marriage.  What will we do on a daily basis to stay connected? What will we do for a date night on a regular basis–that we can put on the calendar and plan for? What event will we attend to learn about marriage and each other? Is it time for us to seek help? To schedule an appointment with a counselor? To make the investment of a marriage intensive?

Jill: When the kids were little it was never easy. Every plan for us required a plan for them. Sometimes it honestly seemed easier to not do anything. Easier but not wiser. One of the best things we can do for our kids is to invest in our marriage. And marriages aren’t meant to sit on the backburner. We have to intentionally move them to the front burner.

Mark: That’s right…great marriages don’t just happen. They are created. Prioritized. Invested in.

Have you had the 2018 discussion yet?

Need some ideas?

Here are some possibilities to get you started:

Daily Ways to Connect
Breakfast together in the morning
Work out together
Phone call over lunch hour
Texting throughout the day (Need ideas? Sign up for the Flirt Alert!)
Take a walk each evening after dinner
Back rub or foot rub in the evening
Read a marriage book aloud together for 10-15 min a night

Morning lovemaking one designated day a week
How about some “afternoon delight?”
One night a week turn off the screens and play a game together
Go to lunch together once a week
Take out dinner eaten as a picnic in the living room.

Date Night Arrangements
Ask grandparents to keep the grandkids once a week, once every other week, or once a month
Trade sitting with another couple–you watch their kids one week, they watch yours the next
Plan an evening together after the kids are in bed–snuggle on the couch and talk, have a late candlelight dinner or dessert, etc.
Set up a regular sitter on a regular schedule
Go out to dinner once a week
Even if you’re empty-nesters, set up a regular time just to focus on the two of you!

Marriage Event Options
No More Perfect Marriages Valentines Getaway Springfield, IL February 9-10, 2018
No More Perfect Marriages Retreat Galesburg, IL March 2-3, 2018
No More Perfect Marriages Morning Out, Falls Church, VA, March 17, 2018
No More Perfect Marriages Retreat, Claremore, OK, April 6-7, 2018
No More Perfect Marriages Morning Out, Westerville, OH, May 19, 2018
Family Life Marriage Conferences

Marriage Crisis Help
Full Week and Long Weekend Intensives at the Savage Home in Normal, IL
Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored Intensives

Jill: We’ve determined in 2018 our date nights are Thursday nights. Texting throughout the day is very important. We’re turning off the screens and playing more Banangrams in the evenings. And we’re pursuing a three-day intensive that will help strengthen our relationship in the midst of public ministry.

Mark: Of course, we recommitted to some afternoon delight on a regular basis, too! 😉

What about you?  What’s your plan for making your marriage a priority in 2018? 

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