• As much as possible, do your everyday chores and errands together rather than separately.
  • Pray with your spouse often. Share your dreams with each other regularly.
  • Schedule dates whenever you can.
  • Talk frequently about what God is doing in each of your lives.
  • Learn something new together, such as through trying a new activity or taking a class.
  • Serve others together by doing volunteer work side-by-side.
  • Surprise your spouse by doing something unexpected every now and then (such as by playing a loving practical joke on him or her or planning a romantic getaway trip).

Reminisce about the positive events that have happened over the course of your marriage, and recall what qualities about each other first attracted you to each other. Protect your fun activities from being ruined by conflict by agreeing to talk about issues at other times instead of while you’re trying to have fun together.

April 28, 2009.

Adapted from The Wholehearted Marriage: Fully Engaging Your Most Important Relationship by Dr. Greg Smalley and Dr. Shawn Stoever. Published by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, West Monroe, La.,  http://christian.simonandschuster.com/.

Dr. Greg Smalley is the coauthor of eight books, including The DNA of Relationships for Couples and The Marriage You’ve Always Dreamed Of. He is the director of Church Relationship Ministries for the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University and is also the founder of the National Institute of Marriage.

Dr. Shawn Stoever currently serves as a senior director for a nonprofit ministry called the WinShape Foundation, and he previously served as director of training for the Smalley Relationship Center