Cook and eat together. Food can be fun. One of the most common ways I observed married couples having fun together in Italy was simply enjoying meals together. Rather than eating quickly and without much thought, they made the time to savor their food and talk together about what they enjoyed about it. If you and your spouse see food as a good gift from God, the daily process of preparing and eating it can be fun instead of a chore. Plan meals and snacks that feature foods you both like, and cook together whenever possible. It took just a few minutes for my husband and I to make simple pizzas for dinner in Italy, but the process was so fun that it enriched our relationship long beyond that time. When you eat together, don’t rush through the meal, but notice how the food can delight your senses, from aromatic scents to delicious tastes.

Take classes together. It’s fun to learn something new. So go ahead and sign up for classes that interest you both and fit into your schedule (such as weekend or weeknight classes at your local community center). Most communities offer a plethora of different options, such as classes that focus on art, creative writing, computer skills, mechanical skills, or learning a new language. Not only can you have fun together as you learn new skills, but you can also have fun putting those skills to use after the class ends – either at home, or through service projects in your community.

Take trips together. One of the most exciting ways to have fun together is to travel, because trips bring the fun of exploration and adventure into your lives. Experience the beauty of God’s creation in protected natural settings like national parks. Go on spiritual pilgrimages to places that have played important roles in church history or in you and your spouse’s own journeys of faith. Soak in the culture of a place that interests you both and enjoy what you learn about each other in the process.

If you and your spouse make having fun together a high priority in your relationship, you’ll invite God to send joy into your marriage on a regular basis – which can strengthen your marriage for many years to come!

Whitney Hopler, who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for many years, is author of the new Christian novel Dream Factory, which is set during Hollywood's golden age. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.

Publication date: August 19, 2013