Wow, 2020 snuck up on me! I hate saying goodbye to 2019–it was a great year for Doug and I. We want to make 2020 a great year too. I want to share 10 things to do together in ’20 to stay close.
Maybe 2019 was a great one for you and your spouse, and maybe it wasn’t.
Take heart! A fresh, new year is like an unread chapter in a book — and you are the co-author. Start the next part of your marriage story with some new marriage-building ideas. Choose a few that you both like and make them happen!
This next chapter could be the turning point, or the beginning of the best year yet…
Plan a getaway
Sit down with your spouse (and your calendars) and plan some time away from home. It doesn’t have to be a spendy excursion; you can simply pack an overnight bag and head to the other side of town. Or, try a meandering road trip with no intended destination. The goal here is to enjoy undistracted time away together — face to face and shoulder to shoulder. And, since we are talking about getting away….
Doug and I try to get away with each other when we can. This year, due to a new baby in the family, we had our family Christmas early. So, on Christmas day, we took off to check some things off of our bucket list. We visited Memphis and checked off seeing the Peabody ducks, Sun Studios, eating at Central BBQ, and eating at Gus’s Chicken. Oh my . . . yumm!
A regular date night
Don’t wait for the sneaky rendezvous weekend – do something fun together regularly. Whether once a week or once a month, make your dates regular, low-budget, and low stress.
Read a book together
A new year is a great time to learn something fresh and inspiring. Reading books together as a couple is a great way to enhance and update your relationship. Choose something you are both interested in, or take turns picking the titles.
Create a will
Now we’re getting serious. But, it’s important and it’s usually one of those things couples put off. It really doesn’t take a lot of effort, and it’s one of those must-do things – especially if you have children.
Write your spouse a love letter
Some people are great at writing notes of affirmation to their loved ones. But, if long, poetic messages aren’t your thing, don’t worry. Writing a love letter to your spouse doesn’t have to be book-like. A simple, one-page letter can do just fine. What should you write? The details are up to you, but here are some ideas:
- Express appreciation for personality traits about them that you enjoy
- Thank him for the most recent favor he did for you
- Express gratefulness for the way she always _____________.
- Affirm the character of Christ that you see in your spouse.
List the highlights
Think back over the last few years of marriage, or the last decade. Recall and write down some of your happy memories. Don’t remember many? Try listing the things God has done in your life as a couple, or for your family.
Recite your vows
Our vows are framed and they hang in our bedroom. Year after year, I walk right past them, but recently they caught my eye, and I took a closer look at those words we wrote ourselves a few decades ago. Those were big promises, and we still aim to keep them. Some couples plan an entire vow renewal ceremony and invite the whole family. Even if you don’t plan a big event, you can still find a quiet evening, read your vows aloud, and affirm your commitment to each other.
Serving others is a unique way to spend time together, and you are helping someone else at the same time. Find a one-time opportunity, or sign up for regular service together.
Do a hobby date
Does he like to hunt, fish, or hike? Try joining him for the day, or at least hanging out with him in the woods for a few hours. Bring a blanket, your favorite coffee mug, and a lovely smile.
Life gets busy, and sometimes we neglect what is most essential. Praying together as a couple can be one of those things. But don’t heap guilt on anyone to get it started. Don’t nag, just pray. Kneel down and pray by yourself if needed. Pray diligently for your spouse. Pray for growth. Pray for change. Pray for protection. Just pray for a while, pray and watch God work.