Friday, February 7, 2014

The "same old thing" can be great!

     In an overly romanticized culture, with short attention spans and an aversion to established routines, it can be easy to criticize “sameness” as bad for marriage.  And, in some cases, it can be.  But regular rituals between you and your mate can be a powerful reminder of your love for each other, the oneness you share, and the goodness of God in your relationship.
     My wife and I have a few rituals that we share.  Some are daily, some weekly, monthly, or at other regular intervals, and some “just whenever.”  Some of our rituals are serious and some of them are completely and totally silly.  Some of our rituals are things we say, and some are things we do for each other.  Regardless of how frequent it is, or what the exact words or actions are, the goal is intentionality.  These little rituals become meaningful ways of consistently reaffirming our marriage covenant.
     For example, I tell my wife “I love you” the first thing every morning when the alarm clock goes off.  She knows I love her, and I can tell her anytime during the day.  But I want my declaration of my love for her to be the absolute first thing she hears every morning.  I want that to frame her day in knowing it, and frame my day by reminding myself to show it.
     Obviously, you don’t have to do what another couple does, but be purposeful about establishing some routines, and letting those routines reaffirm, reignite, and bless each other.  Possibilities could be anything from:
  • Never leave the house without giving your spouse a kiss
  • Close out each day in prayer together
  • Call at a specific time each day
  • Slip love notes into his/her lunch box
  • Have a code word for when you’ve had a bad day that will generate a caring response from your mate
  • Text a silly picture of yourself
  • Cultivate inside jokes that you won’t share with anyone outside of the two of you
  • Take walks together
  • Read to each other from the Song of Solomon
  • Play games together
  • Do something to lovingly challenge your mate
  • Find a way to make your spouse laugh every day
  • Have a regular pancake day (or whatever food you really love)
  • Be creative together
  • Quote lines from a movie or TV show you watched together
  • Always save the last bite of your dessert for your spouse
  • Hold hands in public
  • Give your mate a foot rub at the end of every work week
It doesn't matter what stage of life you are in, you can always establish rituals that will reflect your love for each other.  Whatever you do, make sure it is meaningful and a blessing, not annoying to your spouse. (Remember, you always want to laugh with your spouse, not at him/her.)  It doesn’t have to be time consuming and it doesn’t have to cost anything.  Just be intentional, be consistent, and do something.

Walking Together in Eden:
Finding Paradise in a Broken World
A Weekend Marriage Enrichment Retreat
Friday-Sunday, March 7-9, 2014
Edgewater at the Aquarium Hotel and Conference Center
Gatlinburg, TN
Limited to 30 couples
(Spots open for only two more couples)
Email for more info
Know someone interested in creating or working on a
powerful marriage ministry, but they don't know where to start?  The Marriage-Friendly Church is available now and gives you the questions every church needs to be asking.  Available at 21st Century Christian or on

Image credit: <a href=''>auremar / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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