“What world problem should we solve tonight?” my new husband Ted inquired.
It wasn’t the first time he’d posed this question to me. Rather, its asking had become a date night relationship-building tradition that started during our engagement.
You see, we both realized that we wouldn’t solve any significant world problems over dinner. What we would do, though, was have an interesting conversation. One in which we’d strengthen our connection and delve a little deeper into what mattered the most to each of us individually.
What about you and your spouse?
Perhaps you don’t ask each other to solve world problems over dinner, but have you instituted any marriage-building habits into your new union?
If you are looking for a few to adopt, here are four easy marriage-building habits that I suggest.
4 Easy Marriage-Building Habits for Newlyweds
1. Eat Together
If you look at the earthly life of Jesus, you’ll notice that He often made a point of sharing meals with people. Why is this? I believe it’s because food has the ability to connect people.
When we slow down, sit down, and share a meal with someone else, it offers us the opportunity to simply be present with them. This allows for conversation and meaningful interaction.
As a newlywed, make it a priority to sit down and eat at least one meal a day together with your spouse. Put away your devices. Turn off the TV. Focus your undivided attention on each other. Maybe even come up with some questions you’d love to ask each other.
2. Attend Church Together
For Ted and I, attending church together has been good for our marriage. It provides shared experiences, presents opportunities to serve together, fosters spiritual unity, and offers accountability.
I believe active participation in church can do the same for you and your new spouse.
Determine to attend church together at least once a week. Sing side-by-side. Listen to the message together and then discuss it over the next few days. Ask each other: What did you take away from the church service? Did God speak anything to your heart?
3. Listen to a Podcast Together
What I discovered while writing my marriage book, Team Us, is that women are more likely to read a book about marriage than men are. That’s certainly true in Ted and my relationship.
If you and your new spouse don’t devour marriage books at the same rate, that doesn’t mean you can’t still feed on marriage encouragement together. Instead of a book, pick out a podcast you can listen to once a week or once a month. Start with Mike and Carlie’s marriage-focused podcast.
Here’s the thing: You don’t have to listen together. You just have to commit to discuss what you’ve heard with one another. And what’s great about a podcast is that you can listen in the car, you can listen at the gym, or you can even listen when you cook.
4. Try Something New Together
Ted and I love to try new types of food together. Whether it’s Mexican-Asian fusion or a burger topped with pimento cheese and an egg, we are adventurous when it comes to eating out.
A fun marriage-building habit you can start is to try something new together at least once a month. It could be, like Ted and I, an unfamiliar dish at a restaurant. Or maybe you hike a new trail, or try a sport you’ve never attempted before.
Trying something new together gives you the opportunity to participate in a shared experience and maybe even discover an activity, location, or type of food that becomes a mutual favorite.
Build Your Marriage One Habit at a Time
All it takes to integrate some marriage-building habits into your new union is time, purposefulness, and commitment. So make the decision today to build your marriage one positive habit at a time.