EPIC Blog: Taking Care of Your Marriage - 4KIDS
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EPIC Blog: Taking Care of Your Marriage

September 5th, 2023 l Author: Author: Joshua Bennett, M.A., Registered Mental Health Counselor (edited by Michele Rogan)

It’s a pretty common saying that marriage takes work. Through phases of life, whether it be moving states, starting new jobs, or discussing finances, staying harmonious and happy with your partner takes intentional work. When you, as a couple, decide to open your home to care for children in foster care who have been through trauma, nurturing your marriage is crucial to success. So, what does that practically look like? Here are a few areas to prioritize:

First, focus on fostering your friendship.

Make sure you share fondness, admiration, and respect as you likely did before certain steps in life happened. Imagine your marriage has a love bank, where things like quality time and positive interactions are “deposits,” whereas hurtful remarks or name-calling are “withdrawals” in that account. You want to keep a positive number in that love bank to have a healthy, happy marriage, so make sure you connect with each other on a regular basis and pursue your spouse on a deeper level. Through the years, opinions, ideas, and interests can change for individuals, so never stop “getting curious” with your spouse.

One practical and fun way to connect as a married couple and foster your friendship is to create a date-night jar. Set aside a time together have each one of you write out 10 different date night ideas on small pieces of paper with varying levels of cost, length of time the activity requires, locations, etc. Place all your date night ideas in a jar, and then on your scheduled date night, pick one out to do together! The date night jar takes the pressure off having to decide the plans for the evening and presents the opportunity for you both to connect and grow as a couple.

Second, learn to manage conflict well.

Many issues in marriages stem from miscommunication, and many of these issues are perpetual. When this happens, it’s important to have a conversation where you seek to understand the issue rather than be angry at one another about it. Try to understand your spouse’s point of view to show respect rather than judgment. Being in a positive headspace can also have a huge impact on conflict. Carving out time for each of you to enjoy things individually like exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep can greatly affect the intensity of conflict.

Remember, you are a team- working together to support each other’s dreams. 

Research shows that couples who have a shared life mission such as ministry or foster care, tend to stay married and have higher fulfillment with their spouse. It is important for you to prioritize your marriage so that you can achieve that mission together. Keep God in the center of your marriage and He will equip you for your mission. Check in with each other periodically regarding this joint meaning and support each other along the way. You are better together!

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins”  – 1 Peter 4:8