7 Ways to Be Intentional in Your Marriage

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We’re back with the third installment in our series on how to be intentional in different seasons of life. We’ve already covered how to be intentional as a college student and as a single young adult. In this episode, we’re talking about how to be intentional in your marriage. Let’s dive in!

1. Come up with a mission statement

We talk about this a lot in our marriage course, Marriage Level Up. It has truly been revolutionary in our marriage. We are going to re-release the Marriage Level-Up to hopefully give you an even better resource to help you and your spouse, so be on the lookout for that!

At the root: it’s a statement that describes the unified purpose you’re working towards as a family.

Ours is “Pursue faithfulness. Travel as a pack. Play the long game”

This isn’t a cheesy thing that we decided once and hung up on a wall. This is something we genuinely come back to often. We talk about our mission statement when we make decisions and evaluate our marriage and parenting.

A lot of times, it would be convenient to not do these things, but it helps us stay on course and be intentional with how we live our lives. We come back to our mission statement weekly to evaluate how we have been doing.

2. Establish a plan for arguing well

Arguments are inevitable. I (Xan) would be more skeptical of a marriage that has no arguments or conflict- someone is either not speaking their mind or afraid to, etc… that is not healthy!

Establishing a plan for arguing well could be as simple as deciding, “These are the words we’re never going to say…”

When we’re heated, this is what we do:

  1. Whoever’s more level-headed, stops and prays
  2. Remind each other we’re on the same team and working toward the same thing
  3. Ask each other, “What’s your biggest issue?” We each take a turn without interrupting or getting defensive.

When we don’t have a plan, we default to poor arguing- whatever we’ve seen or is natural/fleshly to us. Most of our defaults are going on the defense, aggression, trying to belittle the other person, or making sure we are the one that wins. Having a plan also helps you evaluate afterward- how did it go? Did the plan fail? Evaluation helps you move forward and improve in the future.

It sounds kinda cheesy, but this could make a big difference in your marriage!

3. Have intentional quality time together

This doesn’t necessarily have to be date nights. (But if there’s nothing prohibiting you, then do it!) They can be costly or hard to coordinate. It doesn’t need to be elaborate!

Have a night of the week to do something. Work on your hobbies together, etc…

Don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of life. The cliche is kinda true: “It’s easy to become roommates.” Don’t spend your time passing each other by, scrolling on social media, or passively watching social media.

Make it a point to connect every single day. We do something that we call a “High, Low, Buffalo” to connect every night. Some couples wake up early and drink coffee or take a walk together.

4. Foster friendship in your marriage

Yes, you are husband and wife, but there should be friendship there! The idea of two becoming one means we should be each other’s best friends!

Marriage should be true, deep friendship and companionship.

You have to cultivate this! Know each other’s schedules and check in often. Intentionally pursue laughing together. Participate in things your spouse likes to do. Put your phones away and just be together. Have a connection point every single day.

There are so many different ways to do this and it doesn’t take crazy complicated plans- just intentionality!

5. Have a weekly meeting

We’ve alluded to this, but we have a weekly meeting on Sunday night where we go through a set of questions. It sounds very hokey and structured, but it is so helpful!

Check out the questions we use here!

Have a list of questions that you go over regularly to stay on the same page. It does take a while (for us between 1.5-2 hours). But your marriage is worth the investment and it’s honestly fun! Sometimes, we talk through these questions while at the kitchen table, and sometimes we fold laundry together!

A good percentage of marriage issues are communication issues at their core. If you can be proactive about these issues, you are going to be much happier and at peace throughout your week!

6. When you see something you appreciate, speak it out loud

Your spouse doesn’t have to be a words of affirmation love language person in order to appreciate being affirmed. We all value being affirmed in some way.

It can be easy to look for the bad in someone and keep validating what you don’t like about them. But if you look for the good in someone and speak it, you will notice the good even more.

I (Xan) have been trying to get more in the habit of if I see something good, saying it right then.

7. Pray together regularly

To make it more general, pursue the Lord together. Read and memorize Scripture, pray, fast, etc… together. Ask each other how your spiritual lives are going and hold each other accountable. This is also a part of our weekly meeting rhythm.

One Degree Shift

If you could boil down all seven of these points to one word it would be intentionality.

Implement one of these seven practices. Ask yourself and your spouse how you could pursue intentionality in your marriage.

Want to Stay a Little Longer?


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