Daily life is hectic, and it’s a little too easy to forget to live joyfully in the midst of busyness. In marriage as in the rest of life, cultivating joy is essential. Sometimes it takes a little extra effort to make sure we’re giving time and effort to joy.
If you’re looking for ways to renew joy in your own marriage, we’ve gathered some quick tips on how to do so. Read on to find out how from Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott!
1. BE INTIMATE.When we’re busy and stressed, intimacy is often one of the first things we push to the side. Instead of letting the daily grind drive you apart, be intentional about sharing intimate moments throughout your day. Any time you and your spouse get a moment to share intimacy, even if it’s just in a look or a simple touch, take that opportunity. You’ll be surprised just how much of an effect these positive interactions will have on your relationship.
2. SAVOR SMALL JOYS.Being joyful in marriage is often about paying attention to the simple pleasures of life. What seemingly small things make you both happy? Is there a way you can bring more of that into your daily life? Think about the small joys that make you happy and find a way to wrap more of those things into your day.
3. CREATE JOYFUL MEMORIES THAT WILL LAST.Intentionally create joyful memories together that will carry you through both good times and bad. These can be a combination of big and small joys. It could be as simple as a sweet handwritten note in the midst of a busy day, or as elaborate as a date night out or a weekend getaway. Be fully present with one another, and decide beforehand that you want to make beautiful memories to share for years to come.
4. EXCHANGE SURPRISE GIFTS SPONTANEOUSLY.Gift-giving is a way many people love to communicate and receive affection. Giving a gift to your spouse is a beautiful way to cultivate joy. It lets them know you’re thinking of them and want to make them smile. Don’t limit your gifts or tokens to holidays and designated special occasions. Time can get away from us too easily. So make it a point to give gifts to one another at random and unexpected times, just to say, “I love you.”
5. BREAK UP YOUR ROUTINE.Sometimes our routine itself can get so mundane and consuming that we forget to find joy in the day-to-day. So try breaking up your regular routine, if it’s possible for you. Can you and your spouse deviate slightly from your normal habits in order to inject a little excitement into your day? Talk it out and evaluate whether there’s a way to bring additional joy into your ordinary activities.
6. REMEMBER TO PLAY.Play is essential for good health and good relationships. We wholeheartedly encourage the couples we counsel to find ways to play together. Making play an essential part of your life will encourage you to create joy at every opportunity. Whether you enjoy board games, sports, getting outside with your pets, or other activities, find what works for you and go with it. And if you’re not sure what kinds of play work for you, start exploring!
7. BE ALERT FOR NEW SOURCES OF JOY.Keep your eyes open for new sources of joy. You might find new activities you love to share, make new friends, or even a daily habit like journaling that helps you chronicle your gratitude. Whatever the case, stay aware of opportunities for joy in the world around you, and you will be more likely to find and incorporate them into your life.
Sometimes, we lose our grip on joy because we’re packing our schedules too tightly, leaving little room for enjoyment. If you and your spouse need help managing your time so you have room for joy, then Your Time-Starved Marriage is a good start. You can pick up a copy here.
Click here to check out many marriage video clips from Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott.
As always, I encourage you to Pastor John for additional marriage or family support.
May God bless you and your family!