Photo by Michael Fenton on Unsplash
One of the attributes I admire most about couples who keep their love alive over 8, 20, 30 plus years, is their ability to reinvent their love story. In financial terms, they reinvest. According to Dictionary.com, 'Reinvest [V] put (the profit on a previous investment) back into the same place. Biblically speaking, our marriages are a covenantal commitment we’ve made to one another, it’s our investment. If your investments aren’t growing, perhaps it’s time to fight the urge to rest and choose to reinvest. Here are some suggestions on how to grow your marriage.
Investment Tip 1: Think old school. To say that you and your spouse are the same people you were when you met would be preposterous, however, at your core there is probably a remnant of the original you, the original “us”. Think back to those early days and jot down a few activities you both enjoyed doing together. For example, attending sporting events, concerts, walks at the beach, Saturday morning coffee and donut dates, people watching. Your list doesn’t need to be long, but it should have things you both enjoy. Decide on one day out of the month to weave some of these back into your routine of life.
Investment Tip 2: Creative thoughtfulness. When most of us were dating we found it easy to be thoughtful. All we thought about was each other. Now with sports schedules, work commitments, church, and household duties we don’t have two spare thoughts to rub together! In order to successfully reinvest, we need a simple strategy. Big changes can come in small steps. Step 1: Set a calendar reminder once a week during a time that you routinely have available to do something thoughtful for your Love. Perhaps Sunday evenings are a prep-for-the-week time. Schedule a calendar reminder to do something thoughtful. (HINT: if your concerned about your spouse seeing the reminder be creative with the title.) Write I <3 U on a sticky note and place it in his car, if he leaves before you in the morning take a selfie of his empty side of the bed with an “I miss you”. Thoughtfulness is typically small but intentional.
Investment Tip 3: Light the fire. Our intimate relationship should be getting better with age. From the bedroom to kitchen counter, this is your mate for life and if the fire is scarcely lit it’s time to fan the flame. Reinvest in your pursuit. Again, start small. Choose to sit next to your Love when you eat out, hold hands, tell your spouse you think they look good, instead of a quick good-bye kiss turn it into something they’ll think about on their drive into work. All these little expressions added up can reigniting that flame. Decide to take the initiative and pursue.
Investment Tip 4: Pray for desire. Sometimes duty comes before delight. If we have grown accustom to living like roommates instead of lovers many of these reinvestment tools will feel forced and awkward at first. Our most effective tool to change is prayer. Pray and ask God to give you a heart of thoughtfulness towards your spouse. Ask Him to supply what you need in order to make time for your spouse. In the book of James, it says, “You have not, because you ask not.” When we love our spouses well, we honor God. Praying for your heart reveals that you trust God to change you. Reinvest, faithfully in prayer, for 30 days and see what God can do.
Finally, surround yourself with friends who firmly believe in the vitality of marriage. Become vulnerable with someone who can keep you accountable to how you are loving your spouse. Fight the desire to rest and vest; choose instead, to rise and reinvest. Even if what you have is meager, reinvest it, allow it to grow, then reinvest again. Marriages that withstand decades are never a one-and-done; they are monuments built by the labor of forgiveness, sacrifice, and service.