I went to a great workshop the other night called Putting the Fun & Romance Back into your Marriage. My dad has always told us that the best way to show love to your children, is to love their mother.
As a mom, it is really easy to focus on my kids (who are very demanding of my time and attention), but at the end of a long day sometimes the last thing I want to do is then shift gears to talk to anyone else- even if that other person is my spouse.
The workshop was a great reminder of things that I can (and should) be doing daily to make my marriage thrive. Spending time with your spouse doesn't mean you have to go out or spend money, but it does mean that you plan specific things to do together that allow you to build on your relationship as a couple. I want my kids to have amazing marriages and I want them to be successful in their relationships with friends. PS- Do you think my husband is going to kill me for posting this photo of us at the top of this post? Do you feel the need to pray more earnestly for your husband and your marriage but not sure where to start?
You can start this prayer challenge any day of the month, but it might be easier to start at the beginning of the month, just to keep track of the days. Day 1  Pray that your husband would put his relationship with God above all other relationships, including yours.
Day 3  Pray that God would bless the work of his hands, that he would enjoy his work, and see God glorified in all facets of his job.
Day 7  Pray for your role together as parents, that there would be unity in dealing with difficult choices and situations. Day 21  Pray for any positions of leadership he takes on at work, church, or in your community.
Write: What are some of the hopes and dreams you have for your future with your spouse and (if you have any) children? I also think that many of these reminders allow us as parents to help teach our children so many important things- such an unselfishness, kindness, and dedication.
As a couple I think it is awesome if you can start over with a clean slate each day and recommit yourself to making your marriage fabulous. Sit down with your spouse and ask, "What can I do for you to make you feel loved?" Have your spouse ask you the same question. Be a role model for your children of the type of partner they have the potential to become. If everyone tries to give 50% in marriage, but someone fails on that again and again, then you're never at 100%. We often don’t pray as if we believe God will show up and do something big, but prayer works, and God longs for you to be in prayer with Him. Pray he would have a burning desire to know the Lord more closely and surrender all of his life to God.
Pray for consistent study of Scripture, memorization of the Word, and other spiritual disciplines like prayer, tithing, fasting, etc. Pray that God would bring godly men into his life to form close bonds with, men who would lead him closer to God and not away. Write their names on an index card and commit to regularly praying for them, that they would grow closer to God and, in turn, draw your husband closer to God. Pray he would be deeply rooted in the Word, that he would bear much fruit for the kingdom of God. Pray that your husband would know the ways you receive love and actively seek to show you love in those ways.
Pray your husband would be bold in evangelizing, that he would have courage to talk to neighbors, community members and coworkers about his faith.
Pray your husband would not be prideful about areas of strength, but that he would bless others by stewarding his gifts and talents faithfully. Pray he would see clearly the evil of sin, the devil’s schemes and his own insufficient means to do battle alone. Pray he would serve faithfully and humbly, pray for ministry opportunities that meet real needs in your church body and also allow him to use his gifts and talents.
Pray for a vision for how to help him pursue the things he loves in such a way that God is glorified.
It’s natural to worry about the lives of the people we are closest to, but ask your Heavenly Father to free you from any anxiety over his life.
Aaron and Jennifer Smith co-authored 31 Day Prayer Challenge books for husbands and wives to read together! We would love to hear from you—how has this prayer challenge changed you, your husband, and your marriage? Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.
It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know.
Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire.


A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved. The highest function of love is that it makes the loved one a unique and irreplaceable being.
To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous. Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.
When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. I believe there are some things in life you can’t deny or rationalize, and [love] is one of them.
Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.
I would love to hear your tips regarding how you work to make your marriage thrive in the comments below, so definitely share them! This requires letting go of grudges and forgiving and forgetting (and not bringing up sore subjects over and over again). I think there are definitely seasons of life when we are busier or more tired as parents, so scheduling a date is hard. Everyone has a different love language, so talking with your spouse about this can't help but yield positive results.
I notice that when I focus on the positive things my spouse does, I am happier, and then my kids are happier too. On Saturday night we went on an amazing date that my friend created and it was such a fun change from the norm. My husband knows this and so we usually spend time together doing dishes on Sunday nights (when kids are occupied or asleep).
Sometimes as a spouse I am selfish of my "alone" time or even silly things (like my treats), because I get tired of sharing with just one more person.
One thing that our workshop mentioned is that marital problems are sometimes signals that a couple needs to learn new skills to create a happy relationship. He especially desires you pray about your marriage and the one person you are spending the rest of your life with!
Some days there will also be an opportunity for you to read a related article, or watch a short video. Pray he would not be discouraged in his pursuit of God but would run the race of faith with endurance all his life. Pray he would grow into a leader in his church, family and community, and lead others to a stronger relationship with Christ by his example. Pray that his life would be a reflection of the gospel, that his interactions with others would be grace-filled and loving. Pray your husband would not be ashamed of his weaknesses but see them as an opportunity to grow closer to his Heavenly Father. Pray for any chronic issues—that God would grant healing or continued endurance for the health issues he faces.
If there is any emotional pain in his life, pray God would bind up those wounds and that he would find the help he needs to work through them.
Pray for his relationships with the people he does ministry with and for- that any disagreements or misunderstandings would be handled with grace and kindness. Pray he would be mindful of his calling and thoughtful of the people God has put in his path to minister and witness to. Pray your husband would be thoughtful as you work together to create a budget, pay off bills, and spend for needs. Pray you both would not entertain lustful thoughts but give all take all thoughts captive for Christ.
Ask God to help you not live in fear of what might happen, but to trust Him with your husband’s life.
Where there is any unhealthy dependence or distance, ask the Lord to help create healthy, appropriate boundaries. If sex is a struggle, ask God to give you both humble, gracious patience with and for each other. Has this month of prayer revealed in particular areas you feel the Spirit leading you to continue praying for?
In that spirit, we did a little digging and came up with 101 love quotes that will inspire us all to love a little harder, hug a little tighter, and generally be more giving.
I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.
There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death. I actually love routine, but I also think the idea of trying new things together helps keep things fun.
Life has been going, going, going with lots of work travel for my husband so connecting has been challenging to say the least.


Other days you’ll be encouraged to journal or write down your thoughts about a particular marriage related prompt. Just pick up with the corresponding day and, if you have time, you can go back to the days you’ve missed. Pray for selflessness on your part as he spends time with friends, even if that means sometimes sacrificing time with you.
If you do not have children, pray for your husband’s influence in the lives of younger men in your church and community. Pray especially for God to be your Great Romancer, that you would not lean on your husband to fill a place in your heart that only God can fill.
Pray a prayer of repentance for any sinful responses you’ve had toward your husband, and then go to your husband and ask for forgiveness. Pray for sensitivity to his feelings and guidance for talking to him about emotional issues. Pray the communities you are a part of would be blessed through your husband’s efforts. Pray for God to illuminate areas of his life where he is putting anything (even your marriage!) as a greater priority than knowing and loving God.
Ask God for courage to talk about any uncomfortable, shame-filled or painful thoughts and experiences that keep you from being fully intimate with your husband. Take some time to pray for each element of the fruit of the Spirit-- peace, love, joy, faithfulness, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control—pray for abundance in these areas, for the Lord to strengthen your husband in areas of weakness. If so, write down a pledge of commitment to pray for another month about those particular things. Read on for 101 statements on all types of love from poets, writers, musicians, comedians, and more. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.
If we have a bad day, we talk about how tomorrow we're going to have a do-over and make things better the next day.
We really have a good time catching up with one another and then we start off the new week with a clean kitchen. My husband has been amazingly unselfish this year and has watched our kids while I've gone on three different girls trips. There are some weeks when we just go through the motions and are like passing ships in the night with busy schedules.
Pray for God’s love to fill your heart and give you the grace you need to move forward in a positive direction. If any of these people do not reflect Christ’s love, pray that he would not be tempted to imitate them and would find other godly men to look up to instead. Pray for his doctors – that they would have wisdom and kindness toward your husband as during appointments. Pray for any areas where you disagree about spending or saving money, that God would give you clarity and agreement. If you want, invite your husband to pray with you and ask him if he has any specific prayer requests you can be praying over. Ask God to help you both see how you might share the gospel with your children, your neighbors, you coworkers, your community, and the greater world. I have to resist the urge to bring up past events and instead focus on the positive things ahead! My favorite thing to do with my husband is to sit at the kitchen table while he makes us a late night treat- carmelitas or peanut butter bars. Working together as a couple also reminds me how important it is for us to work together with our kids.
Leaving nice notes in shoes, buying each other special treats, or even just sending a sweet text during the day are simple ways to still be nurturing your relationship during those times that are crazy or tough! One thing I try to do is to always kiss my husband before we go to sleep, when we wake up and when one of us is leaving the house. Ask for hearts that long to share the good news of Christ’s death for our sins and the resurrection hope you now have.
I am always amazed at how much better of a parenting team we are when we have 1:1 time together to just have fun together (and eat our treats). Help can come from a therapist, another couple you trust, supportive parents, or other resources like marriage classes and books. We always hug, especially in front of the children, which is important especially when there might not be a lot of energy and time for much more than that gesture!
I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. I think this teaches our kids that each member of our family is important and deserves special attention. Recognizing that you need help and being willing to ask for it is a great skill to demonstrate to your kids.




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