Set Goals as a Couple in This Marriage Growth Workbook

We all can use advice in our marriage no matter how long we’ve been together. Pursue growth in your marriage as you set couple goals in this Marriage Growth Workbook.

Marriage challenge

MAKING YOUR MARRIAGE LAST

After 14 years I can say that the best thing we ever did for our marriage was to intentionally invest in making it better. Based on the counsel of mentors at our church, we committed to one event each year to focus on our marriage.

My own rollercoaster of emotions left me focused only on my needs. We spent the time on parenting classes, but we needed a refresher on how to do marriage well.

Whether you are a newly wed or about to celebrate a few decades of marriage, we can all use some advice on how to grow as a couple in our marriages.

So many women are stuck in the trap of “I guess this is my life now” after they have kids.  Your relationship isn’t doing any good being stuck on the back burner. When we invested in each other, parenting became easier, and my emotions became more stable—simply put—life is easier when we are on the same page. 

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned from marriage books and classes over the years:

  • Take the time to learn one another’s “Love Language”. A huge block to communication is not understanding the way your spouse needs to be shown love. You may be telling them you love them everyday, but they may not be feeling it if their primary “love language” is spending time alone together.
  • Set a foundation of friendship for you to strengthen your relationship. Remember why you fell in love in the first place. Commit to the friendship part of your relationship. This will serve you well especially when times are tough. Set regular date nights, plan vacations, find little ways to connect on a daily basis.
  • Learn healthy ways to work through conflict. Be a team working against the problem, not against one another.
  • Grow spiritually as individuals and a couple. Invest in your marriage for the long run by digging deep into your spiritual life.
  • Serve one another without complaining. Make it a practice of expressing your love by helping without expecting something in return.

SETTING COUPLE GOALS

I saw the need for growth in our marriage years ago and I’m so thankful for the time invested and the mentors we’ve met. You may not know where to start when it comes to your marriage, so I’ve created a Marriage Growth Workbook that includes all of these lessons I’ve learned along the way!

It’s in a 41 page instant download and includes 4 weeks of Bible-based challenges to help you grow and strengthen your marriage. You can use it in a 3 ring binder, folder or staple as a packet. 

The workbook includes:

  • Discovering Your Love Language
  • 4 Weeks of Daily Challenges
    • Friendship (have fun together)
    • Teamwork (work through conflict)
    • Growth (invest in your marriage for the long run)
    • Service (expressing your love by helping without expectations)
  • 4 Bible verse coloring pages
  • 2 Goal setting reflection pages for continued growth

WEEK 1: FRIENDSHIP

Friendship is probably the thing that drew you to your spouse in the first place. You saw that they were kind/funny/just like you/different from you and you wanted to hang out with them.

As we grow older in our relationships, we can get into the habit of becoming more of a roommate than a best friend.

Fight this drifting away by investing in your friendship. Find out what you have in common and run with it! Do you like to travel, be outdoors, try new restaurants, attend concerts or go to opening nights of your favorite movies?

When you take the time to reconnect with your spouse by being more playful, you break down barriers of miscommunication.

“Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

WEEK 2: TEAMWORK

Life is so much harder when you feel out of sync with your spouse. Most of the time problems can be resolved through better communication.

When working through conflicts, pray together and ask forgiveness from each other and the Lord. Each person just wants to feel respected, honored and loved.

Ephesians 4 teaches us to be humble, gentle (meek), patient, compassionate, kind and forgiving. Don’t get stuck in the crazy cycle of reacting out of bitterness and anger, be the first to step out in love.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

WEEK 3: GROWTH

I have a group of older women mentors at my church who are honest, outspoken encouragers to new moms. These are women I personally admire and respect. I have turned to them in times of anguish and discouragement in all walks of my personal life. They share their hearts, parenting fails, marriage obstacles, and encourage me that no marriage is perfect–but that there are good, happy marriages out there is you’re willing to put in the work.

If you have someone in mind you admire, call them up and ask them to coffee. Don’t wait for others to step in, put yourself out there and make an introduction! I’ve found most older women are honored that younger women would come to them for advice and wisdom.

“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24

WEEK 4: SERVICE

Humility in a marriage is vital to sustainability. If you are constantly thinking about your own needs and wants without any consideration for your spouse, expect some bitterness and resentment.

Get in the habit of serving your spouse—without expecting anything in return! This can be as simple as preparing dinner so that your spouse can take a quick nap after work. It can be bringing them coffee while they’re getting ready in the morning or filling up the car with gas after you use it.

Do little things to put their needs before your own to show that you still love them.

“In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

ORDER THE MARRIAGE GROWTH WORKBOOK

Don’t settle for a mediocre marriage—bring life back into your marriage today. Start taking the steps to make your marriage what you always wanted it to be by growing closer in your relationship through this Marriage Growth Workbook.

Print one to do on your own, or print two to do together as a couple!

For more posts on setting goals as a couple, read:

You’ve got this!

Marriage challenge

WANT TO LIVE YOUR DAYS WITH MORE INTENTION? SIGN UP HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY FREE PRINTABLES: 

Marriage Advice From Older Couples

With lasting marriages on the decline, where do you go for advice? Find a mentor and check out these tips today!

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

FINDING MARRIAGE MENTORS

My kids are in a rare position in that their parents have been married for 15 years and both sets of grandparents are still together (40+ years).

Most marriages are on a rapid decline, so where do we go for advice when things get hard? While counseling is a good option, it’s also a good idea to have a few couples you look up to that you feel would give you good, healthy advice when it comes to conflict in your marriage.

I have a group of older women mentors at my church who are amazing, honest, outspoken, encouragers to new moms. These are women I personally admire and respect and have turned to in times of anguish and discouragement in all walks of my personal life. I have seen them share their hearts, their parenting fails, their marriage obstacles and encourage me that no marriage is perfect—but that there are good, happy marriages out there.

If you have someone in mind you admire, call them up, ask them to coffee. Don’t wait for others to step in, put yourself out there and introduce yourself! I’ve found that most older women are honored that younger women would come to them for advice and wisdom.

While you’re brainstorming a few people you want to get to know better, here’s some marriage advice from some of my mentors over the years.

WHAT’S ONE THING YOU DID TO KEEP YOUR MARRIAGE STRONG?

  • Play together: Have fun—laugh, date, try new things. Enjoy one another.
  • Learn about each other: Find out your love languages.
  • Communicate: Talk about your hopes and dreams, your fears, your future, your hobbies. Find time to connect each day. Kiss each other good-bye before work and before you go to sleep. Text or call often.
  • Help your husband: Encourage, support and ask what would be helpful to him.
  • Pray together: Even if he isn’t willing to pray together, you can always pray for your husband.
  • Have sex: Your physical relationship is important–even when things aren’t going well your physical relationship creates oneness. Remember you are your husband’s only love life–be available, enjoy it!
  • Read your Bible: Be intentional in what you do and remember you are not your husband’s Holy Spirit.

WHAT PARENTING ADVICE DO YOU HAVE IN REGARDS TO MARRIAGE?

  • Continue to date each other: Have date nights or weekend away–kids see it and find security in it.
  • Put your husband before your kids: This is counter-intuitive to what the world says, but children need stability, and putting your relationship first will allow you to make decisions based on what’s best for the kids.
  • Work on a healthy relationship: Have a united front, disagree in private away from the kids.
  • Be on the same page as parents: It’s ok to make decisions later to come to an agreement–“You’re grounded and Dad and I will tell you the details later”.
  • Make your husband a priority: Even when you are caring for little ones, spend time together alone.
  • Put your children to bed: This is the easiest way to create time for you and your husband to connect.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE IN DEALING WITH IN-LAWS?

  • Accept them for who they are: Try to understand why they are the way they are (feelings of loss of closeness with their son, threatened by your influence, acting out of fear, baggage from their own childhoods, etc.).
  • Don’t speak badly about your in-laws: Even though your husband may agree, it’s hurtful. It’s his family–he knows their flaws. Don’t put him in the position to feel the need to choose sides because of your words. Speak about issues in a way that shows honor and respect. Remember that his parents are the reason he turned out the way he is—the man you married was shaped by these people, the good and the bad.
  • Do your best to be kind and compassionate instead of trying to prove you are right: This is HARD with difficult people, but try your best to show compassion, humility and love. Be kind in how you approach difficult topics.
  • Show your character through actions, not words: Arguing something to death won’t help win a person’s heart, but kindness and humility will show them you are acting out of love.
  • Be a team with your husband, work together, stand together on issues: But be respectful and show honor and love towards in-laws when conflict arises.

HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH CONFLICT?

  • Don’t bring up an issue in a time of arguing: Talk to your spouse in a calm time out of love, not anger. Be careful to address areas of sin in a way that it’s about him not you. Best time is after a meal, when kids aren’t around.
  • Set the stage by affirming him and being rational, not confrontational or nagging: Praise him, compliment and share with him what he does well.
  • Allow him to point out areas you need to improve so you can hold each other accountable: You have a right to hold each other accountable but only out of love.
  • Remember what you love about your spouse: The traits that drew you to your husband are still there, they just look different. Be careful of comparison.
  • Remember who the real enemy is: Spiritual warfare is real! Satan does not want your marriage to succeed. Work together to solve the problem, not against one another.
  • You can believe the best or believe the worst: There are two ways to interpret what you’re husband’s doing–choose the noble one. God calls us to look at our spouse like he looks at our spouse
  • Pray for your husband and for him to be in the Word: You can’t force growth on someone. Realize that your husband can’t fill all your needs, but that God can–go to the Lord with your questions first.
  • Pray to God and be in relationship with him daily: When you feel disconnected, ask God to remind you why you went on that second date with your husband, why you decided you wanted to marry him.
  • It’s not going to be your words that woo your husband, it’s your actions: Find ways to connect, serve, love and support him.


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

We all could use advice in our marriages no matter how long we’ve been married. That’s why I created the Marriage Growth Workbook! Includes 30 days of challenges, illustrated verse coloring pages, notes from conferences I’ve attended and books I’ve read, plus goal setting for future growth. Order in my shop:

Then check out these other posts on marriage:

You’ve got this!

WANT TO LIVE YOUR DAYS WITH MORE INTENTION? SIGN UP HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY FREE PRINTABLES: 

Simple Date Night Ideas for Married Couples

Find a new idea for a date night in your city, or in my list for Fort Worth locals. Also includes tons of at-home ideas.

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

MONTHLY DATE NIGHT

My husband and I have been married for 15 years. One thing I’ve learned is that Date Night is a MUST to help us reconnect. Life gets busy and you get in your routine. When stress kicks in, you start to feel disconnected from your spouse.

Make date nights mandatory in your household–once a month is a good starting place!

DATE NIGHT IDEAS

  • Dinner and a movie
  • Drive-in movie theater
  • Local festival
  • Concert
  • Comedy Club
  • Walk around downtown square
  • Antique store shopping
  • Bookstore
  • Game at a coffee shop
  • Jazz club
  • Cover band
  • Brewery Tour
  • Wine Tasting
  • Orchestra
  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Horse-back riding
  • Kayak/Canoe
  • Fishing
  • Tubing
  • Carnival
  • Picnic
  • Dinner cruise
  • Art gallery
  • Botanical garden
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Flea market
  • Museum
  • Batting cages
  • Mini golf
  • Ice skating
  • Rock climbing
  • Paintball
  • Painting class
  • Pottery class

FORT WORTH DATE IDEAS

Live local? Here are my favorites:

NO SITTER?

  • Some places offer Parents’ Night Out. (Search online for programs at kid gyms, YMCA, rec centers and local churches)
  • We even swap with another couple and watch their kid while they go on dates! (A great way to get a responsible, free babysitter!)
  • I discovered a few awesome sitters through Care.com. (Allows you to run a background check and I always test run a few times while I’m home.)

AT-HOME DATE NIGHT IDEAS

1. MOVIES

We are big movie buffs. One thing that we enjoy are watching movies in a series. It gives us something to look forward to at night and talk about during the day if we haven’t seen the series yet. One offs are good, but series allow you to make connections between films.


2. GAMES

There’s something calming about disconnecting from screens and pulling out an old-fashioned board game. We enjoy teaching each other card games we grew up on or remembering the rules to classics like double six dominoes.


3. CONCERTS

Grab a bottle of wine and a movie projector and watch your favorite band “live” on the big screen for an unforgettable date night!


4. VIDEO GAMES

My generation was the first to grow up playing video games as kids, so sometimes our kids are impressed when we know how to get first place on Mario Kart without their help. Here are some classics we love to play when the kids are in bed.


5. TV GAME SHOWS

Recently I started showing my kids TV game shows I grew up on like Wheel of Fortune, The Price is Right and Double Dare on YouTube. If you have Amazon Prime, there are tons of full episode game shows you can watch online:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

Want to spice up your marriage? We all could use advice in our marriages no matter how long we’ve been married. That’s why I created the Marriage Growth Workbook! Includes 30 days of challenges, illustrated verse coloring pages, notes from conferences I’ve attended and books I’ve read, plus goal setting for future growth. Order in my shop:

Check out my other posts on marriage here:

Mark a date night on the calendar and enjoy time for rest and relaxation!

WANT TO LIVE YOUR DAYS WITH MORE INTENTION? SIGN UP HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY FREE PRINTABLES: