There’s a scripture that reads, in part, “that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” (The full passage in context is highlighted here.)
This principle applies to many things in life where consistent, concentrated, daily effort yields measurable results. Becoming proficient as a musician or an athlete, learning to write well or become proficient at blogging, learning a trade and becoming successful in sales requires consistent effort and practice.
A speaker shared a statistic that married couples begin to grow further apart at about the 2 year mark. I don’t know the reference, but it makes sense. Look, if we were all “gaga” and “twitterpated” like when we first met the world would fall apart. Education, work, the regular stresses of life must be handled.
Here are some small and simple keys that can truly help couples and families foster stronger bonds:
Affectionate Greeting – My wife and I never enter or leave the home without an affectionate embrace and kiss. More than just a peck, it’s a way to communicate how much we will miss the other and how happy we are to be with each other again.
Family Dinners – We eat together as a family every night. It’s a great way to socialize and catch up on the events of the day. Usually there’s lots of laughter, sharing what was learned, who said what at school, but mostly it’s a chance to bond together during mealtime. We also work as a team for all the post-dinner needs, like clearing all the dishes, cleaning the table and kitchen and bathing the little ones.
Date Night – Having 1 on 1 time with your significant other is fundamental to a happy home. Reconnecting with each other with fewer distractions like work, kids, chores, etc. will rekindle and strengthen your connection. The dates can be as simple and inexpensive as a walk, a bike ride, or perhaps a dinner, a service project or even a movie on occasion. We set a regular date night out every week and usually one night a week at home without the kids watching a show.
Religious Worship – Share in your religious experiences together whether that comes through weekly worship service, praying as a couple and as a family and talking about your beliefs. There’s an old saying, “Families that pray together stay together” and I’ve found that to be true.
Family Night – We plan a family night once a week with some structure to it. For our family night we’ll usually have a lesson a treat (yes, this is important) and then a game. Again, it’s our one night a week we set aside just to be together.
The suggestions above do take some planning and effort. How important are your relationships with your family and children? I would suggest that no other relationship is as important as that of the family and therefore, these are worthy of your time.
Hopefully these suggestions will bring you as much joy to your marriage and family as they have in mine.