Marriage goals. We’ve all got them. Maybe your goal is to sit together in side-by-side rockers on your front porch when you’re both 100 years old. Maybe your marriage goals are to travel the world together or to change the world together. But what if your marriage goals don’t always have to be so lofty or so far into the future? There are smaller, daily goals that can not only keep your marriage strong but also be a lot more fun.
Here’s a question for you: When you think about an example of a great marriage, who do you think of? Is it a pastor and his wife? A celebrity couple? Maybe your parents? Let’s take it a little bit deeper—did you happen to think your marriage was a great one? If not, why? Maybe you’re simply being humble. Or, maybe your marriage is struggling a bit right now. Whatever the reason, it’s important you know your marriage can be great!
So, what makes a marriage “great”? Maybe it’s commitment, unconditional love, passion, trust … the list could go on and on. However, without one key ingredient, all the others can crumble or grow stale. What is this key ingredient, you ask? Pursuit.
Nobody achieves their marriage goals by accident. It takes effort. What’s interesting is we all put a lot of effort into pursuing our spouses during the dating season. Fellas, you chased her. And ladies, you chased him back. However, as the years pass, many of us develop “pursuit amnesia.” Neglecting to pursue your spouse puts your marriage goals in jeopardy. But don’t fret. We’ve asked a panel of couples who are “masters of the chase” for tips and ideas to help get you back on track. Are you ready? Let the chase begin!
How to Pursue Your Spouse: 21 Everyday Marriage Goals that Will Add Spice to Your Lives
- “I chase my wife with a marker.” Wait, what? Keep reading. One of our husbands said he writes encouraging words and love notes to his wife on their bathroom mirror with a dry-erase marker. After a while, she started doing it too. A small investment has helped pay huge dividends for them. Proverbs 5:18
- Compliment your spouse daily. Make it a habit to compliment your spouse every day. If you think a positive, uplifting thought about your spouse—say it aloud for them to hear it. Keeping it from them isn’t doing anyone any good. Song of Songs 1:15-16
- S.H.M.I.L.Y. This is an acronym that stands for See How Much I Love You. One amazing couple finds creative ways to hide this acronym in places where each other will find it. Kitchen drawers, suitcases, iPhone lock screens, and Alexa notifications are all examples they use to pursue one another.
- Turn needs into gifts. Small, thoughtful gifts are great ways to chase your spouse without breaking the budget. Does your husband need new socks? Pick out a few pairs and add a note about how much you love him from head to toe. Just knowing you’re thinking of them speaks volumes to your spouse.
- Date night at home. When the babysitter is AWOL or the budget is a bit tight, this is a great way to continue dating one another. Ask your spouse to clear their evening. Feed and bathe the kids and put them to bed a little bit early, then start your date. Cook together, light some candles, slow dance to a romantic playlist, etc. Get creative!
- Kidnap your spouse. This one takes a bit of planning, but it’s worth it. Coordinate with your spouse’s boss to get them time off work and surprise them with a day excursion or a weekend getaway. You’ll score big points with your loved one if you do!
- Romance your spouse at their work. Send a love note or card to your spouse at their work address. You can also further their surprise by showing up during their lunchtime for a spontaneous lunch date.
- Enforce bedtime. Help create alone time with one another at the end of the day by keeping a strict bedtime for your children. Valuing one another in this way will certainly help keep the sparks flying.
- Schedule time together. Schedule a weekly date with your spouse. The days and nights are busy. Don’t let them get too busy to have regular, quality time together. Having a set time each week blocked off for dates can be exciting and fun. If you’re having trouble connecting in the bedroom, schedule that too! It may seem less spontaneous, but knowing it’s on the calendar can really help stoke the fire!
- Text one another. It may seem simple enough, but sending your spouse a text or two during the day lets them know you’re thinking about them. If you have something scheduled later that evening (wink, wink), an anticipatory text message will help further things along!
- Read the Bible together. YouVersion’s Bible App has numerous Bible Plans on marriage. Read one together. Send your spouse an invite through the app to join you and then you can each comment on how God spoke to you through that day’s devotion. Joshua 1:8
- Give them alone time. Recognizing when your spouse needs some time to recharge is invaluable. Giving your spouse a few hours of alone time will allow them to be a better helpmate and parent. Load up the kids to go play at the park or go “ride” the mowers at your local hardware store. It doesn’t have to cost money, but it will pay out huge dividends in your marriage.
- Showers of blessing. Cleanliness is next to godliness! The next time your spouse is showering, slip into the bathroom (lock the door if you have kiddos) and join them. Don’t forget the bubbles! Song of Songs 8:7
- “Am I a boy or a girl?” One man learned to ask his wife this simple question every time she comes to him with a problem. If she answers “girl,” he knows she needs him to listen and show empathy. If she says “boy,” then he knows he has permission to try to help her fix the problem. Obviously, this husband is always precisely himself. But adding a little levity makes it easier for this husband to understand how to best meet his wife’s needs in a given situation. This simple act of listening has helped draw them closer and has kept the daily pursuit to meet one another’s specific needs alive.
- Pray together. Couples that pray together stay together. It doesn’t have to be lengthy. Just find a way to do it every day. Prayer builds intimacy better than anything. Prayer invites God into the midst of your marriage.
- Join them in their hobby. Couples who share a hobby are more prone to have a healthy marriage. Does your husband golf? Go with him and drive the cart. Challenge him to a putting contest. Doing things together is fun and can help strengthen your marriage. Ecclesiastes 4:9
- Work out together. Go for a jog, a bike ride, or go to the gym together. Sweaty time can lead to sexy time!
- Get dessert together. If your schedule is tight or your budget is a bit limited, eat a meal at home and then go out to a restaurant for dessert. It’s cheaper than having to purchase an entire meal and yet allows for some quality alone time.
- Compliment your spouse in front of their friends. The next time you and your spouse are in a crowd of friends, take a moment to brag on your spouse. Telling others how much you admire and appreciate them will make a huge deposit into their emotional bank account. Proverbs 15:4
- Do their chores for them. Does your spouse have a particular chore they do? It could be cleaning the bathtub, mowing the lawn, etc. Surprise them by doing it for them instead. During a particularly hectic week, one wife said she paid a local teen to mow their lawn so her husband wouldn’t have to worry about it. Not only was he surprised, but it freed up time they could spend together as well. Genesis 2:18
- Get a room. You don’t have to go on extravagant trips to have a romantic getaway. Arrange for family or friends to keep the kids if needed, and book a local hotel room. These short excursions can really give your marriage a boost. Song of Songs 8:14
So there you have it. Now it’s up to you. You can have a marriage that other people look up to and think of as legendary. All it takes is continued pursuit. Don’t let life, kids, or money get in the way of your marriage goals. Don’t get lazy—lazy lions never eat. Your marriage is too important; your purpose together is too great. Besides, pursuing your spouse is fun, as this list proves. So lace up those running shoes and start the chase!