Fifteen minutes a day.
You can do a lot with 15 minutes—whip up a quick meal, respond to a couple emails or phone calls, create a more joy-filled marriage. Wait, what?! A more joy-filled marriage in just 15 minutes a day? Hard to believe, I know—but it's true!
I had an extremely interesting conversation with two authors a few years ago. Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey wrote The 4 Habits of Joy-Filled Marriages: How 15 Minutes a Day Will Help You Stay in Love to help couples boost the emotional, spiritual, and physical connections in profound ways. As a matter of fact, people who started putting the four habits into action in their marriage reported positive changes in themselves and their relationship in as little as two weeks.
The authors propose that in every relationship there is a "joy gap"—the moments of time between moments of joy together. As this distance becomes wider between you and your spouse, you leave your relationship vulnerable to things that easily erode or destroy your connection. It's not rocket science, BUT it is brain science.
So what are the four habits?
· Play Together (yes, this includes sex.)
· Listen for Emotion
· Appreciate Daily
· Nurture Rhythm
Now I could unpack these four habits in writing, but I thought it might be easier to just let you hear it straight from the authors. So set some time aside (about 50 minutes) and give it a go—you'll be glad you did!
Dr. Gary Chapman , Author of The 5 Love Languages®
Could you use a little creativity in speaking love and appreciation to others? Here are a few suggestions to inspire you:
· WORDS OF AFFIRMATION: “My best friend and I travel a lot so we don’t see each other in person as often as we’d like. I gave her a cute little coin purse and filled it with a bunch of different affirmations on single strips of paper so she can pull one out each day. It’s travel-friendly and a great reminder that I love her and am grateful for her friendship!” —Mel
· ACTS OF SERVICE: “In our household, we divided up household tasks sharply. I cook, my wife takes out the garbage, etc. My favorite way to ‘prank’ my wife is to ask her to do one of her tasks, like fold laundry or take out the garbage—only for her to find out that I just did it for her. She is always happily surprised and it gives a good laugh to us both!” —Pascalle
· GIFTS: “I went through a phase several years ago where I made a lot of friendship bracelets. It became a hobby for me until I didn’t have time for it. However, I still wear some of them on each wrist. My boyfriend recently commented on them, telling me how cool they looked. I am now making him one and plan to give it to him before I leave to go back to school.” —Caroline
· QUALITY TIME: “I live outside of the U.S., and since so many of my friends and family are still there, it’s difficult to have good conversations due to the time differences. I found out that my best friend from college and my brother both read the same daily devotional as I, so we can meditate on the same thoughts and prayers during the day, turning our texts into shared quality time.” —Marie
· PHYSICAL TOUCH: Singles with the Love Language™ of Physical Touch have shared with me that this last season during the pandemic has been challenging. Tactile objects can help. Maybe it's sending a flannel, a letter laced with your perfume/cologne, or a stuffed animal. Regardless of the item, touching it will help your loved one feel that much closer to you.
We hope you enjoyed this blog.
Contact our MFL team for marriage support anytime.
Your Marriage, Family and Life Team