Have you ever been rushing from work to kids’ sports practice to social activities without having an actual conversation with your spouse?

Just a quick kiss and out the door you go. You stop and ask yourself, “Surely marriage shouldn’t be this way?”

Life’s busy. It’s easy to get into such a busy routine that you and your spouse don’t have time to connect. But there are some simple things you can do to make your spouse feel loved.

Here are some ideas for you. Just mix in some intentionality and you’re ready to go.

• Learn their love language and how to speak it.

We all receive love in different ways. Dr. Gary Chapman breaks down how we receive love into five areas.

When we know how our spouse receives love, we’re better able to connect with them. Check out 5lovelanguages.com to learn more. But learning is only the beginning.

You have to practice speaking their language. As Uncle Ben said to Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

• Surprise them.

Pay attention to the small things. What’s their favorite hot beverage or snack? What are those subtle hints they’ve been dropping?

Surprise them at work or when you get home with something you know they’d appreciate.

• Ask yourself, “What chore do they despise?” Then take it on.

There’s always that one household chore that we hate doing, but we do it anyway because it has to get done. Your spouse has one, too. Take it off their plate.

• Take an interest in what they’re interested in.

Is there a hobby or activity they enjoy? Show genuine interest in it and be their #1 cheerleader.

• Be in the moment with them.

Genuinely spend time together. Set the electronics aside when you talk about your day. When you go on a date, leave the phones in the car. Be present in the moment.

• Listen to them.

Actively listen to your spouse. Sure, listen about their day, but also listen to their dreams and goals. Ask them questions. Show genuine interest in what they have to say.

• Send them random texts throughout the day.

Mix up the texts you send your spouse. Show them appreciation. Say, “I love you.” Get flirty! Emojis are fun. Come up with your own emojis to use.

• Hold their hand or put your arm around them in public.

Remember when you were dating and held hands as you walked down the street or drove somewhere? Don’t stop just because you’re married. Hold hands or put your arm around them. Show the world that your spouse is the love of your life.

• Say, “Thank you.”

Appreciation goes a long way. Say thanks for the small and big things. Your spouse will feel loved when you acknowledge what they’ve done.

• Leave them little notes.

Get creative and hide them around the house, in their car, or in their lunch. Have fun with this. You can show love, appreciation or get flirty.

• Give them a day off at home.

Take over all the chores for the day. Give your spouse a day to relax without feeling guilty. We all need time every so often to just chill without worrying about what must be done around the house.

• Share your dreams and goals with each other.

Dream together. Start a dream journal. Write down your big and small dreams. Pick a dream and take steps to achieve it together.

• Take them on a spontaneous date.

Dates don’t have to be elaborate. Pick them up from work and go on a picnic or a walk in your city. Explore together. Take them out for coffee or dessert.

• Compliment them in front of others!

There’s just something about being complimented in front of others that makes you feel warm inside. Don’t embarrass your spouse if they don’t like attention, but still compliment them.

Show your friends, family and co-workers that you love the person you do life with.

Be intentional about making your spouse feel loved. Make sure they are appreciated and valued.

And have fun doing it!

Mitchell Qualls is the operations director at First Things First. Contact him at mitchell@firstthings.org

Mitchell Qualls is the operations director at First Things First. Contact him at mitchell@firstthings.org

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