Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Marriage

I love this time of year!  The temperatures outside are becoming tolerable...almost pleasant.  The flowers are blooming.  The air is clean and vibrant.  (Breathing in...Sniiiifffffff)  It's time for spring cleaning, and not just the house!

So how does one spring clean their marriage, you ask?  Well, I like to think of it more as preventive maintenance.  Just as our homes need to be tidied up, de-junked, dusted and swept out, so do our marriages.  Out with the old (attitudes, bad habits and selfish ways) and in with the new (praise, thankfulness, and a servant heart).

Here are a few tips I would give to anyone wanting to rejuvenate and refresh their relationship with their spouse.  Take it from a clutter creator, sometimes we're not even aware of all the "junk" taking up residence in our marriages.  So, with that, let's do some spring cleaning!

1.  Take control of the calendar.  With ballgames and scouting events, dance rehearsals and class parties, we often put our date nights on the back burner.  Don't do it!!  Take control of the calendar and set a special date night or weekend for just the two of you.  Trust me...the kids will survive and there's always someone (grandparents, friend, sibling, neighbor) who can take their turn to shuttle them to and fro.  Like momma always said...Where there's a will, there's a way!

2.  Never take for granted.  It seems as if once we're married, we begin taking each other for granted.  We slip in and out of each day with ne'er a thought to our husband or wife's need to feel important and loved.  Let's face it...life is busy and often gets in the way.  Here's where we need to do some cleaning.  Find ways to cherish your spouse.  Ask yourself what you can do this week to show him or her that you care.  We are definitely not promised another day on this planet, so make this day count.  Even if he or she is working crazy hectic schedules (or you), what can you do to keep the spark alive?  Go!  Be crazy.  This is your challenge from me. :)

3.  Speak softly, but let your words carry POWER!  Did you know that your words can make or break someone?  Choose to allow your words to be a blessing to your husband or wife.  Watch your tone.  Don't yell, demand or snip.  Instead speak tenderly and thoughtfully.  Bring healing, comfort, encouragement and love through the power of your tongue. 

4.  Find time to reconnect through communication.  If you never talk with someone, how do you get to know them?  How do you find out what their likes, dislikes, frustrations, hopes and dreams are?  Communication is paramount in any relationship, and will help ward off the tendency to feel neglected or unimportant.  Find times when the two of you can sit down and talk about your day.  Even the mundane details help nurture intimacy between a husband and wife.  So what are you waiting for?  Get talking!

5.  Pray together.  There is nothing more powerful than a couple who prays, and especially ones that prays together.  God will honor those who seek Him.  He will bless a marriage that is rightly centered in His will.  Though it may be awkward at first, give it time and lots of practice.  Eventually, you will come to realize that this time together before the Lord has become the glue that holds everything in balance.  Want it to last?  Pray.  God is still in the miracle business of healing the broken or the cluttered.

Each of us, no matter how long we've been together, need to do a little sprucing up now and then.  There are so many other things you can do to make your marriage invaluable.  Why not start today.  Show the one whom you made a covenant oath to that you want only the best of what marriage can bring.  Believe me...you won't regret the effort you put into it.

Going through the closets,