If you’re married or engaged, I encourage you to take a minute to consider how much you invested/are investing monetarily in your wedding. Consider how much time you invested/are investing into planning. Consider how many people invested/are investing into making it a special day.
Couples in California, on average, spend between $25,000 and $37,000 on their weddings. It adds up, right? All the time, money, and effort we put towards planning a wedding ends up being quite a large amount. And rightfully so! It’s the most important day of your life and it’s great to celebrate it in a big way, surrounded by friends and family!
One pattern that’s easy to fall into is investing all this time, money, and effort into planning for the wedding, but not the marriage. And trust me, I get it. Wedding planning can become pretty (extremely) time consuming! But it’s so important not to lose sight of the fact that this marriage is just as valuable and worth investing in.
Pouring into your marriage can look different for everyone, and there’s not just one right way to do it! Maybe for you, it’s having a weekly date night. Maybe it’s reading a book together. Maybe it’s attending a yearly conference.
For Luke and I, we do a few different things to keep making sure we’re moving forward and growing in our relationship. The easiest thing we do is listen to podcasts on marriage by Jimmy and Karen Evans. If you haven’t heard of them, I highly recommend checking it out! They give insightful, practical, and helpful wisdom and advice on growing together in your marriage. The podcasts are just 30 minutes long, so we like to throw it on in the car when we’re driving.
Another thing we like to do is a yearly marriage retreat with just the two of us. (Honestly this was not our idea, it also originated from Jimmy and Karen Evans too). This is time we set aside and plan for, we take a few days off work, and we get a babysitter so we can focus on us. During this getaway, we take time to have proactive conversations (talking about issues not in the heat of the moment), pray together, and have fun!! It is so life-giving to our marriage and it’s something we really look forward to together. We’re actually planning our next trip starting Sunday and I can’t wait!!
Lastly, something we’ve invested time into is having a mentor couple who helps us walk through the hard stuff. Marriage is beautiful, and fun, and totally worth it. But living with and being committed to someone sometimes brings up some hard stuff. Having a couple who has been through the same things we’ve been through, who is available to help us through it, has been healing and freeing for us. I’d definitely recommend finding a couple who has the type of marriage you’d want (for us, it’s one of mutual respect and understanding, laughter and fun, and unconditional love), and asking them if you can take them out to dinner once a month to talk about life and marriage. It also really helps to know you’re not alone!
Below is a simple list of easy things you can do to pour into your marriage. Try these things, and let me know what your favorite was!
- Jimmy and Karen Evans’ Marriage Today Podcast
- Regular date nights (click here for a post with some fun ideas to get you started!)
- Marriage retreat
- Attend a marriage conference (local OR turn it into an adventure by finding one in a new city!)
- Reading a book together (a couple that we love include “The Story of Marriage” by John and Lisa Bevere, and “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs)
- Take the Love Language test and talk about your results together (don’t worry if you get complete opposite results – that’s what happened to me and Luke!)
- Find a few conversation starters and see where it leads! There are some great ones online and that’s a perfect place to begin!
- Go on a double date! Talking with friends in the same season helps put life in perspective and its also just a lot of fun!
- Put electronics away for an evening. Turn off the TV, put your phone on Do Not Disturb (yes, that’s a thing!), set the computer down, look in each other’s eyes, and talk! Laugh! Be together, without allowing the rest of the world to steal the moment 💛