Families With Grace

Helping Christian moms create homes filled with grace, love & faith

How to improve communication in your marriage

8 Ways to communicate better with your spouse

Marriage communication is on the list of every list of marriage advice and characteristics of a good marriage. And it’s rightly so. Effective communication is vastly important. 

In my nearly 25 years of marriage, my husband and I have learned a few things about the importance of communication. We’re not perfect and still make mistakes, but we have much better communication skills now than we did on the day we said “I do.”

Married couples have so many things they need to discuss: their relationship, finances, parenting, household chores, schedules and so much more. Inevitably, difficult conversations are also part of life for any married couple.

We’ve learned that along with being honest with each other, there are right and wrong ways to communicate well whether we’re having serious or mundane discussions.

Affiliate links are used in this post. If you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

1. Watch your tone of voice.  

At the top of the list has to be tone of voice. My husband knows me better than anyone else. So when I say the right words but with the wrong tone of voice, he is far from fooled. 

How to improve communication in your marriage Pinterest image 1

I’ve found this to be true even when I want to take care of him. Like if I ask whether I can make him something for lunch when I’m making food for the rest of us, I can easily say it frazzled or sincere. How I say it makes all the difference. 

Being passive aggressive or sarcastic cause communication problems. My husband and I made a deal when we were first married that we shouldn’t allow passive aggression to be part of our relationship. We’ve mostly stuck to that which has contributed to our successful relationship.

2. Be aware of your body language.

Another important communication skill has nothing to do with words. Nonverbal communication says a lot. 

I’m pretty good at taming my tongue, but sometimes I struggle to tame my facial expressions. That’s especially true with my husband because he knows me so well. He can tell by my face and actions whether I’m feeling grumpy or irritated. 

I’ve found the best way to to have a healthy communication style is to talk about issues before they go too far. Sharing my challenges or frustrations with my husband helps us have better marital communication.

We are able to work through the issue if it is a relationship one. Or he at least able to understand where I’m coming from in the challenges of the day.

Along with speaking volumes, our body language also lets our spouses know whether we’re really listening to them or if we’re distracted. Good communication skills include being a good listener.

Especially for meaningful conversations, you want to maintain eye contact and truly pay attention to what your spouse is saying.

3. Make sure it’s a good time to talk.

Early in our marriage, I learned that I can avoid strife by simply asking my husband if it’s a good time to talk. He does the same for me. 

Then we can finish a task if we need to or put down electronics or whatever we need to do to devote our attention to the other person. It’s one of the effective ways to make sure you each have the other’s undivided attention.

This has continued to serve us well in working from home. We share an office. Throughout the day, we usually need to talk to each other about something and will ask first if it’s a good time or for the other person to let us know when they have a free minute. 

It sets us up for good communication from the start — even about small things like what the kids’ schedule is that day.

4. Remember nobody is a mind reader.

Another lesson I learned about communication early on in our marriage was that I couldn’t expect my husband to know something I didn’t tell him. Instead of just assuming he knows something is important to me, I tell him.

He has a different perspective on life and situations than I do. In order to have a great marriage in the long run, you need to be able to share what’s going on inside your head.

I want to meet my partner’s needs and be a good wife. I can’t meet my spouse’s needs if I don’t know what he’s truly thinking and vice versa. At the end of the day, he’ll only know I need or want something if I tell him.

I also have learned my husband doesn’t always know what is bothering me or what I’m stressing out about unless I tell him. He can almost always tell something is up, but he can’t be there for me sometimes unless I allow him by sharing with him what’s going on in my head. 

5. Pay attention to your phrasing.

Communication ramps up into an argument pretty quickly when we pull out phrases that accuse. We all go on the defensive when we feel attacked, and communication issues run rampant.

Instead of saying something like, “Why don’t you ever make dinner? I have to do everything around here!” A great way to rephrase that next time is, “I’m overwhelmed and need help. Can you make dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays?”

You’ll end up with what you were wanting but you won’t have to have an argument in order to get there. Your spouse will understand what’s going on with you and how he can help. You’ve opened the door of communication so that you can truly share with each other.

6. Don’t use words to hurt.

I know the things that bother my husband the most, just as he knows the same about me. The best thing we can do is stop ourselves from using that in the middle of a disagreement. You don’t want to break trust that is hard to get back.

Beyond just being poor communication, using words that hurt are going to tear down your relationship and undo all the hard work you’ve put into it. Words can hurt.

The other rule that we made from the beginning of our marriage is if either of us ever brings up divorce, we’d better mean it. I mean that in we don’t want to throw around threats that we don’t mean. 

We can get upset and disagree, but we don’t want to do lasting damage to our marriage and relationship. Setting boundaries for ourselves on what we say can lead to a happy relationship and healthy marriage that will last.

7. Listen to understand, not just for your turn to talk.

While it’s important to be aware of what we are saying with our words and body language, communication can’t happen unless we listen. And that sounds much easier than it is!

When my husband is talking with me about something important, I do my best to actively listen and make sure I’m paying attention, not just waiting for my turn to talk or formulating my response inside my head. 

I’ve also learned that I usually do really enjoy hearing his point of view. He has great insights — which is one of the reasons I fell in love with him in the first place!

8. Know when it’s time to table a discussion for the moment.

Sometimes it’s just not a good time to have or continue a conversation. Maybe you’re too upset and know if the conversation continues you’re going to say something you’ll regret. 

Or maybe you’re too distracted to really listen. Maybe you’re just too tired to continue talking. Tell each other and agree to come back to the topic — then do so!

Often our best time to chat about things is just before bed because the kids aren’t up and interrupting us; this was especially true in our days of having young children. 

But, I’m not a night person. Some nights I’m literally just too tired to have a good conversation about a serious topic. 

When I’m tired, I get irritated and emotional much easier. (Who doesn’t?!) I opt to tell my husband that I want to have the discussion but I just can’t at the moment. And then we find a better time to talk later.

Setting aside time for conversations like a date night where you go out to dinner and just talk can be really helpful for these intense conversations.

Bonus tip: Try a shared journal

You can also build a healthy relationship by spending quality time together with a couple’s journal. It’s a great way to express appreciation for one another and grow closer in your relationship. Be sure to check out “The Christian Couple’s Journal” on Amazon now to take your relationship to the next level!

The Christian Couple's Journal

Don’t miss the latest release from Families with Grace and Stacey A. Shannon: “The Christian Couple’s Journal.” Elevate your marriage and faith with “The Christian Couple’s Journal.” 100 days of prompts, Bible verses, date ideas and reflections to strengthen your bond. Grow together in just minutes a day!

The best nerdy Valentine’s gifts for him 2024

42 Valentine’s Day gifts he’ll geek out about!

Finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your guy can be challenging to say the least. My husband is a bona fide geek, but in a cool way!

Nerdy Valentines gifts for him Pinterest image 1

Through the years, I’ve come to develop an appreciation for nerdy love and join him in many of his fandoms. Role playing? Check. Sci-fi movies? Check. On the list goes!

​So what if you want to combine that nerdy love into the best Valentine’s gifts? It’s more than possible with these ideas, I promise!

Affiliate links are used in this post. If you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

The gamer

From video games to board games, your gamer guy will love any of these gifts. The best part is that unlike the games themselves, these gamer gifts won’t cost a pretty penny and are the perfect addition to your Valentine’s celebration with your gamer boyfriend or husband!

Video game themed gifts

If you’re looking for a cool gift for a video gaming nerd whose gaming roots, go way back, check out this cozy blanket. It looks like a retro gaming controller and is perfect for you to snuggle up with together on date night!

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Classically trained video game controller blanket

Another great git for gamers who grew up in the 1980s and 90s is this blanket that looks like a Nintendo Game Boy. So fun!

Best nerdy Valentine’s gift for him: Game Boy blanket

When it comes to nerdy Valentine’s Day gifts for gamers, anything that reminds them of classics really is a great gift. My husband would love these coasters that look like Nintendo game cartridges from yesteryear!

Best nerdy Valentine’s gift for him: NES Coasters


If your geeky boyfriend or husband isn’t as into retro, check out these coasters that look like the buttons on a PlayStation controller. They’re high quality being made of metal with cork non-slip bottoms.

Best nerdy Valentine’s gift for him: PlayStation coasters

Whether you opt for coasters or not, mugs and cups are a great Valentine’s Day present when they are themed for something your Valentine loves. Check out this Game Boy ceramic mug that changes with heat.

Best nerdy Valentine’s gift for him: Game Boy ceramic mug

Stainless steel tumblers are another great cup option that works for both hot or cold drinks. And this Gamer Mode tumbler is a special gift recognizing your guy’s gaming hobby.

Best nerdy Valentine’s gift for him: Gamer Mode stainless steel tumbler

Role playing game themed gifts


My husband has enjoyed role playing games for years — and I do mean years. At first it didn’t make much sense to me, but then I gave them a try. And now I enjoy them as well as he does! In fact, gaming has been good for my marriage.

So I’ve got to include role playing game themed ideas for nerdy Valentine’s gifts. These are all a great idea for true geeks who love role playing — D&D or otherwise!

One thing I can tell you about role players is they can never have enough dice. And a set of cool dice is the perfect option for a Valentine’s Day gift. Check out these beauties that are hollow metal and come in 26 color options.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Dragon dice

If unique gifts are more your style, then go for a tiny dice set. With 21 different options of colors and styles, this set comes in a keychain, holder and even necklace. 

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Tiny dice

Your nerdy partner is also going to need something to store dice in. Dice bags are a useful gift that come in all sorts of options.

This eyeball dice bag looks creepy, I admit. But, my husband has a similar one and loves it! This one has nine different color options.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Eyeball dice bag

And while this isn’t an actual die you can play with this candy tin shaped like a 20-sided die is a perfect gift for a role player.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Dice candy tin

Along with dice, another perfect choice for your special nerd is this dragon notebook. My husband has a slew of cool notebooks. This one comes in two styles — a dragon or a phoenix — and each comes in two different color options.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: dragon notebook


Fun gaming shirts are also a great way to show your guy you care this Valentine’s Day. First up is this punny die shirt that comes in eight color options and all sorts of sizes. 

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Role play gamer shirt with die


Or help him stay warm with this funny Valentine’s Day gift perfect for gamers. This cozy hoodie that comes in six colors and five sizes declares a truth all role players know: The dice giveth and the dice taketh away!

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Hoodie that says "The dice giveth and the dice taketh away"


​A final great gift for role players is a gelatinous cube. If you don’t play, you may be confused, but this is a popular monster from the D&D universe. We have two different gelatinous cubes on our mantel right now.

First up is this Funko gelatinous cube, which really is one of the cubes on our mantel currently!

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Funko gelatinous cube

And then for those gamers with a sense of humor, this dice jail gelatinous cube has to be on the best Valentine’s Day gifts!

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: dice gel gelatinous cube

Board game lover gifts

If you sweet someone is a lover of board games, then you’re going to want to check out these gifts. I’ve included a favorite game (or two or three!) of my own husband. Board games make great Valentine gifts because they also give you an activity you can do together and have a good time making memories.

First up is HeroQuest. My husband first had this game when he was a kid and loved it so much that he talked about it for years. He bought an original version off of eBay and then when Hasbro released a new version of HeroQuest, he snagged it quickly! 

Even better HeroQuest is a co-op game so you play on the same side. It really is a lot of fun and is sure to be one of his favorite Valentine’s Day gifts!

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Board game HeroQuest

If one of your guy’s favorite fandoms is Harry Potter, then Harry Potter Clue is a thoughtful gift he’ll love. We got it because our kids love Harry Potter even more than we do, but it is our favorite version of Clue to play as a family because it has some twists and turns that up the game play.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Harry Potter Clue

Another great nerdy Valentine’s gift for him is the card game Fluxx. Fluxx is a card game that is ever-changing and is great fun with two players or more. Even better, there are lots of themes for it. 

If your guy loves Star Wars, then consider Star Fluxx. Other options include Marvel Fluxx, Dr. Who Fluxx, Star Trek Fluxx, Cthulhu Fluxx and Monty Python Fluxx. There’s a Fluxx for pretty much every nerdy fandom. They’re all different and all fun!

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Fluxx

For those guys who enjoy zombies, one of the best gift ideas is Last Night on Earth from Flying Frog Productions. Heroes compete against zombies to see who wins in the end, and it’s pretty darn enjoyable even for those of us who aren’t as into zombies.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Last Night on Earth board game

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the dice-building game Quarriors. We originally tried out this game at a convention and liked it so much that we bought it. It’s great for a date night in taking only about 30 minutes per match.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Quarriors

The TV and movie buff

While gaming is a huge part of my Valentine’s life, your Valentine’s love language may be more along the lines of TV and movies. (And my husband falls into these categories, too!)

Not to worry, because come February 14th, you’ll be prepared with gifts from this category!

Star Wars fan gifts

You know I’ve got to start here, because Star Wars fans are rife in geekdom. And there are plenty of Star Wars Valentine’s gifts to go around. These are a few of our favorites!

I’m starting with this Millennium Falcon wireless charge pad. My husband uses this every night to charge his phone on his nightstand. It is pretty cute!

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Millennium Falcon charger

So Lego sets are technically toys, but they are super popular among many adult men as well. Lego offers a large selection of Star Wars options. There’s a Mandalorian N-1 Star Fighter set that includes an adorable Lego Baby Yoda. But there are also more classic options like the Imperial TIE Fighter and the at-TE Walker.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Lego Mandalorian set

Another best Valentine’s Day gift idea for Star Wars fans is this remote controlled 3D night light with multiple color options and a timer. It can look like the Death Star, Millennium Falcon, R2D2 or Baby Yoda (aka Grogu).

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: 3D Star Wars night light

To round out the best Valentine’s Day gift ideas for Star Wars fans, check out this levitating Death Star speaker. Even if he doesn’t use it to play music from, it would still look super cool sitting on his desk!

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: levitating Death Star speaker

Gifts for Star Trek fans

​When it comes to nerdy Valentine’s gifts for him, Star Trek has to make the list as well. For decades it’s been a popular TV and movie choice for sci-fi lovers. You can find the best Valentine’s gift for your Trekkie here!

There’s no spaceship more known in the Star Trek fandom than the U.S.S. Enterprise. This replica is a Bluetooth speaker and white noise machine that lights up and has sound effects. It’s quite literally a dream gift for the Trekkie you love!

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise Bluetooth speaker

Classic Star Trek fans will appreciate this punny shirt. In the older episodes of the show, it became a running joke that a character wearing a red uniform shirt who wasn’t in the main storyline was most likely to die or be injured on missions. 

It’s a perfect choice to let your guy know you understand his fandom. Just don’t fall for the other color options besides cranberry red or red that this shirt is offered in.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Star Trek red shirt

Nostalgic toys that are fandom related also make great Valentine’s Day gift options. This potato head of Spok is reminiscent of Mr. Potato Head with a Star Trek twist.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Star Trek Spok potato head toy

Or these Star Trek Little People can be fun for your Valentine to display.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Star Trek Little People

Another great Star Trek option is this control console display desk mat. If your Valentine uses a desk mat for under his keyboard and mouse, this is the perfect Valentine’s gift!

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Star Trek desk mat

Finally for Star Trek gifts, you can even find Valentine cards that are themed. Hallmark offers this pop-up greeting card that becomes a neat display piece as well.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Star Trek greeting card

Other TV shows

TV shows and movies that don’t start with the word “Star” also have quite a following among many in the geek universe. So I had to throw in a few additional options as well.

Though it had a short run on television with only 14 episodes back in 2002, the TV series “Firefly” has a huge following. The show centers around the Serenity spaceship, so this metal wall sign with its diagram would make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for any fan.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Serenity diagram wall art

Another great gift idea for fans is this T-shirt that simply says, “Shiny.” Characters on the show used this word to describe something as neat or cool. It’s an obscure reference that true fans would appreciate.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Firefly shirt that says "Shiny"

And then if your Valentine is a child of the 1980s, I can pretty much guarantee that anything related to the TV show “Knight Rider” will tickle his fancy. 

Let’s start with this Michael Knight rubber duck that was quite literally on my husband’s Christmas list this past Christmas!

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Michael Knight rubber duck

You can pair the rubber duck with this Knight Industries T-shirt to create the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your hubby.

Nerdy Valentine's Day gift ideas for him: Knight Rider shirt that says "Knight Industries"

The Christian Couple's Journal

Don’t miss the latest release from Families with Grace and Stacey A. Shannon: “The Christian Couple’s Journal.” Elevate your marriage and faith with “The Christian Couple’s Journal.” 100 days of prompts, Bible verses, date ideas and reflections to strengthen your bond. Grow together in just minutes a day!

Check out these posts for more Valentine’s Day ideas:

10 of the best Valentine’s Bible verses for your husband

An easy Valentine’s tradition your family will love

Valentine’s gift ideas for him

5 Ways laughter in marriage can improve your relationship

The couple who laughs together stays together

For 24 years now, I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart. We are together more than we are apart, especially since we both work from home and share a home office. 

In fact, I’m typing this blog post at my desk while he’s at his desk a few feet away working on his computer. (Don’t ask me to explain what he’s doing, because I don’t understand most of his work as an IT security consultant!) 

We’ve learned lots of things through our couple of decades being hitched and we’ve got all sorts of marriage advice to dole out to share how we have a healthy relationship and you can, too.

In fact, for this post, I asked my husband for some of his marriage advice or what we do well in our relationship. He gave me a few ideas like communicating well or working from home together, which I’ve written about. And then he mentioned a good sense of humor. 

Laughter in marriage Pinterest image 2

I’ve not talked about that so much, and I think I’ve been failing you guys in that regard. A strong sense of humor is a big part of a any long-term relationship.

You don’t take yourselves too seriously.

I’m human. My husband’s human. Neither of us are perfect. We have faults and make mistakes. Laughing about some of these mistakes is the best way to keep us from taking them too seriously. Obviously, some things aren’t funny no matter what. But other things really are.

Probably one of the things we laugh about most is miscommunication. When it comes to marriage advice, you must address miscommunication, because it happens!For example, a couple of weeks ago, my husband was telling me about an article he read. Some homeowners put a rude note on their door about Halloween. My husband said comments on the article said the homeowners might as well hang their own TP.

Now, typed out, you know that “TP” stands for “toilet paper.” Spoken aloud, however, as we were in the midst of folding towels and telling the kids to get ready for bed, my mind went to “teepee.” I didn’t get the funny joke. 

I thought maybe if those people were skipping Halloween, they were going straight to Thanksgiving and putting up a teepee to honor the Native Americans. But that didn’t really make sense. And who hangs a teepee anyway?

My husband noted my confusion. In just a few words, we cleared up my mistake and then laughed so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks about my error. A good laugh was the very thing my mental health needed that evening.

While this was a small miscommunication of basically no consequence on our marriage, it is just one example of times we learn to laugh together at ourselves. Had my husband rudely laughed at me and declared I was stupid, then I wouldn’t have found it funny at all. 

But we’ve both learned the importance of humor and how its a great way to build close relationships — whether in stressful times or daily life. Being able to have some playful banter and a little humor, we end up with a happy marriage as we laugh together.

You know the saying, “I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you.” That applies tenfold in romantic relationships. It ought to be found in marriage advice books.

There have also been difficult times that I haven’t found humor in my mistakes, and my husband has helped me see that humor – in a kind and gentle way. Sometimes getting that view of the flip side can make all the difference. 

It helps me not take myself too seriously. Life is too short for that!

A sense of humor gives you perspective.

Sometimes little stuff can seem like big stuff, but keeping a sense of humor about it keeps things in perspective. To keep your marriage happy, you’ve got to have that perspective when you run into tense situations.

My husband and I started our marriage learning the importance of a sense of humor. We were so excited to be married and going on a honeymoon together that we drove to our destination without thinking that cars need gas. 

Our car had a full tank when we left, and neither of us paid any mind to the gas gauge as we went.

We puttered into the visitor’s center just before our destination on gas fumes. It was a moment that could have been rife with tension. Instead, we figured out how to get to a gas station, fill up the car and keep going. 

Pretty quickly, we laughed at ourselves for not having thought to get gas. In the grand scheme of life, that extra half hour we spent dealing with a car with no gas was a teeny, tiny blip. 

It wasn’t worth being mad at each other about. And it has become one of our favorite funny stories to share with others!

Sometimes in the small moments and tough times, we need to take a minute to regroup and even laugh. If nothing earth-shattering is going on, is it really worth arguing about? Why not laugh instead of snap?

Laughter is good for the soul.

Research shows laughter really is the best medicine. I know from experience that laughter is good for the soul, and that goes for the soul of your marriage as well. 

Sometimes you need that laughter more than others. During those times, find ways to make your partner laugh. You don’t have to be funny people to read from joke books or watch funny videos together.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, my husband was fresh out of surgery for a rotator cuff repair. In fact, the day after my husband’s surgery, my children’s school announced the switch to virtual learning. I was overwhelmed to think of managing his care and their school. It was stressful.

While it got a bit easier as time went by and he was able to do more for himself, it was still a lot to deal with – especially considering we were also dealing with the stress and anxiety of a global pandemic

Though we couldn’t change the circumstances, we could take time to laugh together. So, we watched stand-up comedy together many evenings before bed and laughed.

We found “Dry Bar Comedy,” which is stand-up comedy with clean humor, and we’d laugh together before going to bed. It was a stress reliever we needed individually, but also as a couple. 

Health issues alone are a challenge to a marriage. Any time one of you has to be the caretaker, it’s a different dynamic. 

Laughing together helped us feel normal and relieved stress. The health benefits of laughter and its positive effects were a win all around. 

Laughing together brings you closer.

You might have heard the person you look at first when you’re laughing is who you like the most. The could be true, but research has shown that laughing together with someone else makes you feel closer to that person. Seriously. 

Truthfully, for this marriage advice, I didn’t know there was scientific evidence to back it up until I was researching for this blog post after I wrote this subheading. But I knew it to be true from my relationship with my husband.

We do a variety of things that make me feel closer to him and laughing together is one of them. At any given time, we are juggling various responsibilities and stressors. Life can bog us down. 

But when we laugh together even in the midst of challenging times, I feel closer to him. It doesn’t even have to be humor related to what we’re dealing with (though we’ve done that, too). It just is spending time together and realizing that life can get hard and crazy but together we can still have fun.

And nobody tickles my funny bone or truly understands my humor like my husband does. The man knows good puns and dad jokes crack me up. He knows that I laugh way too much at talking animal videos

Sometimes we need laughter to break tension, relieve stress and remind us that we are connected. Laughter can be such good medicine for having a higher-quality relationship.

You create inside jokes.

Nothing feels worse than being left out of an inside joke with other people. But nothing feels better than being part of an inside joke with someone else. 

While it’s fun to smile or laugh together at an inside joke, it works well for your marriage because it makes you feel connected. It reminds you that you have a whole history with this person — in a good way with positive emotions.

My husband and I have a few inside jokes that have happened through the years. They evolve naturally. 

One of perhaps the oddest ones happened years ago before we even had children (and our oldest is 14!). We were walking into Target behind a couple of high schoolers. We overheard part of their conversation that went like this:

Teen 1: I wish I was like Nellie.
Teen 2: I wish I was Nellie.
(And then here comes the kicker.)
Teen 1: I wish my name was Nellie.

I’d guess you aren’t riotously laughing at that exchange right now, but the seriousness of their discussion and that the ultimate wish was to just have a different name made us laugh. We have brought that up at random times. 

That’s how the best inside jokes are. They aren’t such funny things to someone who wasn’t there at the time, but they are to you. 

In your marriage, it’s the small stuff like this that brings you closer together, makes you feel good and helps you remember why you love this person.

The next time you have a date night, plan to watch funny movies or do fun things. Laughing together really is a powerful tool healthy couples use regularly!

10 of the best Valentine Bible verses for your husband

Valentine’s verses for your husband complete with gift ideas to inspire you this Valentine’s Day

Of all the things you could share with your husband this Valentine’s Day, one of the most powerful is Bible verses. We often overlook or forget about the importance of God’s Word when it comes to romance.

But, the Bible is filled with words of love both for God and for us to love each other.

I’ve spent literally decades now as my husband’s Valentine. And I have to admit that sometimes coming up with a Valentine’s Day gift idea or a Valentine’s Day card can be challenging. 

While I’m a writer by trade, I’m certainly not a poet. I can write long messages to my husband about him being the love of my life and all sorts of sweet sentiments.

But, I am better at writing a love letter than writing romantic poems.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day Bible verses for your husband, quite a few can inspire you in writing your own Valentine message to your true love. 

I’ve made a list of 10 Bible verses about love and am also including a gift idea that pairs well with each one to inspire you. They can help you write a perfect Valentine’s Day card, come up with a great gift and strengthen your marriage through God’s love.

How to share Valentine Bible verses with your husband

Keeping it real here, I can’t imagine on February 14th my husband would be wooed by me just reading him some Bible verses for his Valentine’s gift. But, I do want to have special time with him to celebrate both our bond of love and the love of God.

Use these Valentine verses for your husband to inspire you. Start with your greeting card. Whether you guys exchange store-bought or homemade cards, you can incorporate a Bible verse into what you’re writing.

As a married couple, what you write in your card may mean even more to your husband than anything else. You’ve been through a lot together!

So don’t think of these verses as sitting down for a Valentine’s Bible study with your husband. Instead, use them for inspiration and a jumping off point to incorporate Jesus Christ into your celebration of love. 

Ephesians 4:2-3

Ephesians 4:2-3

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)

Marriage requires us to put our spouse first. One of the best ways to do that is by remaining humble. Humbleness means placing your husband before yourself and vice versa.

This passage also reminds us to be gentle and patient with one another to live in peace through the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we really do need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us live in peace with one another, because we see each other at our worst.

My husband is such a good man. I could use this verse to write about all the ways I see him placing me first, being gentle with me and being patient with me. I’d bet you can do the same with your husband.

Gift idea
A great way to celebrate this verse is by working together in unity. Find a fun puzzle or other cooperative game to do together. Even better, this Valentine’s Day gift will result in the two of you getting to spend quality time together.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

​1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

These verses are often read at weddings because they talk about all the characteristics of love. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to read through this love passage once again.

Reading through these verses together, you could stop and share with your husband the ways you’ve seen him be patient, kind, humble, honorable, charitable and slow to anger. It’s a perfect way to show him you’re paying attention to who he is and what a special man of God he is.

Gift idea:
Since these verses remind us of the power of enduring love, a Valentine’s gift made from a long-lasting material is a great idea. Find a wooden or glass picture frame and include photos of good times you’ve had together that reflect your love story. If you can, have the frame personalized.

Colossians 3:14

Colossians 3:14

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Colossians 3:14 (NIV)

Love binds us together in unity, and there is no greater goal for a marriage than to be bound together. Love is the foundation of everything.

This verse could be your inspiration to share how your husband makes you a better person. Or use it to thank him for the gift of love he gives you daily. 

Gift idea
Celebrate the unity of your eternal love with matching keychains to remind you both of the special place you hold in each other’s lives each time you use it.

1 Peter 4:8

1 Peter 4:8

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

As husband and wife you have a deep love for one another. I love this verse for its reminder to us to give each other grace.

While my love doesn’t cover my husband’s imperfections and sins, it does allow me to focus on the good things in our relationship. He may not be the perfect husband, but he is the perfect husband for me.

Use this verse as inspiration to share why your husband is the best husband and how his love has made a difference in your life.

Gift idea
We can take some literal inspiration from this verse about covering. A personalized throw or blanket with photos of the two of you would work well. And the two of you can snuggle up together beneath it!

1 Peter 4:8

Song of Solomon 8:7

“Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.”

Song of Solomon 8:7 (NIV)

This Bible verse is really more of a short love poem. It describes romantic love as being the highest value of anything. What a great reminder for your special day!

In your Valentine’s Day celebration, this is a great verse to use and talk about the power of your love. Share what challenges you’ve conquered together and your appreciation for having your husband by your side.

Early on in marriage, my husband and I came up with a saying that’s stuck: “I’d rather go through hard times with you than good times without you.”

Gift idea
Frame a map that highlights significant locations in your love story. Consider adding in places like where you shared your first kiss, where he proposed, where you got married and more. This map can serve as a reminder for the unquenchable nature of your love.

Matthew 19:6

Matthew 19:6

“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Matthew 19:6 (NIV)

Often shared at weddings, this is another great Valentine’s verse for your husband. It’s a reminder that your love will continue until the end of time. 

​These words remind us to make our marriages a priority so nothing can separate us from our husbands.

Share this verse along with how you feel about knowing you and your husband have your whole life together.

Gift idea
A great gift idea to go along with this verse is a customized puzzle with a photo of the two of you. Not only will you get to work together as you solve the puzzle, but you’ll also be quite literally joining the two of you together into one.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact, you are doing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

Getting to cheer each other on is one of the best things about marriage. I am my husband’s biggest cheerleader, and he is mine.

As my best friend, my husband knows the ins and outs of what I’m struggling with and is able to encourage me. He has kept me going many times when I felt like I couldn’t make it.

Use this verse to share with your husband examples of those times he’s encouraged you and what it’s meant to you. 

Gift idea
Find a set of matching mugs, cups or tumblers with an encouraging quote or words on them. Even something as simple as the word “Blessed” can lift you up when you are struggling. Then set some times to sit together, sipping from your cups and enjoying each other’s company — no special occasion needed! Because, really, it’s the small things and moments that often mean the most and strengthen our relationships.

Hebrews 10:24

Hebrews 10:24

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

​What a great reminder that we need to constantly be looking for ways to love on each other. Sometimes a small good deed can make a huge impact.

This verse is great inspiration to thank your husband for the good deeds he does for you. Maybe they’re small or large or a mix of both. Either way, they show his love for you.

Challenge yourself to continue to find ways to love on your husband in small ways as an ongoing Valentine’s gift.

Gift idea
A great way to connect with your husband and continue to encourage each other in your relationship is by truly connecting. Give him some Christian couple conversation starter cards you can go through together. Be sure to schedule time outside of Valentine’s Day to do answer questions as well so you remain even more connected.

James 1:19

James 1:19

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”

James 1:19 (NIV)

Of all the Valentine’s Bible verses for your husband, this one may sound the most out of place. So, let me explain.

Don’t use this verse as a passive-aggressive way to tell your husband not to be short-tempered. Instead, use it as a reminder of how important communication is in relationships. 

Before being slow to anger, we first need to listen. Truly listening to each other is important in marriage.

​More than anyone else in my life, my husband is my sounding board. He’s a great listener, and this verse is a great time to share appreciation for that.

If your dear husband is also like mine and cool and even-tempered, this would also be a great time to share how much you appreciate that characteristic.

Gift idea
A couple’s journal would be a great gift to go along with this verse. Sometimes we are better able to communicate through writing than speaking. Find a prompted couple’s journal to keep the conversation flowing between the two of you.

Romans 15:5-6

Romans 15:5-6

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Romans 15:5-6 (NIV)

In a marriage, the relationship should be three-way between the husband, wife and God. I want my own life to glorify God personally, but I also want my relationship with my husband to glorify God. And that’s what these verses remind me of.

​I love seeing my husband at work for God, but I don’t necessarily tell him that nearly as often as I think it. Using these verses for your husband gives you (and me!) a chance to praise our husbands for the work of God they do.

Gift idea
One way to draw closer to each other and God as a couple as well as glorify God is by ministering together. For a unique Valentine’s Day gift idea, schedule a time for the two of you to volunteer together in your church or a community organization. Giving back is always a good feeling; giving back together is an even better feeling!

Celebrating Valentine’s Day in a Christian marriage

One of the greatest things about celebrating Valentine’s Day in a Christian marriage is we get to go even deeper and delve into the spiritual side. Basing your Valentine’s Day gift or card on Bible verses is a great way to live in that greater love to which we are called.

​Doing this also reminds of a lesson I learned long ago: the best gifts are the ones money can’t buy. No matter what you decide to do for Valentine’s Day this year with your husband, embrace it for what it is.

If you’re in the phase of life where Valentine’s Day is a full family affair because you have young children, embrace it. But find time after they’re tucked into bed to connect with your husband.

Or if you’re in the phase of life where you meet yourself coming and going with kids’ schedules and have to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a whole different day, embrace it. Just getting time to connect is the best gift of all no matter when it happens!

Find more great resources for Christian marriages:

Christian marriage advice for a grace-filled relationship

55 Christian conversation starters for couples

8 Prayers for your husband

How to have a happy married life in the midst of hard times

Couple goals every Christian marriage needs

Christian marriage advice for a grace-filled relationship

10 Tips for having a grace-filled marriage

I’m not a graceful person. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I watched in awe as middle schoolers jumped hurdles during a track meet. I trip over my own two feet and can’t imagine I’d fare well trying to run and jump over a hurdle. I have given up hope on being graceful. 

But I continue to strive to be a grace-filled person. That affects my relationship with myself, my children and my husband. I want to have a grace-filled family life and a grace-filled marriage. I want my husband and me to be an example to our children as we live out God’s grace to each other daily in good times and in bad.

After just over 22 years of marriage, my husband and I have learned a lot about having a happy marriage. We are not at all perfect. We’ve had our fair share of mess-ups, and we still do. But, we have grown and changed together through the years. 

God has worked in our lives and in our relationship to bring us closer together and help us have a strong marriage. He has given us grace so freely that we work to give it to each other as well. I’ve found that often little things can make the biggest difference.

Why grace is important for a Godly marriage

As a married couple, you and your spouse are connected in ways that you aren’t with anyone else. You see each other at your best and worst. In my marriage, my own husband has seen me at both my highest of highs and lowest of lows.

He understands me more than any other human being. As such, some of the best marriage advice we’ve discovered is to give each other grace. Grace is not getting what you deserve. 

So on the bad days when I snap at my husband because I’m overwhelmed, he doesn’t start an argument. He sees my struggle and helps me through it. We have a mutual respect for one another and our relationship and don’t take advantage of this grace.

From a Christian perspective, I understand grace in what God has done for me that is beyond what I deserve. Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of grace given to us. In my own life and desire to be more like Him, I want to extend grace when my husband most needs it.

The most important things Christian couples can do for a successful marriage

With that in mind, I’ve put together 10 tips to have a good marriage that is grace-filled based on my personal experience. This is Christian marriage advice you can implement and start growing your own relationship right away.

In the more than two decades I’ve been a wife, these are tips that help my own marriage to remain strong.

1. Ban negative talk.

This doesn’t mean you pretend everything is great when it isn’t. Instead this means, banning any talk that is harmful to your spouse. Name-calling, belittling or angry outbursts aren’t conducive to building a strong marriage. In fact, a grace-filled marriage includes letting go of some of our own selfish desires like revenge and hurt!

Neither my husband nor I are yellers. We haven’t struggled with calling each other names either. But we have struggled with negative talk in other ways. Early on in our marriage, we realized that even if we were with friends or family who were joking about shortcomings of our spouse, it hurt the other for us to join in. In fact, we learned to shut it down nicely and change the subject.

We have also dealt with passive-aggressiveness. We make it a point to say what we mean. For example, if I’m irritated with my husband for not helping with something, instead of making snide comments or slamming kitchen cabinets as I work, I am direct with him.  

Negative talk hurts your relationship and each other. It can make you feel bad about yourself or your spouse (or both!). None of that is good for your relationship.

2. Look at each other’s point-of-view.

Sometimes we only think about looking at our spouse’s point-of-view when we’re having a disagreement and trying to compromise. However, the more we often we look at his point-of-view, the more likely we are to have a happy marriage. 

I’ve learned through my own marriage that the more I can see my husband’s side of things, the fewer hard feelings I have and the less angry I feel. I understand him more than am irritated by him.

For example, my husband and I are very different when our vehicle is low on gas. He doesn’t mind driving until there is only a few miles’ worth left in the tank. I start getting antsy around 1/4 tank of gas. Once the light comes on, I MUST fill up right away! 

A couple of years ago, this was an issue when I had to borrow my husband’s car. I stopped myself from getting irritated with him as I realized he hadn’t expected me to drive it and the gas light being on wasn’t worrisome to him. He wasn’t intentionally making my life difficult. In other words, I gave him grace for being who he is.

I didn’t run out of gas and had time to fill up, so it wasn’t even a big deal. We do things in different ways, and that’s OK. Stopping ourselves and thinking about where our spouses are coming from allows us to have more grace for them.

Christian marriage advice Pinterest image 4

3. Find ways to connect with each other.

In the busyness of life, it’s easy to overlook spending time with our spouses. My husband and I share a home office, and we still don’t get to connect without being intentional. We do different work and are often in our own worlds as we go through the day. 

Being intentional about connecting with your spouse is important. Find time to talk after the kids go to bed. Schedule a lunch out once a month. Figure out a hobby you can do together. (My husband and I enjoy gaming together!) 

Just spending quality time together and doing something you enjoy reminds you and your husband why you fell in love in the first place. Keeping your relationship first priority — after your relationship with God — will keep your marriage strong.

And feeling connected to our spouse helps us see the best things about them. As a result, we end up naturally giving them more grace as a result.

4. Laugh with each other.

Laughing together is a great way to help make sure you have a grace-filled marriage. We bond with other people through laughter. Just having fun together is good for any relationship and makes it easier to feel more like giving grace to each other.

Find ways and reasons to laugh together. We watch funny shows or movies. Sometimes we even laugh ironically together at the craziness of life going on around us. We definitely laugh with our children as well. And, of course, laugh together not at each other in a harmful way.

One of the good things about being married to your best friend is that he probably knows your sense of humor well. My husband makes me laugh more than anyone else. He knows I love a good, punny dad joke above all others!

5. Listen to each other.

In order to understand someone else, we have to listen to them. As the old saying goes, God gave you two ears and only one mouth for a reason. This is true in marriage as well. Listening is a big part of communication, and we all want to have good communication in our marriages

We can’t possible understand where our spouse is coming from or how they’re feeling without listening to what they are saying. Listening to our husbands makes it easier to give them grace when they’re cranky after a really bad day at work. 

In the same way, by listening to us, our own husbands can give us grace when we snap at them after being up half the night with the kids.

Of course we should always treat our spouses well, but we are also all human and sometimes we need grace. In order to give that grace to our spouses, we must listen to what they tell us.

6. Give each other the benefit of the doubt.

Another key to having a grace-filled marriage is to give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. For example, when they do something that causes extra work on you, don’t assume they’ve done it on purpose. 

Making that attitude shift really is helpful. It can move you from thinking your spouse left the glob of toothpaste in the sink because he doesn’t care how hard you have to work to clean it to realizing he was in a hurry and just didn’t see it himself. 

In a healthy marriage, you do well to give each other the benefit of the doubt and give grace for shortcomings. Chances are super high your spouse isn’t really trying to irk you or make your life more difficult!

We also have to be careful to avoid setting unrealistic expectations. Doing so will only cause marriage problems. We can more easily give our husbands the benefit of the doubt when we haven’t expected more from them than they can possibly do

7. Connect with God together and individually.

From the beginning of our relationship, back when my husband and I were very young high school sweethearts, we have been honest about our faith and relationship with God. In fact, it’s something that drew the two of us together even then.

Now, so many years later, our faith is still something that draws us together. Having time with God together is important. That can look different for different couples, but find a way to connect with God together. 

Maybe you pray together at bedtime or maybe you read a devotion book together. Perhaps you simply go to a local church together or participate in Bible studies together. 

You also need your own time with God to connect with Him. I get strength outside of myself to give my husband grace from God. Each morning I pray to be the wife my husband needs that day in effort to have a Biblical marriage. 

I want to see my husband like God sees him as much as possible. Because God made this really awesome guy whose insights on faith and God often blow me away. When I see him in that light, it makes giving him grace all that much easier and leads to a more grace-filled marriage.

8. Talk about problems instead of ignoring them.

Confronting someone goes against my nature. If you go by Myers-Briggs personality types, I’m an INFJ, and none of us like confrontation. I don’t like conflict and am inclined to just ignore it. 

But I’ve learned when I try ignoring a problem, it not only doesn’t go away but usually gets bigger and bigger. This is true in my marriage as well.

While we don’t want or need to nitpick our husbands’ every behavior, we do need to talk with them when there’s an issue to resolve. When problems are ignored and “shoved under the rug,” then they grow and fester. 

We end up taking those feelings out on our spouses in other ways like getting short with them and ending up with quite the opposite of a grace-filled marriage.

9. Ask your spouse for help.

I’m a happier person and wife who is more inclined to give grace to her family when she’s not overworked and exhausted. My husband is the same way. So sometimes that means we ask each other for help. Asking for help doesn’t mean you are somehow failing. It just means you’re human!

If you need another reason to ask for help, then ask for help because it will strength your marriage! And don’t be afraid to kindly ask for help with things you think your spouse ought to know need done anyway. Go back to tip number 6 and recognize that maybe your spouse truly didn’t notice the sink full of dishes, the dryer of clothes to be folded or the bathroom trashcan overflowing. Instead of doing all the tasks in a huff, ask for help.

One of the biggest problems couples encounter is forgetting that our spouses truly can’t read our minds. One of the best ways to get the assistance you need — even when it may seem obvious to you — is to ask for it.

Christian marriage advice Pinterest image 2

10. Be each other’s biggest support.

One of the most harmful things in married life is dwelling on the negative attributes of your spouse. Once you start doing that and grousing in your head and/or to others about them constantly, then you start seeing only the negative in your spouse. It can be hard to act gracefully toward them.

Instead, focus on their positive attributes and be their biggest cheerleader. I don’t think there’s anything with technology my husband can’t do or figure out. He’s so incredibly great at it. 

He doesn’t think there are any words I don’t know how to spell. When I’m having a moment of being hard on myself — something I excel at — he cheers me on and reminds me of the things I’m good at and doing right. 

Being focused on the positive attributes of your spouse allows a lot more room for you to give them grace. You won’t be thinking about all the ways they come up short, but instead you’ll be thinking about all the things they’re awesome at. In turn, that will make it even easier to give them grace during a difficult moment.

The best Christian advice for marriage

At the end of the day, the best way to create a strong Christian marriage is by truly loving your spouse. My husband is the love of my life and very best friend. I want to honor and cherish that relationship always.

The good news is with some small actions, you can make a lasting impact to create a stronger marriage and be more content in your relationship.

Looking for date night ideas? Check out these resources from Families with Grace: 

55 Conversation starters for Couples Etsy image

Check out these other great articles full of Christian marriage advice!

8 Prayers for your husband

How to have a happy married life in the midst of hard times

Couple goals every Christian marriage needs

55 Christian conversation starters for couples

Reignite romance and foster deeper connections

Talking with your husband is important for a good Christian marriage, but the busyness of everyday life can make meaningful conversations fall by the wayside. We get caught up in talking about household duties, children activities, work struggles and schedules. Conversation starters for couples can make it easier.

No matter how long you’ve been married, there are always ways to improve communication in your marriage. This list of Christian conversation topics for couples comes in handy for date night, marriage check-ins or even just regular weeknights. Because figuring out ways to connect with your spouse while raising children is a challenge!

Looking for conversation starters for your entire family? Check out this list of 50 conversation starters for your family!

30 General conversation starters for couples

While you and your spouse know each other well, you can still learn more about one another. These questions will deepen your bond and grow your relationship.

55 Christian conversation starters for couples Pinterest image 1

Spiritual connection

  1. How has your faith grown or changed since we got married?
  2. What spiritual practices or disciplines have most impacted your life?
  3. What Bible verse or story has been meaningful to you recently? Why?
  4. How can we better support each other’s spiritual growth?
  5. Have you had any experiences where you felt God’s presence or guidance in our marriage?
  6. Are there any areas in our marriage where we could invite God’s wisdom and guidance more intentionally?

Personal growth

  1. What are some goals or dreams you have for yourself that you haven’t shared with me, yet?
  2. Is there a new skill or hobby you’ve been interested in pursuing?
  3. How have your priorities or values evolved over the years?
  4. Are there any books, podcasts or resources that have inspired you recently?
  5. Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn or experience but haven’t had the chance to yet?
  6. How can we support each other’s personal growth and self-care?

Memories and reflections

  1. What are some of your favorite memories from our early years of marriage?
  2. What milestone or accomplishment that from our marriage make you most proud?
  3. Which challenges or struggles are you proud we’ve overcome? Why?
  4. How do you think we’ve grown as a couple since we first got married?
  5. Is there a specific moment or event in our marriage that you think changed us for the better?
  6. What lessons from our past experiences can help shape our future?

Family and relationships

  1. How do you think our marriage has impacted our relationship with our extended families?
  2. Are there any new traditions or rituals we could establish to strengthen our bond as a family?
  3. How do you envision our relationship evolving as our children grow older?
  4. Is there something you’d like to do together as a couple that we haven’t done before?
  5. How can we be more intentional about spending quality time together, just the two of us?
  6. Are there any unresolved issues or challenges within our family or relationships that we need to address?

Dreams and goals

  1. Where do you see us in the next five years? What goals or dreams do you have for our future?
  2. Are there any adventures or trips you’ve always wanted to take together?
  3. In what ways can I help you achieve the dreams and goals you have for yourself?
  4. How can we align our individual goals and dreams to create a shared vision for our future?
  5. Is there a particular cause or social issue you’re passionate about and would like us to get involved in?
  6. How can we support each other in pursuing our dreams and goals while maintaining a strong marriage?

25 Deep conversation starters for couples

Getting into even deeper conversations can be hard in the midst of everyday life. These questions will help you delve deeper and connect with one another even more. And whether you’ve been married 25 years or 25 months, you’ll learn more about your spouse!

Identity and purpose

  1. How would you describe your truest self, beyond the roles and labels society assigns to you?
  2. What do you believe is your purpose in life, and how does it align with our marriage?
  3. Are there any fears or insecurities you would like to overcome?
  4. How can we support each other in living out our passions and pursuing meaningful work?
  5. Have you ever experienced a moment of profound clarity or revelation about your purpose?

Vulnerability and emotional intimacy

  1. Is there a specific area of our marriage where you would like to deepen our emotional connection?
  2. What are some of your deepest fears or worries, and how can I best support you in facing them?
  3. Are there any unresolved hurts or wounds from the past that still affect you today?
  4. How can we create a safe space for each other to express our true feelings without judgment?
  5. What is one thing you wish I understood better about your emotional needs?

Faith and doubt

  1. Are there any aspects of your faith or religious beliefs that you’ve been questioning or struggling with lately?
  2. How do you find solace or maintain hope in times of doubt or uncertainty?
  3. What is one of your defining moments in your faith walk?
  4. What is something you need prayer for right now? (Take time to pray together!)
  5. In what ways you are struggling to connect with God right now? How can I help you with that?

Legacy and impact

  1. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind for our children future generations?
  2. How do you envision our marriage making a positive impact on the world around us?
  3. Are there any specific values or principles you want to instill in our children or future generations?
  4. How can we use our resources, time and talents to serve others and make a difference?
  5. Is there a particular cause or social issue that you feel called to address as a couple?

Intimacy and connection

  1. In what ways can we deepen our physical and emotional intimacy in our marriage?
  2. Are there any unspoken desires or fantasies that you’d like to share with me?
  3. How can we make our time together more meaningful and intentional?
  4. What are some ways we can create a stronger sense of unity and teamwork in our relationship?
  5. How can we continue to grow and evolve as a couple while maintaining our individuality?

Connecting as a couple

Using conversation starters for couples doesn’t mean you and your spouse are in trouble or have nothing to talk about. Instead, they deepen your connection and teach you more about one another even in the busyness of daily life.

After all, truly talking and listening to one another makes a good marriage great! And we all want that!

Download all 55 Christian conversation starters for couples!

Head over to the Families with Grace Etsy store to find these conversation starters on adorable cards you can print and use on date night, your anniversary or any time!

An image showing Christian conversation starter cards for married couples that are for sale on Etsy.

Check out these other related articles as well!

50 conversation starters for families

Free summer date ideas for parents

Couple goals every Christian marriage needs

What a grace-filled marriage looks like

How to have a happy married life in the midst of hard times

Real marriage advice: Stop casting blame

8 Prayers for your husband

Powerful prayers for your husband and marriage

Of all the things we can do as Christian wives, praying for our husbands is one of the most important. I see my husband’s challenges and struggles more than anyone else in the world — as it should be. Because of that, I can pray specific prayers for my husband and perhaps even prayers he doesn’t think to pray for himself.

Powerful Prayers for Your Husband Pinterest image 1

Turning to Scripture can help us know what to pray for our husbands. The Bible reassures us that we can know God hears what we ask of Him (1 John 5:15). And that makes it all the more important to make sure you pray for your husband.

You can pray Scripture prayers for husband to meet his needs at work and in your marriage while also asking for protection and blessings for him.

What the Bible says about prayer

Even before we get into the prayers for your husband, I would be remiss if I didn’t start with the Bible. In the verses about prayer I looked up before writing this post, some verses in Jeremiah stuck out to me. Many Christians are familiar with Jeremiah 29:11, which says in the NIV, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

I love God’s promise to secure our futures as His children. I love it even more to know He’ll secure the future of my own children. But, the two verses that follow this one really jumped out to me.

 “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV)

God doesn’t just have a plan for your husband’s future, and He also listens to us and makes Himself available to us when we seek Him. It’s with that in mind that I want to enter into this period of prayers for our husband.

Prayers for your husband at work

No matter what kind of work your husband does, he needs prayer for it. Chances are good he spends more awake time at work than anywhere else. And work is probably a stressor of some sort to him as well. Praying for your husband at work is important.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” – Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

Father, I ask that you be with my husband as he is working. Help him to have a good attitude like he is working for you and not for his boss. Look out for him at work. Give his wisdom and discernment in his work. Protect him from those who don’t intend good for him at work and are looking to block his path. Remind my husband of your faithfulness and presence at his work and everywhere. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” – Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

Lord, I commit my husband’s work and plans to you. Establish his plans. Guide and direct him in the decisions he makes about work. Bless the work of his hands, Lord, to provide for our family and to glorify you. Give him strength to maintain his integrity in all that he does. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Prayers for your husband’s protection

Of all the things I pray for my husband about, his protection is probably what I pray for the most. In my struggles with anxiety, I can imagine all sorts of harmful things befalling him. A few years ago, I went through a very hard time where I assumed every time my husband left the house, that would be the last time I’d see him.

Praying for your husband’s protection not only protects him but also gives you peace of mind. It helps you remember that you can let go and trust that God is always with your husband.

“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NIV)

Father, I ask that you remain faithful in watching over my husband. Strengthen and protect him from the evil one. Give him the ability to resist temptation that he faces. Keep him safe from the roadblocks Satan puts in his way. Put a hedge of protection around him to keep him safe in every way. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

Lord, give my husband strength and courage. Remind him always of your presence and that you won’t leave him. Protect him from struggles both in the world and in his own mind. Surround him with your peace, love and protection. Father just continue to watch over and direct him, guide and protect him. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Prayers for your husband and marriage

Whether you’ve been married 20 years or 20 days, praying for your marriage is important. Having a married relationship is challenging because we have to learn to think of the other person’s needs and wants. And, quite frankly, our own needs and wants can often seem more important!

Bringing your husband and marriage to God in prayer can help you stay focused on the blessing of your relationship and grow stronger in your marriage.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10 (NIV)

Father, thank you for the blessing of my husband. Help us to stay devoted to one another every day. Give us the strength to put each other before ourselves. Continue to ignite and grow in us the love we have for one another. Strengthen our bond and relationship so that it remains strong. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)

Lord, thank you for putting my husband and me together. Help us to not be overpowered and be able to stand in defense together against the challenges that come our way. Remind us that you are with us in our marriage keeping our bond strong. Fortify us against attacks on our relationship and happiness. Sustain us as we go through challenges and help us to always remain on each other’s side through everything. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Blessing prayer for your husband

We might thank God for His blessings, but we might also be less inclined to ask for His blessings. Asking God to bless your husband is not only fine, but it’s Biblically sound.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

This doesn’t mean that everything we ask for will be given to us. But what we ask for in accordance with the will of God will be given to us. Many Bible verses encourage us to seek God and ask of Him.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38 (NIV)

Father, I ask that you bless my husband. Help him to have a giving heart and spirit so that you will give to him abundantly in return. Please give him more blessings than he even expects or think to ask for. Keep him motivated to give to you and those in need around us. Return his blessings to him in full and then some. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” – Number 6:24-26 (NIV)

Lord, bless my husband. Keep him in every way. Father, shine your face on my husband and be gracious to him. Turn your face toward him and give him peace. Hold him close and bless him physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. May his love and joy overflow and may he be filled with the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Scripture prayers for your husband

These eight prayers are a great way to get started and spark ideas about prayers for your husbands. You can make declarations over your husband and pray any Scripture that speaks to you for him. Ask God to guide you to the right verses to pray for your husband, and follow His guidance.

While you don’t have to always pray Scripture prayers, there is power in them. These prayers also get us into God’s Word more and help us to focus our prayers and requests for Him.

Embrace the power of prayer in your marriage journey. Remember, you have a direct line to the One who created your husband, and He longs to hear your heart’s desires for him. So, whether you’re praying for his work, protection, blessings or your marriage, don’t hesitate to bring it all before the Lord.

These eight Scripture prayers are just a starting point, so feel free to personalize them and make them your own. Trust in God’s faithfulness and watch as He works wonders in your husband’s life and in your marriage. Keep praying, keep believing and keep loving fiercely.

Find more prayers:

Prayers for your children, part 1

Prayers for your children, part 2

Prayers for moms

Prayers for graduates

How to have a happy married life in the midst of hard times

10 ways to keep your marriage strong when life gets hard

When my husband and I got married back in 1999, we were young at 20 and 22 and excited for the life ahead of us. We looked forward to years of having a happy married life. We didn’t, however, think about the challenges of life.

You never know the hard times that are coming. Hard times usually arrive without much warning and — bam! — your life changes. In the more than two decades we’ve been married, we’ve been through a lot of challenges in life from chronic health issues to death to job loss and more.

Through all of our struggles, we’ve learned how to continue having a happy married life in spite of the problems we face. Life certainly isn’t always easy, but my husband and I have found our way through so many challenges.

Maintain a team mentality.

We weren’t far into our marriage when we learned that maintaining a teamwork mentality is important for having a happy married life. (In fact, we’ve continued the teamwork mentality in family life with our kiddos now.) When hard times come, we need to be more united than ever.

Life stressors can either drive a wedge in your relationship or draw you closer to each other. Having a team mentality leads to a closer relationship. It becomes you and your spouse against the world, so to speak. And it also helps you avoid casting blame. Whether the difficult situation is the result of something one of you did, the reality is, you still have to navigate through the situation together. Approaching that as a team is vital. Our motto is: “I’d rather go through hard times with you than good times without you.”

Find ways to laugh together.

While it’s always important to keep a sense of humor in marriage, you need to even when life is difficult. My husband can make me laugh more than anyone else in the world. There are definitely times laughter isn’t appropriate, but when you get a chance to laugh together take it. You can even utilize gallows humor.

My husband and I have shared chuckles in hospital rooms. We’ve joked as one of us is recovery from an injury or surgery. Sometimes just a bit of humor can help you bond together even as you face challenges.

Show grace to each other.

You know I’ve got to include grace. Part of a happy married life means having a grace-filled marriage. When you’re going through something difficult, you need even more grace than usual. Some situations have impacted my husband and me equally. But many situations impact one of us more. When that happens, then the person most impacted needs the most grace.

In our humanness, we have moments of being jerks. We don’t always use the right words or have the patience we need when we are stressed. While that’s definitely something to continue working on (and we have both gotten much better at), it’s also something that deserves grace sometimes. I know when my husband is struggling that he may get shorter with me than usual. And vice versa. Instead of lashing back at each other, we give grace.

Use compassion just like when your spouse is ill.

When my husband is ill, I have extra compassion for him. He does the same for me. So, if one of you is going through a difficult time, then the other can treat them in much the same way as if they are physically ill. Give them a pass or way out on family activities if needed. Do some of their chores for them. Make their favorite food.

We most need to be cared for when our hearts our broken. Feeling love and care through small acts of service make a hard time just a bit easier for our spouse.

Pray together and/or separately.

During challenging times, you probably are already praying about the situation itself. But be sure to also pray for your spouse and yourself. Ask God to give you both strength, wisdom, peace, compassion, patience and grace as you navigate the situation. Many times I have prayed and asked God to help me be the wife my husband needs in the midst of a difficult moment. You can try a prayer like this:

Heavenly Father, I ask that You continue to be with us as we deal with this challenge. Lord, draw us closer to one another. Give us grace and compassion for each other. Show us what Your will is for us as we go through this. Open and close the right doors, according to Your will. Father, wrap us in Your arms to give us peace and comfort as we deal with this. Thank You that we are able to face this together. Thank You for never leaving us and always remaining faithful. Continue to cover us with your protection, love and grace. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Know when to just listen.

Sometimes we just need to vent or talk through something without getting advice. Usually you can tell when your spouse is feeling this way, but it’s also OK to communicate that. I have started conversations with my husband like this: “I don’t want advice. I just need to talk about this.”

Of course, sometimes there aren’t solutions to give. Sometimes there’s just broken hearts that need to be heard. Just listening can be the greatest gift we can give our spouse when they’re going through a difficult time.

Distract yourselves.

We need breaks from hard times. Unfortunately we can’t wave a magic wand and make everything disappear for a few hours or days. But, we can find ways to distract ourselves. One of the things my husband and I do together is watch a movie. For a couple of hours, we are immersed in another world.

In fact, a few years ago on the day he got down-sized from his job, we went to a movie. We still had problems waiting for us after the movie, but for two hours we were able to forget about what was happening. Our brains and hearts need that!

We also enjoy playing games together. When we’re gaming, we’re focusing on the game nothing else, which is refreshing.

Communicate with each other.

Communication is certainly the key to a happy married life, and this is even more true when you’re going through a hard time together. My husband is an awesome guy who can do many things, but one thing he can’t do is read my mind. So, unless I share what I’m thinking, needing or struggling with, he’s not going to really know.

A few years ago, for instance, we had to put our beloved dog, Buckles, to sleep quite suddenly thanks to aggressive cancer. I remember a couple of nights later that my husband asked what I most needed that evening. Was it OK for him to play a video game or did I need him to just sit with me? He was sincere in asking, and I was sincere in answering. We had to work together to move on, and communicating made that much easier.

Go to church together.

Keeping God in the midst of your hard time is important. Going to church together is a great way to do that. Not only do you get spiritually fed, but you get to do so together. In fact, it can even serve as a distraction from reality for a little bit. Don’t stop attending church when life gets hard. That’s when you need to be there most.

So many times I’ve gone when I didn’t feel like it and then felt the sermon was just for me. My husband and I have talked after church and shared how we were impacted, which can be in different ways. God has used church to encourage and strengthen us when we are going through a struggle.

Show kindness in small ways.

Small acts of kindness are some of my favorites. They can be the most impactful. Buy your spouse their favorite candy bar. Fill up their car with gas so they won’t have to deal with it in the morning. Take their dishes to the sink. Give them a hug at a random time. Send a text in the middle of a workday just to say “I love you and am praying for you.”

One of the most memorable small act of kindness my husband has done for me is leaving a note on our son’s changing table when our son was a newborn. I was having a really hard time, because our baby boy didn’t sleep at night. Our daughter was 3 and needed me during the day. I told my husband about a particularly rough night and how I had a breakdown while he was asleep. That night, I found a note he left for me telling me to wake him up, and he would help any time. (He had a 60-mile commute at the time, so I tried to avoid waking him unless necessary.) He reminded me that I wasn’t in this alone. I felt seen, heard, understood and supported with just the one simple note.

Hard times are going to come regardless. We can choose to go through them together and grow stronger in our relationship as we come out on the other side. Because even in the midst of strife and challenges, we can still have a happy married life. And then will be the difficult times just a bit more bearable.

Couple goals every Christian marriage needs

12 relationship goals to set with your spouse

For a while, I often saw #CoupleGoals on various photos of couples on social media. Usually these were couples being lovey-dovey and usually I was doubtful how authentic they were. But these aren’t the kind of couple goals that we need in Christian marriages. We need to focus on our own relationship and not worry about anyone else’s.

My husband and I started off our marriage on a different path from many other couples from the very beginning. We got married in between my sophomore and junior years of college. Many people were naysayers about us getting married so young. And I understand that. It’s not the right choice for most, but it was the right choice for us. I’ve never regretted becoming a missus at age 20.

Couple goals every Christian marriage needs Pinterest image 1

So early on, my husband and I learned to pave our own path with our marriage and relationship. In the 23 years since then, we’ve made our path work, and I love it. We didn’t sit down on our wedding day and come up with set goals. But, before we got married and in all the years since, we have talked about our relationship and our plans. We’ve worked together to envision what the future looks like for us as a couple. That’s what I think truly encompasses couple goals.

Whether you’re about to get married, one year into marriage, 10 years in or 25 years in, it’s never too late to talk about your marriage and what you need. This is the perfect time to set couple goals, starting with some of these ideas.

1. Go on regular date nights.

In the first decade of our marriage, going on regular date nights wasn’t much of a challenge. We didn’t have kids! But, especially since having our oldest 13 years ago, we learned we need to make spending time alone together a couples goal.

I remember when our oldest was a toddler and my husband and I had an evening to ourselves. In our conversation that evening, my husband told me he thought we’d have some work to do to reconnect with each other once the kids were grown and moved out. We decided we needed to be proactive to keep from growing apart during the hectic years of having small children.

We have found it easier to not have a set date night we adhere to, because life is unpredictable at best. Instead, we make use of the time we do have. And we get creative. For example, earlier this week we took our dog to be groomed after dropping the kids off at school and then had a quick breakfast out together alone.

2. Find new ways to connect.

In making dates a priority, we also work to find new ways to connect with one another. We do enjoy date nights of going out to eat and/or to a movie. But, we also want to find new ways to connect with one another. We have gone to paint pottery together in the past. We’ve walked through home stores and dreamed together.

Most recently, we’ve tried out date night boxes. For Christmas 2022, my husband gave me a subscription to a date night box from Crated with Joy. Each box is themed and comes with suggestions for movies, food, games and activities. Our first box, for example, included a gratitude journal for us to each fill out for 14 days about our partner. The boxes have been a great way for us to reconnect and have fun in new ways.

3. Enjoy hobbies together.

If you’d have asked me when we were first married whether my husband and I would find hobbies we’d do together, I probably would have been confused. My biggest hobbies are solo ventures. But, within the first few years of our marriage, I started taking an interest in his hobbies. I love him, and so I wanted to know more about the things he loves.

And that’s how I became a gamer. My husband has enjoyed role-playing games since long before I met him. (Since we met when I was 14 and he was 16, that’s pretty significant!) I never quite understood the draw to them. I decided to combine my hobby of reading with his hobby of role playing by reading a fictional book series based in the Dungeons and Dragons setting. Before I knew it, “The Legend of Drizzt” series became my all-time favorite, and I eased my way into gaming.

Having shared hobbies is an important couple goal because it lets you connect in different ways than usual.

4. Worship together regularly.

As a Christian couple, my husband and I have always felt like God is the third person in our marriage. And so one of our couple goals is to connect with God together. A great way to do that is through worship. A few months after we got married, my husband started a class that took place all day on Sundays. For a year, I went to church alone as a married woman.

When his class ended and we were able to go to church together once again, I appreciated it all the more. I love sitting beside him in church and joining together to worship and grow spiritually. Just this past Sunday, I closed my eyes during our praise songs and was blessed to hear my husband singing on the left of me and my kids singing on the right. My heart was full and I reminded that no matter what is going on, I am so very blessed!

5. Find ways to discuss big topics peacefully.

Communication has to be on any list of couple goals. No matter how well you and your spouse get along, there are hot-button topics that need to be discussed and resolved. I’m talking about the big stuff like finances and parenting.

When we were figuring out finances as a couple, we decided to work on them together, but I’d be the primary person dealing with bill paying. Mostly that’s because I stress a lot less when I know what’s going on! However, that also meant whenever we had a discussion about our finances, especially if money was tight, I’d take it personally. I would feel attacked and assume I was messing up.

We had to work through that. Now, I still can have moments when I start to take it personally, and my husband will pause to remind me (nicely) that I don’t need to. We’re just having a conversation.

Figure out each other’s hot button topics and then learn how to communicate in spite of them. You don’t want to use those against each other, but rather to help each other.

Couple Goal: Figure out each other's hot button topics and then learn how to communicate in spite of them. You don't want to use those against each other, but rather to help each other.

6. Laugh together regularly.

As a married couple, you want to have fun together. Nothing is more indicative of fun than laughter. Make laughter a priority. Set it as a goal. Find ways you can laugh together. My husband gets my sense of humor and makes me laugh more than anyone else in the world. He always has.

Life is hard. Keeping a sense of humor is important. Once you’re in the habit of laughing together regularly, you can even indulge in gallows humor to get your through the hard times. For example, a few years ago, as I was recovery from one of my pelvic surgeries, I was slowly walking laps around our living room to try and get some movement in. It was a struggle. My second time around, my husband started playing the “William Tell Overture.” I was off to the races! He gave me a much needed laugh.

7. Study the Bible together.

Another great couples goal for Christian marriages is to study the Bible together. This has had a few iterations in our decades of marriage. We have done specific couples Bible studies just the two of us. We have family devotion time with our children. And, more recently, we’ve found a small group study through our church we can attend as a couple.

One of the things I love most about studying the Bible with my husband is hearing his insight. He is such a smart man. I’m thankful to hear his perspective on spiritual topics, which is sometimes different from my own. He makes me think, and I’m glad for that. I hope I do the same for him.

8. Parent together.

We approach life as a team. That teamwork mentality has continued into parenting. Before we even had children, we talked about how we wanted to raise them. And since having children, we’ve continued having those discussions. We talk about how we want to discipline, the lessons we want to teach them and how we can parent them better.

We have agreed on many things, while on others we haven’t and have had to work through them to come to a solution. Our goal is to present a united front to our children. We want to be on the same page so they don’t get confused or anxious as a result.

9. Don’t make threats you don’t mean.

When we got married, my husband and I made it a goal to not threaten each other with things we didn’t mean. Sometimes when people are upset, they say things to be mean or hurtful in order to lash out. For example, we decided early on that if either of us talked about divorce, we’d better mean it. Divorce wasn’t a threat to throw around lightly.

Threats are just hurtful to a relationship and have no place in good communication. Make it a goal to not use threats with your spouse.

10. Pray together and for each other.

Prayer is an important part of Christian marriage. My husband and I pray for each other more than we pray together, because that’s what works for us. But both are important. Coming before God jointly is powerful in your relationship with each other and with God.

Praying on your own for each other is powerful as well. I pray daily for my husband as he is dealing with life, work and family. When he is having a difficult time with something, I remind him I’m praying for him and do so. There’s something comforting about knowing someone loves us enough to bring us before God.

11. Speak kindly to and about each other.

Another great couple goal is to strive to use kind words to each other. This goes as far as asking nicely for the other to do a chore that needs doing. If I can speak kindly to strangers I encounter at the grocery store, surely I can speak kindly to the man I’m sharing my life with. Yet, sometimes it can be difficult. So, sometimes I just keep my mouth shut!

We also work to speak positively about each other outside of our relationship. Neither of us are perfect. I know my husband has things he could grouse about when it comes to me. And I have the same about him. But, we don’t focus on those things, and we don’t talk about them with other people. Instead our goal is to speak positively about each other to our children and everyone else.

12. Give each other grace.

You know I have to include this one! I think giving grace to each other should be a couple goal for every marriage. I want so much to have a grace-filled marriage. I want my husband to give me grace when I fall short because I’m not perfect. In return, I need to also give him grace when he falls short. We all have bad days and bad moments. Oftentimes, a little grace can go a long way to avoid arguments and hurt feelings. And it makes us feel more loved and understood in the end.

Free summer date ideas for parents

10 summer date ideas that are free or nearly free

Whenever I hear the word “summertime,” I immediately hear the George Gershwin song in my head: “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” But I’m guessing Gershwin didn’t have kids. Or he at least wasn’t in charge of them. Summertime is busy and hectic with kids at home. Figuring out summer date ideas in the midst of later bedtimes, activities, making memories and keeping up with everything is difficult.

My husband and I have learned we have to be intentional about ways to connect, especially during summer months. And this summer, with the cost of everything on the rise, coming up with some free summer date ideas is a great plan. You can connect, even without a babysitter or spending money.

Summer date idea #1: Sit outside.

Whether it’s your front porch or back patio, sitting outside together on nice summer evenings after the kids are in bed can be a great summer date. When our children were babies and toddlers, we’d take the baby monitor outside with us. Once they were older, we knew they could come and find us, but made sure to mention that if they don’t see us, then to look on the porch or patio. (It was the back patio at our old house and front porch at our new house.)

Having time to sit together and just reconnect after a busy day of life is nice. Pick a night and plan 30 minutes to an hour of just sitting together and talking.

Summer date idea #2: Find a series to watch together.

While many shows go to repeats during the summer, it’s a great time to binge a series together after the kiddos are in bed or whenever you have time together. You can find all sorts of ideas online or your favorite streaming service. If all else fails, re-watch a series together. Either way, focus on finding something you both like, put down your phones, snuggle up and watch together.

Summer date idea #3: Eat a cold treat together.

If you can find a babysitter or if your kids are old enough to be home alone for an hour, go out for ice cream together. Going out for ice cream is the perfect summer date idea, because ice cream goes great with hot weather. Plus sitting and chatting while eating a sweet, cold treat is a fun way to spend time together. Ice cream (or fro yo) doesn’t cost as much as going out to dinner. For $10 or less, you can eat get a cold treat.

And if you just can’t find a sitter, then plan an ice cream date at home — without your kids. During naptime or after bedtime, sit at your table with homemade ice cream sundaes or other frozen treat.

Summer date idea #4: Go for a walk together, and hold hands.

My husband and I are very much fair weather folks. He doesn’t handle heat well and my skin doesn’t get along well with the sun. But, find one of the nice summer days and go for a walk together. Walk around your neighborhood during your kids’ naptime. Take a stroll along a nature path nearby and let your kids explore (if they are old enough and it’s safe to do so) while you and your husband meander slowly behind them. Even better, hold hands to connect physically and emotionally!

Summer date idea #5: Color together.

If you have kids, chances are really good that you have some art supplies around. Hang out together and color one evening after the kids are in bed. My husband does some really great coloring with markers and shading. I, on the other hand, am much more basic. I use crayons and just color princesses. It doesn’t matter what you’re coloring, though. What matters is that you’re spending time together. Sometimes it can even be easier to talk if you’re both focusing on something else that’s kind of mindless as well.

Summer date idea #6: Tackle a project together.

This sound suspiciously like work, but my husband and I enjoy having time to be productive together and do tasks that have been hanging over our heads. Last weekend, for example, we spent a couple of hours working together on hanging wall decor in our home that we’ve needed to do for three years. Our kids were too worried about getting roped in to work that they both disappeared to their rooms and occupied themselves. My husband and I had a great time working and laughing together.

Just be sure to keep a good attitude about it and be willing to accept some unsolicited advice that could come your way. (I’m not saying that happened to me over the weekend, but I’m also not saying it didn’t!)

Summer date idea #7: Go geocaching together.

Geocaching was super popular a few years ago, but it still around now. If you can get some kid-free time, download a geocache map and head out together to find some geocaches. Take your vehicle or, to make it a completely free date, ride your bikes and get to it.

Summer date idea #8: Play a game together.

My husband and I love to play games together. Plan a game night date night for after the kids go to bed. I’m not at all a night owl and am definitely more of an early bird. So for post-bedtime game nights, I tend to like short and easy games rather than longer ones. Whether it’s a video, board or card game, playing games together can be a great way to spend time together.

Summer date idea #9: Go for a drive together.

This one isn’t completely free because you’d have to spend money on gas, but sometimes a drive on country roads near your house can be a great summer date idea. Roll down the windows if you want and let the wind blow through your hair, listen to music together or just chat and catch up. If your kids are small and will sleep in the car, make naptime mobile one afternoon and hit the road. Otherwise, you would need a babysitter or have kids old enough to be home alone for an hour.

Summer date idea #10: Read a book together.

I’m a huge fan of books. Read a fiction book together or listen to the audio version together. (Don’t overlook your local library as a great and free resource for these!) You can even read on your own and then talk about it like your own book club. Nonfiction books on relationships or any other topic you’re interested in are also great for date nights. Or look for an activity book for couples that the two of you can do together.