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Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things.

Hebrews 13:4 AMP

As we raise our daughter, my wife and I are learning firsthand just how easy it is to neglect our marriage. While wanting the best for your kids, your schedules can end up revolving around them and leaving little room for time with your spouse. However, the Bible teaches that your marriage should be honored as the most important relationship in the family—before, during, and after kids. What God understands is that for dads, the best way to love our kids is really to love their mom, your wife.

Here are a 6 ways to keep your marriage strong while raising kids:

Be disciplined

Cling to discipline. Do not relax your grip on it. Keep it because it is your life.

Proverbs 4:13 GW

My wife recently shared this scripture with me as I’m learning that discipline is a key to leading our family. Likewise, discipline is key if you are going to make time for your marriage. When you’re not disciplined with the “we have to” responsibilities in your life, those end up eating into the “we like to” activities that your marriage needs. It’s funny how staying on top of your budget can actually connect to loving your wife.

Connect daily

Make it a conviction to connect daily in your marriage. One of the most enjoyable times in my day is when I come home from work and see my wife. We put our daughter in the stroller and go for a walk around the neighborhood for 20 minutes and get a chance to let down and connect about our day before dinner. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, the last thing as you wind down your night, or somewhere in between, always make time in your day to connect.

Cook together

One fun and easy way to connect in our marriages during the routine of our busy days is cooking together. We all have to eat… why not do it together? It cuts down on the cooking time and afterwards you’re able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Pray together

Praying together is one of the best ways I emotionally and spiritually connect in my marriage. I am able to learn about the things on my wife’s heart as well as helping me get in touch with my own feelings as I listen to her sharing her heart with God.

Play together

My wife and I have our favorite TV shows we like to watch together. However, every now and then, it’s nice to switch it up on some evenings after our daughter goes down. Playing a board game is fun and entertaining. Nothing gets the blood flowing like some healthy competition with your spouse. Raise the stakes by awarding the winner with a chance to choose the plan for your next date out.

Redefine dates

Get creative and change your view of a date. It can be meeting your spouse for an hour on your lunch break or finding fun ways to do a date at home. Take the $10 date challenge and see how creative you can be on a shoestring budget. If you need help, use the internet to look up creative date ideas.

Written by

Brian Nitta

Before Brian was a minister for the Bay Area Christian Church, he was a world class judo competitor from San Jose State University. His experiences as a fighter and as a counselor have given him a unique perspective that he brings to his contributions to Inspire.