...be kind to one another, tender hearted... Ephesians 4:32
The secret to closeness in marriage is not sparkling conversation or shared interests or incredible sex. As good as those are, the secret is practising plain, old-fashioned thoughtfulness and kindness.
It's the stuff we learn when we're young and forget when we're too busy: things like respect, sensitivity, attentiveness and caring. If your marriage needs a tune-up, start doing these four things.
First, practise 'hug therapy'. When you're at odds with each other, remember this: 'Hearts may agree though heads differ'. A hug works wonders. When we touchone another in caring ways our bodies actually produce chemicals that calm us emotionally and help us to bond physically.
God designed us that way. Second, don't forget the small stuff. When you routinely build little kindnesses into your marriage they become a source of strength later; it's like money in the bank you can draw on.
So think 'personal' and 'sweet', like helping to clean up after dinner, making the bed, walking the dog or putting out the bins. Third, mind your manners. Just because you're married doesn't mean common courtesy should go by the wayside.
The Bible says, 'Be kind to one another, tender hearted.' That means listening without interrupting, and practising the basics like saying 'Please', 'Thank you' and 'I'm sorry'. This stuff's not rocket science, but it works!
Finally, compliment each other. Your marriage partner is not a mind reader. Whenever you think something nice about them, tell them! We live in a cold, competitive world; hearing that we're loved, smart, attractive and fun from someone whose opinion we really value means everything.
Remain richly blessed as you pass this on to the married people you know..