Yesterday I talked about the importance of building an ongoing friendship with your husband. Danielle responded with this comment:

I’d love tips on how to find a hobbie/pass time to do together. My hubby isn’t adventurous but we need SOMETHING that we share.

What Do I Do With My Husband? + a Giveaway - Share your couple time ideas.

We haven’t had a giveaway in quite sometime. So let’s help Danielle (and each other) by sharing our ideas on activities you can do with your spouse.

Amazon affiliate link: A Lifelong Love What activities do you enjoy with your husband?
 What hobbies do you share?
 What is the substance of your friendship with your man?

Leave your ideas as a comment to this post. I’ll pick a random number on September 17th and the poster in that spot will win a copy of A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas or the book of her choice from the Marriage Book Library.

Marriage: Love is the reason. Lifelong friendship is the gift. Kindness is the cause. ‘Til death do us part is the length.  Fawn Weaver

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to show you creative ideas for couple time that will work for you and your husband.

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Andrea Dekker: The Importance of Margin Time A few minutes of extra time can make your day that much smoother and calmer.

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Scott LaPierre: What Keeps Couples from Communicating? Look for these possible communication hurdles.

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One of the cornerstones of a solid marriage is a strong friendship.

Do you and your husband enjoy time together? Do you play together? Do you share your thoughts and dreams? When was the last time you teamed up to take on a new challenge? Where do you go for couple time?

Is Your Husband Your Best Friend? - Make time for your hubby this week.

If you’ve been drifting a bit, be sure to make time for each other this week.

There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.  Linda Grayson

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you and hubby grow your friendship.

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Awaken Love: Increasing Flexibility Break with routine to share more of yourself with your husband (and God too!).

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Gary Thomas: Celebrating “Okay” Sex ‘Cause life is real.

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In the last couple of weeks I’ve heard several women get “corrective” and “help” a number of other folk (some were married, some total strangers). It’s been an odd in-my-face kind of thing that caused me to think long and hard about respect and boundaries.

While the “corrector” means to be helpful, I think it is more of a cry for respect and appreciation (please value me and listen to my unsolicited “advice”). On the other hand, the “receiver” also wants to be valued (please respect my individuality and choice, why are you trying to change me?).

What usually happens is neither person winds up feeling loved or respected and a hurtful distance is created.

Who's in Charge of Your Husband? - Let him be himself.

I honestly don’t think most of us want to be in charge of our husband, but there is the temptation to “help” and “guide” him to better choices (according to our preferences and standards).

What’s really sad is respecting our husband’s individuality and choices is more likely to get us the love and appreciation we hunger for. Correcting doesn’t. Appreciation and kindness do.

When you show him respect you reveal a level of maturity that is refreshing and affirming. When you model appreciation for his individuality, you open the door for his appreciation of your own.  

How lovely it is to have someone who kindly affirms who you are. How deeply satisfying it is to walk with your life companion without the tension that comes from frequent “corrections.”

So be excited for him when he finds something he is passionate about. Encourage him on his projects. Listen to his perspectives. Allow him to be … himself.

When you want something different, clearly ask for what you want and need, but please make it about your preferences and desires, not about changing him and asking him to be different.

Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.  Eleanor Roosevelt

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you respect your husband’s individuality.

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Most Tuesdays (and perhaps a few other days) you will find me at my favorite coffee shop. Paul and I drive into town (we live out in the boonies) to meet with friends, enjoy good coffee, and use their wifi (our personal plan has limited data, yeah wifi!).

One Tuesday I was looking forward to meeting up with a friend only to have her cancel. But, really, I’m OK with that. She has healthy boundaries and the need of her marriage and family topped the need to hang out with a friend one afternoon. 

Sitting Alone in the Coffee Shop - Set healthy boundaries to strengthen your marriage.

A part of having a healthy marriage is saying yes to those things that are needed and saying no sometimes to other things (even good things) when they conflict with the needs of your marriage and family life. 

Some days it’s more of a balancing act than others, but it’s important to keep a hand on the pulse of your marriage and say yes and no appropriately. One of the best skills you can have (which takes practice to grow) is to say no kindly and receive a no graciously. 

My friend said no to coffee with me. Good for her.

Being able to say “No” is a necessary ingredient in a healthy lifestyle.  David W. Earle

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you set healthy time boundaries that will strengthen your marriage.

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Seed Time: How to Survive a Financial Crisis Twelve tips for handling hard times.

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Respect 101: Top 5 Ways to Respect Your Husband Delight in him and prefer him.

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A couple of days ago, I mentioned games. Don’t forget to turn your favorite games into a strip version for those evenings when you and hubby are alone.

Where Winner and Loser Both Win - Turn your favorite game into bedroom fun.

A certain card means you forfeit an item of clothing, winning a round means you get to pick what item gets removed, and so forth.

Write up the “new rules” and hand them to hubby with an invitation to play.

It’s a fun game, and you can make up your own rules …  Mike Meyer

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you and your husband learn to be more playful in the bedroom.

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Married & Naked: The Secret Behind My 18 Years Of Marriage I’m not going to tell you what it is. You’ll just have to read the post.

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Marriage Gems: 5 Reasons to Affirm Your Spouse Make affirmation a daily habit.

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THURSDAY THROWBACK – MORE CHANGE
(originally posted September 8, 2013)

I have heard it said that folks don’t change much over time. I’m not sure I agree with that. Life is not static and we are constantly being exposed to changing circumstances and new ideas. Our basic design may not change much (I’m still an introvert), but how we face life, what we believe, etc. is going to change from time to time.

Thursday Throwback: More Change: Clue your guy in on your personal growth.

I have been going through some significant change lately. I’m in a different season of life, my responsibilities have changed, and God decided it was time to face and deal with some personal wounds (oh joy).

I realized the other day that I hadn’t communicated all that was going on to my husband. I figured I ought to fill him in seein’ as he is now married to a different gal.  ;)  I think also it’s important to clue our guys into those seasons of change because it can be rough and they need to understand any moodiness is about the change and not them.

Just one more reason it’s important to have ongoing communication with your man.

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.  Faith Baldwin

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you regularly communicate with your husband about what’s going on in your heart and your head.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum: Are You a Safe Place for Your Husband When He Falls? Be there for him so he will not have to struggle alone.

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Awaken Love: Good Vibrations? Will using a vibrator help build intimacy in your marriage?

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Years ago, my son raided my paperclip stash and made a sculpture with hundreds of them. On bookkeeping day, this did not bless me.

Years later I am in awe of my son’s artistic talents (though I think he still twitches when he sees a paperclip) and my family has forgiven my angry rant (I still get paperclips in my Christmas stocking each year).

No Paperclips and Other Annoying Issues - Make a master shopping list.

That embarrassing story told, there are usual a few things that everyone typically runs out of and it’s a huge annoyance. Perhaps you have to brush without toothpaste or you wind up wrapping leftovers in plastic wrap because you ran out of baggies (and the contents drip all over your fridge).

I figure it’s a good idea to do those things that help take the friction out of life (there is enough naturally occurring friction as it is).

Make a shopping list of everything you use in the household and put an asterisk by those things that you typically run out of. Make sure you check your supplies before shopping.

Paperclip: the staple for people with commitment issues.  AuthorUnknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you get organized when it comes to household supplies.

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Encourage Your Spouse: Refocus on Gratitude What a fun challenge! (I am so going to do this.)

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The Romantic Vineyard: Dare I Say It? Get an accountability partner.

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