10 Ways to Grow Your Marriage While Having Young Kids

3. Go on walks.

This has been a game-changer for us because our kids are actually quiet in the stroller. We get exercise and sustained conversation, both of which can easily get crowded out when life is busy. If walking doesn’t work, perhaps you can pursue another hobby together. For example, if your gym offers childcare and you feel comfortable with it, drop the kids off and work out together.

4. Have creative date nights. 

We’ve developed our own weekly “date night” at home that typically involves putting the kids to bed early, reading a chapter of my grandmother’s book on marriage, talking about life and playing a board game. Having a “date night in” saves money and reduces the tyranny of constant TV in the evening.

5. Text throughout the day.

I don’t like the way technology is always distracting me from the present, but if there’s one person with whom I want to be in a continuous text dialogue, it’s my wife. It’s a little thing that helps further our friendship, jokes and fun. It shows I’m thinking about her. It’s a way to communicate that cannot be interrupted by a crying baby.

6. Plan times to be intimate together.

Sometimes parents of young kids have difficulty finding time for intimacy. Don’t be afraid to plan this into your weekly schedule. Planned sex is better than no sex, and it’s a way to show commitment to this area of your marriage during a busy season.

7. Carve out space to read the Bible and pray together. 

Failing to do devotions together is such a missed opportunity. Your spouse probably knows you better than anyone else does, and thus is the best person to sharpen you spiritually.

8. Take interest in your spouse’s daily life.

It’s easier to drift apart when you’re disconnected from what’s occupying your spouse throughout the day. If they work, ask them lots of questions about what’s happening in the office, and be their biggest advocate and supporter. If they stay home, help them out with the chores so that you know and appreciate all they do around the house.

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Gavin Ortlund
Gavin Ortlund (@gavinortlund) is a husband, father, associate pastor at Sierra Madre Congregational Church, and PhD candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary.

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