Tony and Lauren Dungy’s new book, Uncommon Marriage, should be at the top of your reading list. Even though I’ve known Tony and Lauren for 17 years, I learned new things about their uncommon marriage and appreciated the wisdom they shared that we can all apply in our daily marriage walk.
Just a couple chapters in, Coach Dungy writes about the time he and Lauren prepared to move their family to Florida as he accepted the head coaching position of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was an exciting time, but also a stressful time in their marriage…a new job and another move. He writes that they were only able to handle this transition period because, “we talked, walked, prayed, and tried to stay connected.”
No matter what circumstances your marriage may be in right now, I encourage you to take Coach Dungy’s advice to talk, walk, pray, and stay connected with your spouse.
Here are some practical ways to do so:
Are you communicating well with your spouse? To avoid conflict in your marriage, there are two things you can do: use your mouth and use your ears. First, always speak the truth with love by telling your spouse right away when something is really bothering you in your relationship. Second, when your spouse is sharing something with you, be sure to stop what you are doing, make eye contact, and really listen. If you’re struggling with communication in your relationship, try this Tried and True Technique for Marriage Communication. And it might help for you to take a look at these 5 Ways Not to Communicate with Your Husband or 5 Ways Not to Communicate with Your Wife.
Are you spending time with your spouse? During stressful times, taking a walk with your spouse, away from the kids, can help clear your mind, put things in perspective, and provide a few moments just to relax and enjoy each other. These 5 Ways to Help Your Marriage Feel Less Stressed might help as well. And these 6 Ways Your Marriage Can Thrive in a Busy Season will not only help you to survive the challenging times, but also thrive in your relationship.
Are you concerned for your spouse? All too often, we fall into the mindset of thinking we are in control of things. We rely on a false confidence that things will always go the way we want them to if we work hard enough. But the truth is that we can never do enough. We need prayer. Centering a marriage on prayer will invite God to work through your lives. So pray for your spouse and pray with your spouse.
4. Stay Connected.
Are you connected with your spouse? Staying connected with your spouse allows your marriage to grow in the same way and the same direction. Communication flourishes when you are connected with words (calling, texting, emailing) as well as actions (going on dates, playing sports together, sharing meals together). These 4 Tips to Become a Better Spouse will help you stay connected.
What are some specific things you and your spouse do to have an uncommon marriage? Please share your thoughts in a comment below.
Listen to my exclusive podcast interview with Tony Dungy about his newest book Uncommon Marriage.