My marriage enjoyed a significant boost a few summers ago on a family vacation to Glacier National Park in Montana.
Jean, the boys, and I hiked to a place called Hidden Lake. It was spawning season for the trout, and the bears were especially active. From where we were several hundred yards away, we could see the bears splashing through the water hunting for fish.
I should say my boys and I could see them. Jean is nearsighted, and we didn’t have our binoculars with us, so she couldn’t see anything. That was a huge disappointment for her. She loves wild animals and was particularly looking forward to seeing a few. In fact, she wanted to return the next day, but we had already scheduled a fishing trip.
Because I knew how excited she’d be to watch the bears, I encouraged her to go back on her own the next morning. She did, hiking back to the lake – this time with binoculars – and spending the whole day watching the bears. She came back later that night, exhausted but glowing from one of the best days of her life.
That experience drew us closer together by opening our hearts to one another. She felt valued, and I was happy to see her so happy.
A fulfilling marriage has a lot of parts to it, like strong communication, physical and emotional intimacy, and spiritual unity. At the core of it all is an open heart. King Solomon said, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23).
Since we all could use some help knowing how to encourage our spouse to open their heart to us, we’ve invited Dr. Greg Smalley to join us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Nurturing Your Spouse’s Heart.” He’s the vice president of Family Ministries here at Focus.
Greg’s advice can make the difference between a marriage that’s hurting or muddling along and one that’s headed toward a thriving future. As always, he mixes his insights with fun personal stories while offering practical suggestions along the way.