Innovate or Die

innovationIn the business world, innovation is key to success. Some of us remember when IBM was all that and a bag of chips . . . that is, until Apple showed up. IBM was happy doing their thing, slowly churning out the same old technology, but in a new package. But then Apple’s innovative take on technology prompted them to step up their game – or die. The church is really no different as we sadly watch churches close their doors because they slowly began diminishing in attendance and relevance. If we look closely at these churches, chances are that the reason they withered instead of flourished was their lack of innovation (and, in many cases, the lack of desire to change at all). Innovation definitely has a vital role in these and so many more areas of our lives – marriage included.

We all love our routines, especially in our marriages and families. I’d even argue that routine keeps us sane at times. However, when it comes to a “til death do you part” relationship, we can’t seriously believe that it will remain the same for 50+ years. Of course not! This “until death” bond has to not only grow and mature, but it needs innovation to be a catalyst for deep and meaningful growth to take place. I’ve talked with many couples, and even had these conversations with my own husband, where we feel as though we are in a rut . . . perhaps “stale” is a good word to describe it. This has nothing to do with whether we love our spouse, it’s whether we see our marriage relationship as something that is exciting, wonderful, or flourishing.

“Innovate” simply means to do something in a new way or to have new ideas about how something can be done. So how can we do marriage in a new healthier way or what are some new ideas about how to do this “til death do us part” thing? This list is truly endless, but I wanted to share some ways my husband and I have committed to innovate in our relationship. I’d love to hear  your ideas as well!

  1. Be intentional about conversation – It’s sad, I know, but we now intentionally schedule time to just talk . . . face to face, eye to eye. We have to be creative about it due to our schedules, but that makes it even more fun at times because it can be any time of day in any location. For instance, our schedules got off whack recently and our “talk” time got pushed to later in the evening, which then conflicted with my taking a shower and him working out. So, we scheduled our talk time during a bath together. And, may I say, that has become one of our go to locations for conversations ;). See, a little innovation can reap some fun rewards!
  2. Don’t do the same “date night” over and over – I kid you not, we go to the same restaurants over and over again . . . so much so that I order the exact same thing off of the menu each time and can quote for you their “happy birthday” song. We decided to commit to trying new places to eat dinner and to go out on dates. This also includes taking risks and actually going to a movie on opening night (even if it means standing in line). Or, it could mean that we go out to eat and find that the food is terrible at that restaurant. The bottom line is that we have mini-adventures when we go out and we don’t know what to expect. This keeps things interesting and also provides great conversation afterwards.
  3. Spice up the bedroom – This is probably one of my husbands biggest gripes when it comes to our relationship. He revels in our intimate times together the most when I am the one initiating and showing him how much I desire him. I suppose men need to feel wanted and desired just as much as women do, but I’ve mostly been the one waiting for him to pursue me. So, I’ve made efforts to turn that around a bit and surprise him in the bedroom. And, ladies, I have to admit that I have had just as much fun and enjoyment as he has. So worth it!

Like I said, these are just a few. But, what if just a few innovative ideas could re-ignite the spark between you and your mate? That could mean the difference between happily ever after and “meh” when it comes to your marriage. Innovate and watch your marriage flourish!

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