Don’t you wish every day could be Valentine’s Day? Although Valentine’s Day is very much a Hallmark holiday, it is nice to have the reminder to show love to our spouse and others. You probably bought your spouse a little gift or had a nice date out together.

We need to be intentional about keeping the sparks of passion and romance alive in marriage well past Valentine’s Day. It’s important for us to express love to our spouse every day, not just on February 14th. Life does get busy, but let’s not let the most important relationship we have fall to the wayside.

Here are five suggestions on how to keep the sparks alive throughout the year:

  1. Treat Each Other the Way You Did When You Dated: Flirt with each other, write sweet love notes, buy each other little gifts or flowers once in a while. Write yourself reminders on your calendar or put an alert in your smartphone to remind you to do this regularly.
  2. Have a Regular Date Night: I know from experience that this gets difficult because of busyness or childcare or the budget. But if we want a thriving, passionate marriage, we have to make regular date nights a priority. Even if it’s just once a month, it will make a difference in your marriage! Or if getting out isn’t possible, check into a Date Box subscription. You receive a new box every month that includes fun dates at home for less than the cost of going out to a movie. Examples include painting, dance lessons and a cooking class.
  3. Get Away Together: This does take effort and money, but look ahead of time for deals and save for it. Ask family or friends to watch your kids and offer do the same for them so that they can get away too. It doesn’t have to be a luxurious Caribbean vacation, although if you can afford it, go for it! A simple weekend away at a bed and breakfast allows you to get out of your normal bubble and reconnect as a couple. Try to do this a few times a year, your marriage is worth it!
  4. Make Time for Physical Intimacy: God gave married couples the beautiful gift of sex and sometimes it’s taken for granted or seen as a burden. Make physical intimacy a priority in your marriage. Give up watching television at night, browsing on your phone or whatever it is that distracts you from connecting as a couple in this way. Talk to each other about your physical relationship and how you can improve this area of your marriage.
  5. Encourage and Support Each Other: Not just romantically, but in all areas of life. The more you help each other, whether that’s with the kids, with chores or being supportive with work challenges, you’ll feel more connected as a couple. Being connected will help keep the passion alive.

I hope this list helps you to invest your time and energy into keeping the passion alive and your marriage strong throughout the year.