‘Tis the season to be busy … ugh! With our over-committed schedules of parties, school events, shopping, and hosting family, it seems the busier we get, the shorter our words can be to each other. Holidays tend to bring out the worst in us—when they should bring out the best.

In the midst of all the distractions of the holidays, we want to give you a simple practice to create a stronger connection in your marriage—a life-giving practice that requires only two minutes of your time!

We often underestimate the power of words, but it’s amazing what a simple compliment can do to lighten the mood and grow love. On the other hand, it’s even more astonishing how a critical or sharp word can put a chill in the air and put distance between the two of you.

One of the turning points in our relationship was when we learned to leverage the power of speaking words of encouragement over each other. This simple practice was so dramatic in turning our marriage around that we still do it everyday. We call it the 60-Second Blessing, and here’s how it works:

You begin by speaking 60 seconds of encouragement to your spouse. Let her know the things you love and appreciate about her. Once you’re finished, your spouse spends the next 60 seconds sharing what she loves about you. It’s that simple!

Why the 60-Second Blessing is Extremely Powerful Inside a Marriage:

1. It assumes the positive in each other. When you start off the day with expressing your love for each other, you’re setting a tone. More grace is often given on those days, as it’s hard to be mad when your spouse just shared how much she loves you. The discipline of reminding yourself what is so attractive about your spouse helps you focus on that, rather than the proverbial “dirty socks left on the floor.”

2. It’s carving out time daily. The average couple spends less than four minutes a day connecting. We can do better than this, right? Be intentional about being present with each other. Don’t allow busyness to become the destroyer of your intimacy.

3. It’s habit forming. Wouldn’t you love to hear why your spouse loves you everyday? Couples that have adopted this healthy habit have seen significant attitude shifts in their relationship. This carries some relationship momentum and begins to be the go-to habit before you start the day, before date nights, and even before you head to the bedroom.

Ready to take it to the next level? Watch how this practice begins to transform your house. Imagine what message it will send to your kids as they watch you both affirm each other and share why you are grateful for each other. Imagine what this one practice could do in the hearts and minds of your kids as you turn to them and affirm all the amazing qualities that you love about them, too.

One last thought on this: If marriage is a mirror of God’s love for us, what would it look like for you to act on behalf of the Father toward your spouse? Look at the image proclaimed in Zephaniah 3:17:

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.

Imagine! The Father sings His affirmations over you every single day. What would it look like in your marriage to take away the words of rebuke and replace them with words of rejoicing?

Bonus points: Write down at least 10 specific things you love about your spouse on a piece of paper and hand it to him or her on a discouraging day.

For a great example on how to give your spouse a blessing go to bit.ly/60secondblessing and watch The 60 Second Blessing HAPPILY EVER AFTER.