My husband and I are in a busy season of life, to say the least. The house is in a state of managed chaos and the kids require us to be “on” 24/7. We have responsibilities to take care of, a thousand things pulling at our attention, and at the end of the day we are just spent. How many of us are wondering: How can I succeed in making my marriage a priority when life is so busy?
No matter what life throws our way, my husband and I purpose to intentionally bless our marriage. We schedule it in, actually, because it’s just that important. If we don’t have time to pour into our marriage, we don’t have time to pour into our kids, our home, our work, our ministry, and so on. Today I’m going to give you a peek into our marriage and a few things that make it rock.
Just about 10 years ago, I married the most amazing man. We had a whirlwind romance, a 4-month engagement, and were married on New Year’s Eve. I can absolutely say that it was the most wonderful and important event in my life, next to salvation in Christ.
We have had our ups and downs, but I often say that we have an uncommon love. We are unquestionably blessed with an amazing degree peace an unity, considering we are both such broken people (because, aren’t we all?).
However, a big part of that success is our up front decision in making our marriage a priority. Over the years, I have learned much about marriage from wiser, more experienced women. Through them and through the guidance of scripture, there are some things that I do to ensure I am making my marriage a priority.
How I am Making My Marriage a Priority
Spending Time Together
Carve out time each week to spend with each other! Spending time together is so critical, especially time that is focused on each other and not a book, screen, or other project. We have made weekly date nights a priority, whether it’s going out for dinner, a double date, or playing a game after the kids go to bed. It is on the schedule and rarely gets canceled!
This past year we’ve also established a “connection night” at home. It is the same day every week and just means that whatever we do, it’s together. We could watch a movie, play a game, work on a project, or whatever we feel like, as long as it’s together. We do try to go overnight somewhere a few times a year, but date night and connection night are what keeps us from “coasting,” as my husband puts it.
Pray with and for each other! I don’t know why, but praying as a couple has been difficult for us. Getting past the awkwardness was the first step, and now it’s about making it a regular habit. When we persevere and practice this habit, it is a regular blessing in our lives. It can truly be a unifying aspect of your marriage, too.
If you and your husband struggle with praying together, just keep trying. Eventually you’ll get past the strangeness of it and it will become just a part of who you are together. Your intimacy with each other will grow. It reminds me of the three-stranded cord with Jesus in the center. If you need a little help getting started, check out this great book: Two Hearts Praying as One by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.
Navigate conflicts with love and respect for each other. One of the first marriage resources that really resonated with us was Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. We got our hands on a video recording of the seminars which was huge because we rarely get through a book together (although there is a book available).
It could be fairly cheesy at times but the takeaways were invaluable and we continue to use those principles and methods to this day. To be able to pause when we realize things are getting tense and say “that felt disrespectful” or “that felt unloving…” Suddenly the tension begins to ease and we can talk it out fairly quickly. It’s gold.
More recently we came across the book My Beloved and My Friend by Hal and Melanie Young. Their wit and wisdom really refreshed our marriage when we needed it most. I highly recommend it along with Love and Respect.
Meeting Each Other’s Needs
My husband and I are similar in some ways and different in others. We are both introverts, although somehow I become temporarily extroverted when he walks in the door and I talk his head off. Over time I’ve learned he needs a little space and time to decompress when he comes home. So I try to remember to meet that need, and in turn he meets my need for connection later on. It’s a simple thing, but it blesses him.
We have different needs when it comes to processing problems, physical intimacy, dealing with hard emotions, and more. We have become students of our marriage, studying each other and finding ways to meet each other’s needs. Finding simple ways to serve each other like this can really go a long way toward keeping your marriage satisfying and joyful.
Now, I’m not implying that we need to fulfill all our spouse’s needs and desires. That’s not healthy nor is it the picture of godly marriage. But we can fulfill your God-given role his wife, and you can study your husband’s personality, character, needs, desires, tendencies, etc. Soon you’ll know more about him than he does. Bless your husband and your marriage with that knowledge by finding ways to build him up!
Purposefully Blessing Them
Make a big deal out of special days with your husband, and occasionally surprise him for no reason at all. I don’t often feel very creative in this area, but I know how important it makes my husband feel. So every once in a while I’ll look for something I can do as an extra blessing for my marriage. It might be planning a date night or spending some time in prayer for him.
I’ve found some really fun ideas this way, such as writing love notes on these Song of Solomon cards and leaving one for him to find each day, or this amazing online couples massage class to teach me how to give him a killer back and neck massage. Oh yes, my friends, these are the tools of a marriage rock star! 🙂 These are just a few of the things I do to ensure I’m making my marriage a priority.
Your challenge: What can YOU do to make your marriage a priority? Pick one thing you can DO this week for each area listed above. Enjoy your spouse and your marriage, and my God bless you in your efforts!
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