Making Marriage Your First Priority
In the busyness of life with everything vying for your attention, it is difficult to keep priorities in order. But there is one area that should stay at the top of every couple’s priority list: their marriage.
There’s nothing more inspiring than seeing a happily married couple whose vows have lasted from young adulthood well into the golden years. But don’t be deceived. It wasn’t luck that brought them through. Great marriages don’t “just happen.” They are intentionally built one day at a time. And that takes a shift in priorities.
Bogged down with demands at work, raising children and growing responsibilities, couples often place marriage maintenance on their expendable list, waiting for more convenient times to work on their relationship. The result to this type of thinking? Years later they find that they’re living with a roommate rather than a soul mate. Keeping your marriage your top priority means making a conscious choice to grow with your partner not away from your partner.
Do you have children? Sure, you may feel pulled in all directions to satisfy their demanding needs. But whether you are dealing with babies or teens, there is no greater gift you can give your child than to provide a healthy happy home with two unified loving parents.
Do yourself and your family a favor. Place your marriage on the same priority level as brushing your teeth. Make it a part of your daily routine and something you wouldn’t dream of skipping no matter how busy your schedule gets!
Here are some tips to achieve this:
Connect Daily. Whether it is only a few minutes after dinner or longer when the kids go to bed, set aside a period of alone time to connect as a couple. The only rule? Leave problems, decision making and other family matters outside the door and only focus on one another.
Will it be during the day? Set a timer for antsy children and let them know Mommy and Daddy Time is very important and you cannot be disturbed. You’ll be teaching your children great life lessons in fostering healthy relationships!
Pressed for time? You’ll be surprised how much of a difference 15 committed minutes of stolen alone time can make in developing oneness with your spouse.
Schedule weekly or monthly dates. The key word is “schedule.” Don’t leave this to chance but write it on the calendar. Dates do not have to cost a fortune either. Take a walk, go for a drive, have a picnic on the living room floor, cook dinner together, go to the movies or borrow one from the library and make popcorn at home. There are lots of opportunities to spend time together.
No sitter? Be creative! When our oldest was a baby and we couldn’t find a sitter, my husband and I simply plopped him in an electric swing and played dominoes at our kitchen table. Today, after 25 years of marriage that is one of my fondest memories!
Invest one minute a day in your marriage. That’s right, only one. But what can you do for one minute that will make a difference? Email, “I love you.” Greet your spouse with along kiss at the door. Give an extra long hug. Whisper a sexy message in his/her ear. Give a one minute massage of the shoulders. Say, “I appreciate you.” Use your imagination. I’m sure you can come up with more.
Make new experiences together. Take up a new hobby or take a class together (such as a cooking class, dance class, flying lessons, scuba diving course, etc.). Do something out of the ordinary and out of your comfort zones. The new experiences will cause you to bond and you’ll have a lot of fun in the process.
Learn about and participate in one another’s hobbies. It’s amazing how much you can learn about people by watching them do what they love. In addition to their sparkling eyes as they are working in their element, you’re bound to see them in a new light.
Don’t forget about couple time. Play dates and family get-togethers are great but don’t lose your identity as a couple in the process. Schedule a night out with other couples like you did before children. This will strengthen your connection as a unit and rekindle feelings that started your relationship in the first place.
And most importantly, pray for your spouse and your marriage. God makes all the difference in any marriage!
Making your marriage a priority is simply deciding not to take your marriage for granted but to instead treat it as one of the most important relationships you’ll ever make with a person. It is the act of adjusting to life’s stages to make sure you are growing older with your spouse every day. And if you ask any seasoned couple if the time investment was worth it, I’m sure the answer will be the same. Taking the time to sow the seeds of togetherness brings an immeasurable payoff of a rewarding marriage that is bound to stand the test of time.
How do you keep your marriage top priority in your life? Let us know!
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Miyoshi is a wife and mother of four children living in the beautiful countryside of Germany. In addition to homeschooling the last two chicks remaining in their nest, she is also a counselor dedicated to helping others live their best life.