Today we are honored to have Renee from Great Peace Academy with us on the blog. We hope you’ll enjoy her fabulous article on building a marriage that will last! ~Mama Tutu
A Marriage that Will Last
Prioritizing Your Marriage First
Marriage is a word that, sadly, in our country has lost it’s meaning. People throw it about like some sort of political right, or throw it out like some sort of trash. But for anyone who seriously seeks to honor marriage it is a sacred and holy union between a husband and a wife. It is a commitment to be made each and every day to continue to work together, as one, in love.
When a couple makes the decision to wed, they anxiously anticipate the wedding day. Then they stand before the officiate and guests and declare their love, their vows, and their commitment to each other for the rest of their lives. The marriage begins.
Early in marriage the two, usually, share an excitement. They spend all the time they can with each other, they hold hands, and talk, and find comfort in each others arms. Their love is strong and they can not anticipate a time when it would be any other way.
Then, most often, a tiny baby comes into their lives. This little precious infant, filled with every need imaginable, becomes the couples focus. Every waking moment is spent caring for the child and the needs of the marriage are set aside for the sake of the child. Eventually, perhaps, other children arrive and the process is repeated.
If we aren’t careful, though, the family becomes the sole focus of the marriage rather than an extension of the marriage. You see, the marriage should come first. From the solid foundation that is marriage, the couple can work together, in one accord, to train up the children they are blessed with. Rather than making the children the sole focus, the marriage should be a first priority.
As a Christian, I believe it is imperative for God to be first through Jesus Christ in all things, even marriage. God is the creator of marriage, as seen in Genesis when He created a special help-meet for the man, Adam, that is Eve. God said, “The two shall be one flesh.” Thus, marriage was instituted.
6 Tips for Prioritizing Marriage
- Prayer. Pray together for your marriage and your family. Ask God to help you to prioritize rightly the needs of both. Pray separately for each other.
- Set aside time to talk, daily. This is so hard when there are children in the home. Sometimes it’s 15 minutes in a room with the door closed while the kids are banging on the door, but it’s important to reconnect. I’m not talking about talking about the bills, the children, or work. I’m saying talk to each other, about each other. “How are you today?” Be intentional with your answer, listen to his. “Is there anything you need?” “I love you and want you to know that….” Remember that a good hug and kiss, go a long way in connecting with your spouse.
- Work out your Parenting Roles. Discuss and decide together what roles you will each take in parenting the children. That isn’t to take away from the God given roles. The husband should be the head of the wife and the leader in the family. But in the day to day parenting, who is/will be responsible for what functions. So many arguments can be avoided if you just communicate your thoughts on this subject. For example: Who is responsible for bed time routines? Who is responsible for overseeing chores? How do you decide who plays chauffeur for outside activities? Who will discipline the children, and what form of discipline will be used? Not every decision can be made ahead of time, but knowing the thoughts, attitudes and desire of the other will make those spur of the moment decisions that much easier.
- Make Time for Dates. You should find a sitter at least once a month and have a date night. Whether it’s an at home romantic dinner for two, or a night out, you need to spend time together away from the children. Remember, your marriage is important and comes first. Prioritize it.
- Go away together at least once a year. It might just be an overnight in the local hotel while the children sleep over at their cousins house, or it might be a weekend away, the goal is to have uninterrupted alone time for more than a couple of hours.
- Do not neglect your responsibility to each other in the bedroom. I will not go into details here. You know what this means and what to do. It’s important enough for the Apostle Paul to give instruction to the church in 1 Corinthians 7, that means that it’s important in your marriage. So don’t neglect it. Really, it’s how you connect and renew your love.
If nurtured properly the marriage will outlast the training up of the children. But, if allowed, the children can come between the husband and the wife, creating tension, strife and division. The individuals, the husband and/or the wife, begin to feel disconnected, isolated and alone. Before long, they can become dissatisfied and seek something new, different and even more exciting because their needs in the marriage are not being met.
If a couple fails to prioritize each other, even if the couple stick together, trudging along, they may find no joy in each other. Then, when the children are grown the couple may find they share no connection. They may look at each other like complete strangers and wonder what has happened to their marriage.
Marriage, the joining of two lives, two flesh into one, must come first in the family. We must learn how to balance our family within our marriage and work together. That’s why it is important to prioritize your marriage above the training up of children. That means, putting the needs of your spouse above the needs of our children, then working together to meet the needs of the little ones as hard as it may be to do that.
Renee Aleshire Brown is an Christian, wife, mom, author and blogger. She is married to Michael and they have shared their life together for nearly 22 years. They live in central Ohio where they are training up their son, age 10, through home education while seeking to nurture each other and their son with Biblical guidance. Renee writes regularly on her personal blog, Great Peace Academy, about her family, their faith, marriage and homeschooling encouragement. She is author of Ohio Homeschooling Guide and Directory an eBook about homeschooling in the state of Ohio.