Marriage is amazing. It’s fun, exciting, blessed, and such an adventure.
Marriage is also hard. Blending two lives together, making tough decisions, and navigating through all that life throws, is incredibly challenging. In the scheme of things, our five year marriage is very short. But let me tell you, the tough stuff doesn’t wait until year ten or twenty. In our limited time as a married couple, we have already dealt with some tough stuff.
We still have so much to learn, but these posts will chronicle some things we have gone through, some advice, lessons we’ve learned, funny stories and just plain ol’ anything-but-boring married life adventures!
These are the marriage chronicles.
Vol. 7 | Priorities
I may get some hate mail from this volume of The Marriage Chronicles. What I am going to address today is very counter-culture. But, following God and His Word is very counter-culture these days, so that’s okay with me.
I want to talk about putting your spouse first. Not before God, because ideally that is who you are making number one in your life. What I mean, is placing your husband or wife and your marriage as your number one earthly relationship.
When I look around me today, I don’t see this happening much. I remember vividly the first time this concept was planted in my mind. I was probably eight or nine, walking through the grocery store with my mom, and somehow the topic came up. I don’t remember specifics of the conversation leading up to it, but I remember my mom telling me that she loved me and my bothers and sister with all of her heart, but dad was the most important to her.
My little heart was crushed. I remember thinking that I wasn’t that important to my mom, and wondering how she could possibly love my daddy more than sweet little ol’ me! I don’t think I was as perplexed about her lack of love for my “mean” older brothers, but that’s a post for another day! It probably wasn’t until I was in high school that I began to see why this concept was truly so important.
My parents do not have a perfect marriage, and they will be the first to admit to that. But, growing up I observed my parents putting God first, then each other and their marriage. I saw so many beautiful benefits of them living this way, and I know they would attribute this to their over forty years of wedded bliss. Not only is their marriage healthy and strong , but their love and respect for each other is blatantly evident. Just because they made their marriage a priority, it did not make them poor parents. In fact it did the exact opposite!
I want my marriage to last a lifetime, which is God’s intention. So, I will treat it accordingly. There are many reasons why putting your spouse first (after God), is so important.
|One| It’s Biblical |
Marriage is a major theme throughout the Bible. God is very clear about how he designed marriage to be, and why it is important. There are many Scriptures in which placing your spouse first (after God) is mentioned. Here are just a few verses:
Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
1 Peter 3 also talks about this idea. It’s long, but go check it out!
|Two| It Will Help Your Marriage Last |
I don’t think anyone gets married thinking they will get divorced. Which makes it even more upsetting that the divorce rate is so high in America. Marriage is not effortless. It takes focus, work and intentionality. Yes, there are factors such as chemistry, compatibility, and basic love that play some part. But, many times, love is a choice , and making your marriage strong takes effort. It just does! So, when you place your spouse and your relationship as the priority, after your relationship with Christ, (catching a theme here?) you are “divorce-proofing” it in a way.
|Three| It Is Best for Your Kids|
Your children are watching you. They always are, and in my short time as a mom I have already found that Nora sees way more than I think she is seeing. No one wants their children to grow up and have an unhealthy marriage. As parents, our job is to model good behavior for our kids. We are called to teach them how to be happy and successful. If you and your spouse are working hard on your relationship, you are modeling for your children what a happy, loving marriage should look like. Then, they will have those same expectations for their marriage someday. Don’t you want your child to someday marry someone who puts them first? It is the truest definition if a win-win!
|Four|Your Spouse Is Your For-Life Commitment|
You know what? Someday (hopefully), your kids will grow up and leave the house. They will start families of their own, and give you tons of cute grandbabies. When this happens, you will be left alone with your spouse. You will always be a parent, and your kids will always need you in some capacity, but once they leave it is just you and your spouse. If you haven’t made your marriage a priority those eighteen or so years raising kiddos, you may be in for a rude awakening. I know a large numbers of couples who divorced when their kids grew up because they did not focus on each other. Divorce is painful to children at any age. Put your marriage first, and those empty-nest years will be some of the best of your life!
I hope this has made you think a little about your own marriage and priorities. In no way does this mean you neglect your kids, or love them less. You should love your children fiercely, but your spouse should always be your Number One! It truly is what is best for your marriage and your kids.
I want Nora to know that I love her like crazy, but I love her daddy most. And, that’s the way it should be.