prioritizing your spouse
A woman in my church’s discipleship group drew me aside after our time together a few years ago and gave some insight I’ll never forget. She had two teens and was about to divorce her spouse. Her family was disintegrating, and she blamed the breakup on her own decisions. During our group time, I mentioned that my husband and I were going away for the weekend to work on our marriage, but I was worried about leaving the kids behind. She urged me not to be concerned.
“Get away with him, Samantha. “Don’t prioritize the kids’ schedules,” she said. “I did it throughout our marriage, with sports and everything else they had going on. Kept myself occupied at the expense of my marriage. I wish we had made time for one another, but we didn’t. I ended up having an affair. I’m sorry for everything.”
My eyes widened as I remembered my children still in diapers. As she pushed her strawberry blonde hair away from her face, tears welled up in her eyes.
I could feel the anguish and agony in her heart. I prayed for her, hoping that God would bring their family back together.
What is truly at stake?
Years have gone by since that evening, and her words continue to haunt me. With four children under the age of nine, I’ve felt the push and pull of life since my marriage to Jeremiah. On certain days, it might be referred to as the family circus. The activity and noise are so loud that I can’t hear me speak, and my attention is never concentrated on one thing. Some days are complex and overwhelming, and I want to give up.
A lifelong alienation from our spouse isn’t necessary.Instead, we have the option of choosing oneness, unity, and satisfaction. It all starts with our decisions. Here are four strategies to start loving your spouse above and beyond your schedule:
Find a way to connect with your spouse each day.
Make time for your spouse every day, whether in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Unplug from all distractions and focus entirely on the task at hand. Inquire, for example, “How are you doing?” What can I do to assist you better? What was the most encouraging/disappointing thing you learned today?
In the middle of life’s responsibilities, connecting with your partner takes intentionality. It will not happen by itself; you must make the time. Evenings after the kids have gone to bed and the house is quiet are when my husband and I enjoy our most intimate moments together.Protect and guard it like your beautiful newborn baby at whichever time is best for you.
Say “no” often.
There are many beautiful things in our lives to commit to, but not all of them are the best. You are learning to say no, maybe one of the most beneficial things you can do for your relationship.
You may need to say no to things you enjoy, such as Facebook, ESPN, and Netflix, as well as late nights at work when the job can be done the next day, an unhealthy habit, or other distractions that hinder you from being intimate. Because it’s much easier to distinguish between excellent and outstanding when you say yes instead of no, you’ll find yourself unsatisfied with good in the end.