When did you start you start a family of your own?
Many married individuals, wrongly assume they “began a family” when they started having babies.
But that is not the case.
If you were married first, your family was established the moment you entered into that marriage covenant with your spouse. Don’t underestimate the important implications of that fact.
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.“ Mark 10:6-8
Your marriage is both the core and the foundation of your family. Children are then welcomed additions to that family. Read more on this philosophy HERE.
When our marriages are healthy, our children will feel safe in the security of a family built on the proper foundation.
When our husbands are our priority, our children will learn they’re not the show-stopping center of the universe. That’s a good thing for them to realize.
When our children see us (husband and wife) loving, valuing and serving each other first, they will learn how to build a thriving marriage and home for themselves one day.
This may seem selfish to some, but it’s really not. It’s based on the thought that a thriving, properly-prioritized marriage is what’s best for our kids. And ultimately, we put ourselves last, not first.
This hierarchy is never more essential than during the difficult seasons of life.
I have two little children, ages one and three, but I’m also seven-months pregnant and feeling a bit high-strung with pregnancy hormones and fatigue. This is not an easy season of life, despite its incredible joys and blessings.
When I feel stressed, it’s easy for me to keep my head down, eyes on the next task, stewing inside, and all-too focused on the needs of my demanding little ones. Apart from an intentional effort, my husband will not be seen, much less appreciated and valued. It’s not good for our marriage.
Thankfully though, God has been gradually and continually opening my eyes to see what I must look like: shoulders hunched over, brow furrowed, tense, and consumed with all the wrong things. During this time He has laid on my heart the need to take a step back, pause and look in my husbands eyes– to let the demands of our children wait and to remember to nurture the foundation on which our family is built.
Here are a few things I’m doing to those ends.
3 Ways to Prioritize Your Marriage for a Thriving Home
1) Say It
Throughout our marriage, my husband and I have made a point to reiterate to each other and our children that we are each other’s first priority (relationally) and that they are a very important and special second priority.
Simply putting this into words is a powerful tone-setter for our family. Ultimately, it removes all doubt from everyone’s mind.
And it doesn’t hurt our children’s feelings (that we have ever noticed). We communicate often how loved and valued they are to us. In fact, I think any child finds great security in knowing that mom and dad are fiercely committed to each other. For them, it’s truly a safe, wonderful, joyful place to be.
2) Set Aside Time Together
Time together, good, quality focused time, is essential to the health of any growing marriage.
In difficult seasons, this can feel intimidating. Conversation might not flow as easily as it once did, but don’t balk! Through the discipline of setting aside time together, you will rediscover the enjoyment of one another’s company that you once knew. You just have to do it.
This might mean setting a TV watching curfew in the evenings. Or establishing a regular date night. Read more on this HERE.
I recently arranged for us to have a date night only to realize we hadn’t done that in TWO MONTHS. That wasn’t our intention, but it did have a definite effect on our marriage and home. Now we are back on track with spending more time together, and it feels as if a weight has been lifted.
3) Wink, Smile, Notice, Kiss.
The small gestures mean so much to say, “I see you. I love you. I’m here.”
Things we need know.
For me, simply taking a deep breath and looking up into my husbands eyes goes a long way to both ground me and show him he matters.
Are you in a difficult life season? How is it affecting your marriage? Are you investing in a rock-solid foundation by prioritizing your spouse?
Let me challenge you to do that today and this week. Let us know in the comments section how it goes!