The topic of marriage has been brought up in many different ways for me over the past few weeks. My husband and I have been given the opportunity to focus on our marriage a bit more lately. Our pastor, Philip Wagner, just released his new book, “How To Turn You Marriage Around in 10 Days.” (Get it! It’s awesome!) With these opportunities to focus on my marriage, I’ve realized how easy it is to take my spouse for granted. My husband and I have vowed to be together to the end of our lives. Divorce is not an option for us. So, when problems arise in our marriage, we know we have to address them. Our marriage is very good, but like any two people living together and facing life, we have some real challenges come up. However, because I know we will be together to the end, it has become too easy to prioritize other relationships and events over my marriage relationship. This became very apparent this morning.
My youngest daughter goes to pre-school two mornings a week. She LOVES to go to pre-school!! Even though she only goes two days, each morning she wakes up, she asks if she is going to pre-school today. As we were ready to walk out the door this morning, I realized I couldn’t find the keys to our van. I looked everywhere – all the usual places, all the unusual places – everywhere. Nothing. My daughter’s school is a little over a mile away. So after searching for several minutes, I decide I will just quickly walk her to school. Now, we just sold our last stroller and my daughter is 2, so I know that by choosing to walk over a mile, I’m probably going to have to carry her for part of it. So we head out. She willingly runs for a block or two and then tells me she is so tired. So, I basically jog the next mile with my 35 pound child on my shoulders or my back. We get to school about 20 minutes late. My daughter is delighted to be at school! Then, I turn around and walk the mile back home.
My love for my daughter made me willingly do something a little extreme, without having to ponder it for more than a few seconds. I was willing to go out of my way to please her. As I was walking home, I thought, “When was the last time I was willing to jog two miles, carrying a 35 pound weight in order to please my husband? When was the last time I went out of my way to delight him?” I couldn’t really think of a time lately when I had done this. I do little things for him everyday that show him that I love him, but nothing that is extra special. This made me a little sad. How did I let this happen?
Somehow, I’ve let my priorities shift. It wasn’t intentional to have my marriage become just an ordinary part of each day. My husband is the man whom I could hardly sit next to when we first met because I was so attracted to him. He’s the one that makes my heart skip a beat when I see him. He’s the one who has loved me more completely and beautifully than anyone else. He’s the one who holds me when I cry and calls me beautiful. He’s my biggest fan and my encourager. It is this man that I have been taking for granted.
Obviously, it is time to shift my priorities to focus back to our precious relationship. This is the first step in Pastor Philip’s book: making our marriage the priority again. It is simple, but not easy. It has to be a conscious decision daily to place my husband and our marriage above all other relationships, even our children. What good will it do our children if we focus on them and lose our marriage? I’ve been through divorce and the wreckage it causes in so many lives. I am willing to do the work so that my marriage not only survives, but thrives!
How about you? Where is your marriage relationship on your priority list? Is it time to schedule some date nights? Time to run a couple miles to delight your spouse? Do it! It is worth it! Share your stories below!!