The Marriage Priority

Making Your Marriage a Priority | RaisingArrows.net

If you look at the titles of the topics here on Raising Arrows, you will quickly see

I am a mother.

The minute I wake up (and often long before I wake up), I am mothering in some way.  I nurse the baby, I homeschool the children, I change diapers, cook meals, and wash laundry in copious amounts.  I hug, kiss, and snuggle from sun up to sun down.  I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world, but…

It would be easy for my entire life to become child-centered.

Amy and Micah

I was blessed to be raised in a home where my parents’ marriage was a priority.  I knew I was loved, but I also knew I didn’t belong in every conversation and every situation.  My mom and dad were strong parents because they had a strong marriage…not the other way around.

Many husbands feel they play second fiddle to the kids.  Many moms feel they could parent a whole lot better if Dad would get out of the way.  They aren’t in this together because they don’t do much of anything TOGETHER.

Our homes are not to be child-centered.  They are to be family-centered and that starts with a marriage that is grounded and focused.  The marriage must be a priority.

Not every moment of the day should be child-filled.  Not every conversation need involve the children.  Closed doors are good.  Locks are even better.

I want my children to know that mommy and daddy love them because they love each other.  I want them to know that the covenant between us is of the utmost importance and when the going gets tough, mommy and daddy stand united…not because we are their parents, but because we are of one flesh.

Here are a few ways you can help make your marriage a priority.  I hope you will see that it is often the little things that speak the loudest.

Have the children go to bed a little early, so you and your husband can have time to unwind together.

Make a special treat for him every couple of days.  Make sure you tell him you made it with him in mind.

Hang out in the bathroom while he takes a shower and chit-chat through the curtain (or surprise him by joining him behind the curtain!)

Have him call you on his way home from work so you can meet him in the driveway for a little “alone time” in the vehicle.

Keep him updated on the happenings at home (not always the bad stuff, please!) via phone, text messages, or email.

Pray together.

Share a pillow.

Don’t be afraid to lock the bedroom door…in the middle of the day.

Have him read the Bible to you.

Laugh together.  A lot!

Dance in the kitchen.

Kiss in front of the kids.

Teach the children not to interrupt conversations.

Don’t always choose family activities based on what the kids want to do.  It’s okay for the kids to spend the weekend doing what mom and dad want to do, going where mom and dad want to go, and yes, even eating where mom and dad want to eat!

May your marriage be blessed and your parenting a testimony to that love!

Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘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. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
Matthew 19:4-6

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46 thoughts on “The Marriage Priority

  1. What a wonderful, true, common sense, so, so, so true post, such words of wisdom. I wholeheartedly agree. I lost my husband a month ago, but we made a practice of putting so many of the things you mentioned above to work in our home. We were a happy family because we were united, together in this family thing. And our children knew it. I am so sad to have lost him at the young age of 31, but I know he made a lasting impression on our children, young as they are, that will positively affect their characters and hearts. We will see him in heaven someday!

    • Oh Rachel! I am so sorry for your loss, but what a testimony you have! Praise the Lord for the time you did have and the beauty of what you had. Your children will carry that with them for sure.

    • Rachel, I just read your comment, and I am so sorry for your loss, and I am praying for you. My Dad passed suddenly at the age of 33, with us all being very young. My Mom clung to the Lord, and He always supplied for our needs. We cherish the stories and memories of my Dad, and it is very real to us the reality that we will be reunited again.
      I am praying for you today, and I know that the Lord will hold you and your children so close!!

    • Rachel,
      I said a prayer for you. I can’t even imagine the pain of losing my husband and I am close to your age (30 soon). Just know a sister in Christ is praying for you and your family….that God will cover you in His peace and hold your family in His hands as you learn to live without your other half on earth.
      Love your sister in Christ,
      Lindsey

    • Rachel this made my heart drop! I’ll be 31 on Saturday (my husband is 34) and I can’t imagine losing him so young! I will be praying for you and your children and for healing for your heart! May the Lord bless you and keep you in His hands.

    • Oh Rachel, what a breathtaking comment you left. What a beautiful picture of the peace that passes understanding. I pray a blessing of provision for you and your precious children…to be protected, loved, and held up by the Father. That His love with fill to overflowing the gap left in your family. Much love from a mom in Tennessee.

    • Thank you all for the kind words, thoughts, and prayers. Yesterday was a hard day, and your comments brought touched tears to my eyes. Thank you so much! And thank you, Amy, for your godly blog encouraging godly families. :)
      ~Rachel

      • ((HUGS)) Rachel – I just love how everyone rallied around you to lift you up in prayer. You are loved…even by those who do not know you.

  2. I agree! The funny thing about priorities is that they don’t stay nailed down do they? You decide what’s important, but you must keep re-visiting the issue to maintain the proper focus in your life. Marriage is a hard issue to keep on the top of the stack with today’s husbands working so far from home and being gone all day long. I long for the days when a father’s work was right there on the farm and a faily could share everymeal together. Like you’ve emphasiszed before, it takes work to keep your husband where he belongs in your life!

  3. I loved these suggestions! Except for the sharing a pillow thing :). I have a ‘no touching while sleeping’ rule. Ha! But it does sound romantic if I could ever fall asleep like that! Thanks for sharing!

    • We don’t share a pillow either, but I mentioned that one because we have friends who give the same wedding gift to every new couple – 1 king sized pillow. :)

    • That is so funny! I have a no touching while sleeping rule too! We can snuggle but when I go to roll over that means I’m ready to go to sleep and leave me alone please! lol Glad to see I’m not the only one :-)

  4. This is so true. It is easy to get caught up in the kids and not do all the “extras” that I used to do for my husband (little notes,etc) just purely out of exhaustion. I can tell when he is feeling like he hasn’t had the attention he needs. It is something I am working on because it IS important. Thank you for this encouragement.

  5. Thank you for sharing this most important truth of truth about parenting. When a husband and wife are united in one flesh because they individually love Jesus Christ and rely on Him for their needs, the marriage and home are so beautiful as God intended.

    Dear Lord I pray your comfort and blessings would be with Rachel and her family. Thank you for the gift of a wonderful father and knowing he is face to face with you in Heaven. Please give Rachel peace, faith and energy to grieve and take care of her children. Help her to continue to know how much you love her and her family. Glorify yourself and bless her according to your will. In Christ’s name. Amen.

  6. Love, Love, Love this article! The “I’m a mother before anything else” mentality is such a common and detrimental idea among many families. Close family and friends are often telling me that it’s ok to fudge dinner occasionally, spend days in my pajamas, or let the housework go because I have a baby at home. My response to these things is always the same: “I was a Jordan’s wife before I was Ben’s mom”.

  7. Amy I enjoy your blog posts so much! I have meant to email you and ask if you would be willing to share about marriage. Now can I make the request that you share more frequently on this topic? :)

  8. Love this post!

    I’m in the early stages of being a mom (just an 11-month-old and one more on the way) and this has been something that I’ve always wanted (marriage-focused), but also noticing how easy it is to make life child-focused. Great tips!

  9. Thank you so much for this!!!! These are great ideas and it is SO important to put our marriages first. There are times I need to re-group just so I can change my thinking from Mom-mode to wife-mode. I also have a no-touching rule while sleeping! LOL But, we often “cuddle” on the couch and always kiss in front of them! It’s good to “gross them out” every once in a while! haha

  10. Excellent read! Thanks be to God, my husband and I have an awesome marriage and I attribute it to the fact that we do most of the things you mentioned above, and more importantly that we put God first in our lives.

    Rachel, I’m so sorry for the loss of your husband. My family will keep you and yours in our prayers.

  11. Thanks for that. As mama of 4 littles under 5 I know how things can get. It’s nice to have a little reminder that husbands should be #1.

  12. I completely agree with what you’re saying here…but I’m not sure how to apply it in our home. I have a super-high-needs 8 month old daughter who has to be held literally 24 hours a day. We do not have any family nearby. There is no “sneaking away” for personal time with my husband. She has to sleep and nap next to me…if I try to get up, she wakes up immediately and is super clingy for the rest of the day.

    I am hoping that as she gets older she will not always be this way, but this is my life right now, whether I want/like it or not. I want my marriage to be the priority. I love my husband dearly. It took 15 years for us to have this baby and I so miss our relationship as it was before my daughter…that’s a long time to get “set” in our ways! One day, I hope that our family doesn’t revolve around my daughter. Please tell me there’s hope for us yet!

    • Yes, I’m in the same boat. We had our little one after 10 years of marriage. I am sad to say that my hubby behaves as if he is tired of us, and me, quite often. I think he feels like he has lost ‘who he is’, his identity. He at a point where he definitely would not want me chatting with him while he’s in the shower, cuz that’s his break from us! Sigh. I’m hoping and praying we’ll figure this out. Would appreciate any advice!

      • Tara and Gaby,
        I remember my sister telling me that she spent two years trying to “get back to normal” after her first was born, until she realized that she had a new “normal.” There are all sorts of seasons to our marriage over the years. Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye to a season and welcome a new one, but God has great things for us in each place. My encouragement is to be patient and do what small things you can to build your marriage, and we do have to adjust our expectations along the way as well. Jesus is near to you! There is hope. I have prayed over you and your husbands before sending this. May the Lord pour out blessing on you.

    • There is definitely hope, Tara! And you can still have a well-maintained marriage even with your daughter’s needs. You just have to be a little more creative than some of us. ;) She’s young enough that she won’t monopolize your conversation, so do your best to put your focus there.

  13. Thank you for this post! We homeschool, so my life is very much child-centered, and although, I am no longer married, it gives me hope of a marriage like this— rooted in Christ! I want my children to see how GOD intended marriage to be. This article made my heart smile. :)

  14. Thank you for sharing this. I think this is vitally important to our families today. It is easy when you have children to focus solely on them and forget that your husband has needs as well.

  15. What a great post! My husband often says to the kids “Do you know how much I love your mother?” or “Guess what kids? I love your mom so much!” We kiss in front of the kids, hold hands, dance in the kitchen. I need to get better at making him feel as special as he makes me feel on a regular basis. I try but I tend to let my “It’s been a long day and I’m exhausted” attitude takeover! Thanks for the reminder!

  16. We do a lot from your list and these efforts really do help. If we don’t stay intentional about them then I get cranky and we both withdraw…not good.
    For years we’ve relied on the after-the-kids-go-to-bed-date. We’ll watch a movie (or as long as we can stay awake!) and have popcorn and a treat. Once, the following morning, after seeing the leftover popcorn bowl my daughter said, “you guys always have so much fun after we go to bed!”
    Several years ago we replaced our interior doors and we “treated” ourselves to a lock on our bedroom door. We’ve taught our kids to not just walk in but the lock provides extra insurance. So nice!
    Great post Amy. Such good encouragement with practical and doable ideas.

  17. We are the parents of 6. 17,14,13,12,10&9.It would be and sometimes is difficult to just be “us”, but we have found that even though it does require work and planning,”us” is very important. We beleive that our job as parents is to raise our children in the fear and admonishen of the Lord and to train them the way He has them “bent”! If we have done this correctly( His Way) then they will one day leave to fulfill what He has given them to do, and then it will be “us”. If either of us has placed all our affections on the children and not on each other, there will be no relationship or no “us”. I personaaly have seen too many marriages( ones that started out Godly) fall away because all the focus was on the children and not enough on each other, and the effects on everyone involved( spouses and children) is devistating! Children take alot! Period! Make your spouse a priority and you will thrive as well as set a perfect example for your children to follow when they marry!

  18. Hope you don’t mind a guy’s comment! I’m at home with the kids right now, while my wife works full-time. It’s so easy to slip into the kids-first mentality, but we make our marriage a priority. We do almost all of the things you mention, and definitely see the benefits. I will say that, as a guy, sharing a pillow is really important to me. Holding my wife as we fall asleep is an important connection for me – even just holding bands. I know she doesn’t always, uh, appreciate it. But she knows what it means to me. Thanks so much for this article. I’ve shared it with several people.

  19. This is such an important topic for moms to hear. Like you said, it is easy to focus on our kids because we are with them and they are “needy.” But we are first called to be help mates. Our children will also learn honor by seeing us honor our husbands. There is a great security for a child when he sees his parents loving one another and prioritizing one another.

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