Why marriage first?
When we say we are prioritizing something, typically it means we had other options.
Many couples want hot happy relationships, but they struggle when it comes to putting the effort required to make the relationship hot and happy.
Essentially, they want A Class relationships, but are only willing to put in C Class attention.
Here’s something we all need to understand – we all have to work at keeping marriage first. You don’t have to look far to find something screaming “pick me! pick me! pick me! now!”
Maybe it’s a job, going back to school to advance a career, a promotion, traveling, coffee with a friend, family obligations, long phone call with someone in need, business meetings, ministry obligations e.t.c .
We all have something to occupy all our waking hours.
What we lack is the ability to say “No” or “Not now”
I know many of you reading this are busy. We are busy women.
Today I just want to lay a challenge before you, what are you busy doing?
I have come to discover, often painfully, that just because I can do something, even succeed at it, does not mean I should be doing it.
I want my marriage to be a certain way – hot, impactful, fulfilling. But it won’t get there by itself.
Wanting it, talking about it, even praying about it, won’t get it there. I have to be intentional about it – intentional about my energy and time.
It has to be that this relationship, this vow I took before God and man – gets my highest attention, after my relationship with God.
After that decision comes the alignment – organizing my life around the marriage, not the other way round.
Therein lies the struggle for most of us.
We love our marriage, but when push comes to shove, our marriage bears the brunt.
We think “My husband will always be there but this opportunity won’t”
“Other people do it, why can’t we?”
We plan our marriages around our lives and then wonder why we struggle.
So lets consider all your (and my) busyness
Is the Lord leading you in your busyness or are you doing things simply because you can?
Are you overly committed because you want more money and more stuff? On that note, do you know that God’s primary desire for us is not to be rich in dollars but to be rich towards Him?
Being rich in Him involves living within His will for our lives.
Mark you, money isn’t bad, but being a slave of money, sacrificing your relationship because of money, is.
You might be in the midst of a busyness-storm, wondering what to do.
Maybe you need to accept the fact that the only thing that will restore sanity to your life and marriage is to clip the schedules and lessen your load.
I am a HUGE fan of pursuing purpose, I encourage women to go big on dreams. I am not implying that married women should not pursue big dreams.
But we have to recognize that no matter how big our dreams are, how high our aspirations are, we cannot do it all.
We are not supposed to do it all.
We are supposed to pick and choose. And we picked and chose the #1 priority on the day we said “I do”.
Trusting God to hold you
Often times, it comes down to trust.
Do I trust God to take care of us when I answer the call to stay at home and raise the kids?
Do I trust God with my career, that He will bring other opportunities in future if I turn down a promotion which would take me out of state?
If you are serious about following God and creating a marriage that preaches the gospel, you have to accept that there’s stuff you won’t be able to do.
Promotions you can’t take, people you can’t hang out with, stuff you have to leave. Not (always) because it’s wrong, but because it’s not for you.
Because you are spirit-led and can discern God’s will. You are sensitive to things that encroach your boundaries and are passionate about protecting your highest treasures.
You see, your marriage is meant to preach the gospel. Somebody is supposed to look at you and think “There’s something about those two, I don’t know what it is, but they are different”
Someone should look at what you have and want it for themselves.
But you cannot create this relationship that shares the good news, in a hurried, stress-filled chaotic space.
Does God want us to be successful? Does He want us to sit in circles of influence?
Does He want us to be highly educated? Does He want us to be movers and shakers?
Yes, yes yes!
But all these, at His sending.
He goes with those He sends.
We don’t send ourselves, He sends us!
We trust and discern what God wants us to do. Not what seems okay to do.
Marriage first – there’s a price to pay
It’s not that we won’t ever have to sacrifice or stretch as married women. I am not saying our lives should be easy and comfortable.
I am saying that we should be Spirit-led, not led of the flesh.
If you are that person that has to go back to school to earn that second degree (you’ve prayed about it, discussed with hubby, feel it’s God’s will), God’s grace and peace will keep you.
But if you are a friend of that person that has gone back to school to earn their second degree, and now you feel you must get yours also …. that’s what I am trying to address today.
The idea that we can survive on another person’s grace.
The idea that our marriage can survive, even thrive, in the face of constant neglect, disengagement, busyness, high levels of stress.
The idea that marriage is not a sacrifice, that one spouse can do whatever they wish and the other spouse should lovingly support them.
The idea that when we said “I do”, we did not say “I don’t” to other paths and ideas.
The Bible says
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
God is a God of order – first things first.
And with it we also understand that “all these things” might not get added on our time frame.
There’s a sacrifice to marital intimacy.
You might have to “drive a car for ten years or more. You may have to forego expensive vacations. You may have to make do with hand-me-downs and shopping in the thrift stores rather than going to Nordstrom.. Kevin Leman.
We don’t obey God, because of the benefits we get all though He’s good and loves to bless us. We obey God because He is God. Because we love Him.
And of course we don’t want to get to heaven and watch all our earthly accomplishments and successes go up in flames!
“But I was so gifted and successful in this area, God, why doesn’t it count? “
And God will say “Because I did not call you to it!”
Your turn – What do you think about priorities? Have we become too busy as couples? How are you protecting your marriage from the “busyness” of life?
For a step by step guide on how to keep your marriage first, find joy, healing and happiness in the midst of a busy of life, pick up my book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After In The Early Years. I show you how to create a solid foundation for a marriage that will last. Get on the road to a great marriage (or improve the one you have) when you pick it up> Amazon Paperback I Kindle I Barnes & Noble I PDF I UK/Europe PDF . Or Click here to go to the book page.