Wednesday, February 25

Guest Contributor...

Stacy and I asked one of the original "Homemakers with Hope" to share some thoughts about how she keeps her marriage a priority. She is a young mom of 2 daughters...

"I would be the first to say that keeping my marriage a priority is very difficult in this day and age of our fast-paced society. We are all so busy doing things that are good that we easily lose sight of what is best (i.e. our marriages). I do feel like I need to state the obvious, but the ideas I list below are things we do but we do them all surrounded in a blanket of prayer everyday. We know that left to ourselves we would choose to be selfish, we would choose to fight against each other instead of work together. It is only through our individual relationship with Jesus that allows us to see each other through God's eyes and allows us to have the marriage that God himself designed. Without His strength and goodness flowing through us, we would not be able to maintain a good marriage on our own. So that said, here are a few practical ways Jeff and I have chosen to help us keep our marriage a priority.

First, we choose to talk often about our relationship. We talk about our goals and dreams as a couple. This helps us stay focused and connected and moving in the same direction. It is very motivating to make something a priority when you are moving together in the same direction to meet a common goal.

Second, we purposely put ourselves in situations that make us communicate (even and especially about the everyday things) as much as possible. One way we do this is we have only one car. It not only allows us to save money, it makes us talk everyday about what we are doing, our schedules, and ultimately our feelings about those things going on in our day. It helps us stay on the same page which is really important in a good marriage.

Third, we try to schedule regular date nights. We are fortunate enough to have our parents close by to help watch our girls so we can make this a reality. Time away together is essential to making your marriage a priority. Along with the date nights we try to foster activities that we both love. We love to go to movies and out to eat. When going out isn't an option we will often rent or re-watch a movie that we both love. Doing things that we both love helps maintain the relationship and helps us keep it a priority."

Wow, great ideas and insight...thanks for sharing Betsy!


Anonymous said...

That is the silliest advice I have heard on marriage. I totally disagree with the notion that we will (left to our own) tear each other down and be selfish. The best marriages are ones that are strong from the start - ones with people who actually love each other. If you find yourself working that hard to keep your marriage together then I suggest taking a look at why you got married in the first place. In looking at my friends the best marriages are the ones that require the least amount of work. If you are working non-stop then perhaps you errored in who you married or have the wrong focus. Just my two cents.

Stacy said...

Thanks for sharing your perspective anonymous!

However, I would have to say I disagree. If marriage were easy then there wouldn't be hundreds of books written about how to have a better marriage, talks shows about marriage and many marriage counselors.

One of the best quotes I have ever heard is, "Marriage is hard. Good marriages are even harder."

I do believe because of our sinful nature we are naturally selfish people - that is very Biblical. As in all relationships (friendships, siblings, peers) if you don't spend time working on your marriage relationship I believe you will naturally grow apart. The longer you are marriage, the easier that might become. But with young children and activities wanting our attention, it definitely takes work to make marriage a priority.

Anyone else have thoughts they want to share on marriage? Do you find it is hard work? Does it come easy to you and your spouse?

Anonymous said...

Of course there are hundreds of books written on the subject- there are a lot of people who have a hard time with their marriage. Just note the divorce rate. However, of course people who are having a hard time would look for a book- people who don't think they have difficult marriages will not be looking for books on the subject.

I think Christians focus too much on the "sinful nature" of people. Even if you want to explore that as a reason then I would say my statement remains true. If you naturally love the person and didn't end up with the wrong person then the selfish thing to do is to keep the marriage going. Why would you want the marriage to break down if you enjoyed it so much? The people I know that are the most happy in their marriage and have been married the longest are the most comfortable and work the least on the marriage.

Again I think you are confusing marriage and life. Life is HARD- marriage should not be. Of course at any given moment life may be more or less stressful but again if you really enjoy your spouse and are selfish in wanting to be around them and enjoy them then that part makes the "hard" part of life easier. I would state again if you really are that consumed with how "hard" marriage is take a second look and see if it is the marriage or life. If you find that it is in fact your marriage ask yourself am I trying to control my spouse or did I marry the wrong person. I would guess those would be the 2 most common results if examined closely (I agree there are always exceptions to the rule but since the original post was a generalization I thought it correct to follow through on that thought).