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  • Writer's picturePam

Prioritize Love

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

Let me ask you a question. If life continued on the same track for your marriage or relationship as it’s on right now, where will your relationship be in 1 year, 5 years, 32 years, 58 years? Will it bring you closer together or further apart?

A few weeks ago, I was helping my parents pack up their home in preparation for a move. My dad decided that the second bedroom in their new home would be a den and that finding a couple new recliners for him and my mom, with an end table for the middle, would be a good thing – so we went shopping! We stopped at the first furniture store which had some nice recliners. They found a couple that they really liked, but decided to look a little more since it was our first stop. We traveled to the next furniture store and came across a love seat which had two individual chairs that reclined, with a console in the middle, which they also liked. We sat there and talked about what to do, and my dad thought the 2 recliners still might be more of what he was looking for. All of a sudden, a thought stopped me. You know, the kind where your heart skips a beat? You see, currently at home they sit on a full-sized couch, sitting each on an end, with the newspaper in the middle. It was not uncommon for my dad to reach over to hold my mom’s hand, and I always loved seeing that. Through tears I said “Dad, it just dawned on me that if you get the two individual recliners with the end table in the middle, you won’t be able to hold Mom’s hand as well.” He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said “Well, I guess that settles it.”. They bought the loveseat. Marriage goals. After 58 years of marriage they base their decisions on whether or not they can hold hands. That doesn’t just happen. It takes work. A lot of work.

That precious experience gave me food for thought. Am I making my marriage a priority, or am I just taking each day as it comes, hoping that things will turn out right? If I were to be completely honest, I would say we’ve had times of both. My husband and I have been married for almost 32 years, and are now (for the most part!) empty nesters. Those years of raising our 3 children were busy and filled with much joy! They were also filled sleepless nights, financial constraints, demanding careers, messy houses, sporting and school events, and runny noses. I know the first thing that was easily put aside was prioritizing our time together. Although we didn’t always succeed, we tried to be intentional about going on dates, sending the kids to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a week in the summer, or even just creating time to talk at the end of our day. It wasn’t always easy, or budget friendly, but it was always worth it.

Now life has brought us back to just the two of us again. Life can still get busy, and prioritizing marriage can still be a struggle. The busy is different, and it’s still easy to let the relationship slide if we don’t protect it. We try to be intentional about finding time for each other (and a new fun with the nest empty!), and some days are easier than others. We can also tell when we have let it slip and, once again, learn the importance of making it a priority.

What about you? How are you at prioritizing your marriage and relationships? It is very important to consciously evaluate that regularly. If you have young children, having your children see that your priority is with your spouse will bring them security and stability. Prioritizing your marriage will show them that they aren’t the center of the family (that is a heavy load for them to carry!), and will teach them what a healthy marriage looks like. My mom and dad are still teaching that to me! Investing in and prioritizing your marriage now, sets up a precedent for the future. Kids will always take whatever attention you are willing to give them. Show them, while you love them to pieces, your spouse is where your priority lies. You can teach that at any age!

Relationships don’t stay the same – they are either moving forward or backward. I started this by asking you if your marriage or relationship continued on the same track as it’s on right now, where will your relationship be in 1 year, 5 years, 32 years, or 58 years? If we are not intentional about prioritizing our marriage, the natural tendency will be to go backwards. If that is you, it is not too late. Take some time with your spouse; come up with one or two steps you can take to start shifting your marriage relationship back on track, making it a priority. Set a timeframe for for first step to be completed by, hopefully within the next week or two!

Life is a journey. Sooo much of the journey is amazing! The birth of your children, growing careers, friendships deepen, goals being met, milestones and vacations – times when you wish time could stop! There are also times that are painful and difficult – financial struggles, health concerns, parenting issues. What gets a marriage (and ourselves) through those times? 1. God. God is for your marriage! Bring it to Him. He has a purpose for you and your marriage! 2. A partner for life. It is possible! You are on this journey together! No one else has the same life journey that you and your spouse share. When you persevere, and get to the other side, it will be oh so sweet! Give each other grace, let them know that you have their back, and that when life gets crazy, they are still most important. Protect your marriage with all you’ve got! Also, we know that not all marriages last. It’s the reality of being 2 broken people. If this is your case, it’s okay. Give yourself grace, and put your faith and trust in a God that loves you beyond all understanding! He has an amazing plan for you!

What do you want your kids and others to say about your marriage after 58 years? I want mine to say we base our decisions on whether or not we can hold hands.

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