Marriage does not come without the constant distractions of life. Distractions such as social media, entertainment, hobbies, and some of the more easily ignored distractions – jobs, money, children, bills, personal struggles/desires (sex, lust, pride, anxiety,etc.), and oneself. When reading the prior sentence, did any of those strike your heart a little more than others? Do you make it a priority in your marriage to protect your marriage from the distractions you personally face?
If I am being honest, most couples do not make protecting their marriage a priority. Why? Because it’s hard. It takes effort. It takes work. It takes constant focus, determination, selflessness, and the desire to want to protect “it.” Since dating, Brian and I have consciously made an effort to consistently evaluate our efforts in protecting our relationship. Yes, some days need no work and we can mentally high five one another for having no concerns, or “needs” on either end . . . but some days we sit down together whether it be through tears (okay, only on my end let’s be real) or honest words in how we feel one aspect of our marriage has fallen off the “priority list.”
Through our own experience and learning from the words of others through books, family, or friends we have come up with a list of ways or tips we recommend that will ensure a protected marriage:
Make your spouse YOUR priority
Not your phone. Not your job. Not your children. Not yourself. Your spouse must be your priority. Yes, there will be days and times in life when other priorities exist (a newborn at home or a couple extra hours at work to help pay the recent medical bill) but when this does occur, it is essential that you make your spouse your focus when possible. All I ever want is for Brian to be happy because when he is happy and feels loved, I do too. When he feels loved it is much easier for him to love me which in turn causes me to be happy and feel loved! The only one who should ever come before your spouse is God!
DO NOT speak poorly of your spouse to others
As I mentioned in a previous post, speaking poorly of your spouse to others creates hardness in not only their heart but yours as well. The more you speak of something, the more you begin to believe it and soak it in. Instead of complaining to your listener that your spouse came home an hour late from work or that they haven’t made the bed all week, state what you are pleased with no matter how small. Share with your listener how your spouse offered to watch your favorite television show instead of their own, that they vacuumed when you didn’t ask them to, or that they simply woke your child up and let you sleep in five more minutes. Speaking poorly of your spouse will ensure a hardened heart on both ends of the relationship.
Love your spouse PHYSICALLY
Remember back to when you couldn’t get enough of each other? What about now? Are you sleeping in a California king sized bed on opposite sides? Go back to where you started! Spice it up – think back to some of your favorite memories when being loved on. After years of saying “stop” to your husbands butt grabs . . . have you realized he stopped? Cherish those! Are you so tired you reject your spouses offer of even just a massage? Instead, offer them a naked massage! Their reaction will be worth it! Physical attraction was most likely what lead you into the relationship you’re in. Don’t ever lose that!
Date, date, date , date, and date. It cannot be stated enough. When a spouse stops perusing or dating their loved one, the chances of divorce or an unhappy marriage increase significantly! The frequency for date days/nights will differ for every couple but whatever you find to work best for you, stick with it! A date can be the common dinner and a movie to simply visiting your local coffee shop together over your lunch hour! Take turns asking one another “out.”
Yes, everything. Your heart. Your money. Your time. Your goals. Your interests. Your dreams. Once you hold one item back, it is easy to begin to hold other items back. You should want to share everything with your spouse because well . . . they should be your everything. Share your failures, where you may have messed up, your sin, and your struggles. Honesty is everything. Though this one is straight forward, it’s easily ignored!
Pray, PRAY, pray
Protecting your marriage through prayer can be so powerful and rewarding. Prayer should always come from the heart and naturally does. I can tell you I love nothing more than when I hear my husband pray to God. His prayers are his own and they are absolutely beautiful. I cherish the way he prays for our family, our friends, our world, our marriage, and even me. His prayers make me want to pray more and more! Pray daily for your spouse.
and our favorite
Make God your priority
Brian and I got together at a time in our lives where God was finally our individual priority. Obviously, previous relationships did not work out because we had not made God a priority in our hearts and in our daily lives. God should always be your number ONE and your spouse your number TWO. Sometimes you’ll find Brian and I calling one another “number two” because it helps to remind us where we should place one another in our hearts!
There are of course many other ways to ensure the protection of your marriage but these are the ways we know work for us . . . or what we know our relationship needs to focus on. Every marriage and every relationship will have different protection methods. It’s about recognizing what your marriage needs to thrive and last “till death us part.”
love always, kylie
* Please let us know in the comments any ways you and your loved one ensure a protected marriage! We are always wanting to learn from others!