Essentials for Prioritizing Your Marriage
It’s a very difficult thing to do. Prioritizing your marriage can easily get lost in the shuffle of kids, jobs, and activities. Keeping my husband at the forefront of my mind has to be something I think about and pray for each day.
Kids bring us closer together because we’ve built a family together, by a miracle from God. But kids also can pull us apart if we choose to prioritize what the kids want over what our spouse wants and needs.
So often our kids’ needs are right in our face…ALL DAY. They let us know with whines and questions and lots of words. That’s ok because that’s often how they learn. But what I try to focus on, and let my kids know, is that we make choices for our FAMILY, not for each individual.
This means that whatever priorities my husband and I have predetermined, these are what we use to make family decisions. These priorities are sometimes difficult to be consistent with, but are well worth understanding and sticking to.
Establishing these priorities helps our marriage grow stronger. It also helps our children know that the world doesn’t revolve around them.
List of Priorities
During premarital counseling, our Pastor taught my husband and I about the order in which our priorities should be once we got married. He shared with us…
And I bumped down a few more after I had four kids!
I really appreciate that he encouraged us to think this way from the beginning, so that we could focus on what the Bible asks of us. Like I said, it’s easy to get consumed in the busyness of life and not have anything left for your spouse. We want to be intentional to not let that happen, and if it does, to sort out the order.
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10 Ways: Prioritizing Your Marriage
1. Pray for him
If you live a life full of prayer, your heart will seek after the things of God. God teaches us through His Word how a marriage is supposed to function.
Through times that I’ve put God’s will first, He’s given me peace that passes all understanding, He’s given me love for my husband, and I’ve been able to give of myself more freely to support our unity and our family.
2. Value his opinions over what our kids want
Before you answer your kids, you should consider what your husband and you have discussed together. Would he agree with your response? (He should do the same for you!)
Think about the conversations you’ve had about priorities and how you want your life to look. Go after these things together, and this includes caring more about what you and your husband have agreed on rather than what your child is asking for.
3. Set time aside each day to connect and get on the same page
It could be in the morning or at night when your kids go to bed. Find a time each day to sit down and talk. Listen to your spouse and learn what they have going on that day or how their day went.
Talk about your goals and desires for the week. Pursuing the same things helps tasks get done easier and better.
Find a time to connect each day to keep your bond strong.
4. Texting each other throughout the day
Keep each other in the loop about how your days are going. Share good things and bad. Flirt or bring up old memories.
Share life and keep it fun.
5. Make tough choices that prioritize your Marriage
A friend taught me a lot about this. She and her husband uprooted their kids from the school they grew up in, and transferred to the school district her husband works in.
It was really hard on them to leave their much-loved school and home, but they believed that it was the best choice for their marriage and kids going forward.
Sometimes we have to sacrifice other things in order to keep our marriages strong. It’s so important to make choices together that are going to tighten your family unit.
6. Set goals & dream together
Talk about what you dream about for the future. Share that together and see how you can support each other, aligning what God has put on your hearts.
It doesn’t have to be a plan. It can sometimes just be fun to share these ideas. Someday if you agree that these dreams are a priority, maybe it’s worth it to make them come true!
7. Don’t let kids’ activities overtake your schedule
Be choosy about what activities you sign your kids up for. My kids are still young enough that I haven’t fully learned this yet, but our goal as a family is to keep our family priorities in mind when we say “yes” to extras.
You CAN say no to activities. If they don’t fit into your schedule, your goals for your kids, or your budget, they’re not worth it.
8. Respect what’s important to him/don’t disrespecting him to others
We’ve all heard how important it is to show our husbands respect. It’s in a man to crave this.
It doesn’t mean we can’t speak our minds or share our thoughts, but doing it respectfully will make a huge difference in how the conversation goes.
It’s also easy to complain to friends about the day to day annoyances about our hubbies…but I try really hard not to, so that I can lift him up. I try to think about all the great qualities he has and focus on them.
It’s not my job to complain about the things I want him to change. I want my husband to respect me the same way.
9. Include things that are important to him on your daily to do list
Ask yourself: What little tasks can I do to let him know I care?
Since I’m a homemaker, I try to prioritize him by taking care of his food needs. He likes to eat healthy so I try to have things prepared that are convenient for him to grab as he runs out.
You can also food prep, or there are many other ways to show love…make his coffee in the morning, help him with a project, or plan a date night.
10. Learn his Love Language so you can love him better
Knowing this has allowed us to express that love better to each other.
When I Don’t get it Right
Even with the best intentions, I still often fail at getting it right. Each day we have to give each other new grace as we work through new events. I try to refocus on putting God first and my husband second, and do my best from there!
Take time regularly to examine your heart and prioritize marriage. Pray that God would soften your heart to serve Him first, and your husband second.
When your Spouse Doesn’t put you First
It feels stressful and frustrating when you feel like your spouse doesn’t have his priorities straight. Early in my marriage it caused me a lot of heartache that I couldn’t understand or control how my husband expressed his love to me. It was like we were speaking different languages.
What I’ve come to realize through my years in marriage and praying over my own heart, is that just because my spouse doesn’t show me love in the way I expect him to, doesn’t mean he isn’t trying.
The more I get to know the way HE loves, the more I appreciate that and feel more confident in our relationship.
Our kids do take a lot of our time and energy, but by knowing how my husband expresses his love to me, I don’t have the stress of forcing him into showing love the same way I do. I don’t want this control anyway.
If your husband’s priorities are still causing conflict in your marriage, consider praying about those things. Pray how you can love and support him in a new way. Pray for God to impact his heart. And always be open in communicating with him with love being your first priority, rather than trying to change him.
What ways do you prioritizing marriage and prioritize your husband? What are the most challenging ages of kids to do this? I would love to hear more ideas!