Prioritizing Marriage (even when your kids’ needs are screaming louder than your husband’s)

A peek inside this post: Use these tips for prioritizing marriage, even when you’re exhausted by motherhood. Remind your husband that he’s your #1, even if it feels like he literally has to “take a number” just to talk to you. This post will teach you how to make your marriage a priority as you ride the rollercoaster of parenthood together, an investment that will pay off long after your kids have gotten off the ride.

Mama, I get it. You are exhausted. You are over-touched, over-worked, and over-stimulated. As moms, we are blessed to be everybody’s “person”. It’s a great reward, but can also be incredibly exhausting. When we’re raising kids, their needs are often more prevalent than those of our husband.

It’s a very difficult thing to do, prioritizing marriage. 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.

You may be wondering how to make your marriage a priority, if it’s even possible, when you’re in the thick of raising a family. 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 in marriage helps it grow stronger. It also helps our children know that the world doesn’t revolve around them.

Priorities in Marriage

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…

  1. God
  2. Spouse
  3. Me

Want to keep this as a reminder? You can Pin it:

for a great marriage put God first, then your spouse, and yourself last

And I even bumped down a few more spots after we 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 and prioritize our marriage again.

10 Ways to Prioritize 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.

woman praying for husband

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.

Pray for your husband everyday. Pray for his safety, his faith, for God to use his gifts for God’s purpose, and ask God to help you grow stronger together.

Pray that God would help your husband make your marriage a priority, too.

2. Value his opinions over what your 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.

It can be difficult to tell our kids “no.” But remember that you need to value your husband’s opinions more than your kids’ wants.

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.

husband and wife connecting over coffee

Talk about your goals and desires for the week. Pursuing the same things helps tasks get done easier and better.

>>This Simple Family Command Center can help keep everyone on the same page!

In the evening, talk about how your day went. Catch up and truly listen to each other.

Find the time to connect each day to keep your bond strong.

4. Text 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.

Here are a few graphics you can screenshot and text to him. Show him you’re making your marriage a priority this week!

can't stop thinking about you text message
can't wait to kiss you text message
you are a hard worker text message

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 now 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 your dreams for the future. Share that together and see how you can support each other, aligning what God has put on your hearts.

husband and wife dreaming about their future and priorities

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.

>>Writing a Family Mission Statement can help you determine whether or not a new activity is the right fit for your family.

8. Respect what’s important to him/don’t disrespect 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.

woman boosting her husband's confidence with a kiss

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 and prioritize your spouse…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

You can take THIS TEST to see what your Love Languages are. It’s great to know because it shows how you give and receive love, and also how your husband does.

Knowing this has allowed us to express that love better to each other, and be better at prioritizing marriage.

how to make marriage work when you have kids

When I Don’t Have My Priorities in Marriage 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 Husband Doesn’t Prioritize You

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 in marriage, rather than trying to change him.

How Do You Make Your Marriage a Priority?

What ways are you already using for prioritizing your marriage? What are the most challenging stages of raising kids where it’s difficult to prioritize your marriage? I would love to hear more ideas!

Here are some more helpful posts about marriage:

7 Keys to a Healthy Marriage – Husband and Wife team up to bring you the 7 most important keys to a healthy marriage. Use their practical advice, based on biblical truth, to create a Christian marriage that will knock your socks off!

An Open Letter to My Husband on Our Anniversary – Use this letter to help wish your husband a happy twelfth anniversary, or as inspiration to write your own anniversary letter (no matter which number you’re celebrating)!

How to Fight for Your Marriage – No marriage is perfect. Learn how to keep fight for your marriage (instead of with each other!).

Effortless Dating Ideas for Married Couples – Prioritize your marriage with fun and simple dates. It doesn’t have to be complicated!

Modern Homemaking for Christian Moms – Did you believe society’s lie that you weren’t supposed to feel fulfilled in your roles as a wife, mom, and homemaker? Ditch that tired narrative read these tips for embracing homemaking in today’s world.

Prioritizing Marriage

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2 thoughts on “Prioritizing Marriage (even when your kids’ needs are screaming louder than your husband’s)”

  1. #8 really resonated with me. May we lift each other up during marriage trials as opposed to adding our own complaints in. I have recently been trying to “save the best for last” for him. I’m beat by supper time when he arrives but have been digging deep and asking God for one last boost of energy so my hubby can enjoy a good side of me too.

    Reply
    • It’s absolutely a challenge! And each day is different! It’s great that you recognize it and care to adapt your life around your priorities <3

      Reply

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