How We Fight to Keep Our Marriage Strong

In the spirit of being completely honesty, I avoided writing this blog post for pretty much the entire day on Sunday… and Monday. I was lost at the direction I wanted to take and the advice I wanted to give on the topic of marriage. Do I look at the marriage Russ and I have and feel like we have things are going well for us, yes! But putting into words the details on how we are doing that throws me for a loop. Now would also be a good time to point out that we certainly have our fair share of disagreements and annoyances. Our relationship is by no means perfect. 

Finally, after staring at the computer screen and trying to get my thoughts organized for what felt like forever, I decided to just start writing. Wouldn’t you know it worked like a charm. I don’t think what I have to share is anything groundbreaking or new, but I do hope it encourages you to work on strengthening your marriage. 

Keeping your marriage STRONG. God, marriage, children. How and why we have set our priorities.

I feel like our marriage is always something we have prioritized. We have always chosen it over other things, but we also have consistently chosen something else over it. In our home there is a pecking order, a way that we have laid out what is important. The pecking order goes like this:

God first, marriage next, and then our children. This is the order that things have to be prioritized for our marriage to stay healthy. Some of you may be nodding your head in agreement, others may be slightly tilting your head and wondering what exactly I mean. So let’s break it down a bit. 

When I say God first I am referring to my personal relationship with Christ, and Russ’ as well. I believe that relationship trumps every single other that I have. So not only do I feel like that should be a priority in my life, I want to see Russ putting Christ first in his life too. I know that if we are both loving and pursuing a relationship with God that will only bind us together and help our marriage to grow. Keeping Christ at the center of our marriage, keeps us rooted. 

How and why marriage comes before children. This is a statement that can look so many different ways, especially depending on the age of your children. Ultimately it would be hard to explain to a baby or toddler that spending time with daddy comes first. But on the other hand, someday the kids will grow up and move out #allthetears. If I neglect my relationship with my spouse and continuously prioritize relationships with the kids, that unavoidable transition may not go so well. It is also a HUGE contributor to “empty-nester divorces”.

Putting our marriage above our kids has simply looked like pursuing and fighting for our marriage in the throes of parenthood. It is realizing that yes, we do need date nights, we should talk about something other than the kids, and that sharing interests outside of our children together is healthy. We also chose to make time for both of us to pursue the things that make us, us.  It is so many little choices that we consciously have to make. They don’t always come easy, but they are always worth it.

What is one way you fight to keep your marriage strong?

God, Marriage, Children. Sharing how we keep the priorities of our marriage straight in this weeks… Click To Tweet

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  • Heather Bramlett

    Great advice, Beth! Marriage can be hard!! But oh so worth it!! 🙂
    Happy Tuesday!!

  • Wonderful advice and beautifully written! Xoxox

    • Thank you so much Sarita! Happy almost Friday.

  • Lizzie Simantz

    I remember when we went to our pre cana before we were married and this was the exact advice they gave us, now do we always follow it, no. But I can see now as our kids are getting older it’s getting easier to put our marriage first at times. Great advice 🙂

    • You are so correct. In the diaper years the lines just blur. by the time they are around 3, it gets easier. Thank you.

  • I couldn’t have said this any better. So true about putting your spouse before the kids. People often look at us funny, yes we live them and yes we would do anything for them but if your relationship isn’t strong then things will just start to crumble around you. Great advice!!!

    • YES! I couldn’t possibly agree with all of that any more than I do.

  • Meghan Flinn

    I think marriages have phases and I’m definitely finding it easier to put our marriage first as Noah gets older. With a young baby, just having an adult conversation and some quiet time was enough, while now I truly value the date nights. I agree fully though that you have to nurture the relationship outside the roles of mom and dad.

    • So true. I remember those baby year and how much harder we had to try to find any time together and how exhausted we were when we did.

  • Amen. Great advice. Thanks for hosting and have a blessed day.

  • I sadly feel that my husband puts God first, followed by work, working out, and then the family. I know he doesn’t see it that way, but there are times we argue about that!

    • I think we can all get our priorities shifted at times, I certainly know I have to fight to keep mine right daily. And I totally understand the struggle when then other person is struggling too.

  • Yes, yes, yes! I am a big time believer that if you put God first everything else, including marriage, will fall into place! This is wonderful advice, Beth.

    • Thank you so much Crystal. I knew you would get behind this.

  • Yes! Totally. Russ and I talk a lot about how life will be with the kiddos move out, hence we must love to spend time together now!

    • We talk about it too. It freaks me out a bit, but it is a teensy exciting too.

  • Great post, Beth! It’s HARD to put marriage before children. It’s something we’ve been struggling with. Recently, days have gone by where Tim and I haven’t even had a meaningful conversation because we’re so wrapped up in the kids. We definitely have to work on that.

    • Oh man in those baby years it is SO hard. And then when you do get a chance to talk you are just so stinking exhausted or just want to bask in the silence. Grace, lots of grace for those years.

  • Courtney Patterson

    It’s all a juggling act for sure. We try hard to keep our priorities straight but given the seasons of life, sometimes things get out of whack. This is when I’m grateful for grace.

    • Amen! I may have just started singing: Grace, Grace, God’s Grace, Grace that will pardon and cleanse within; Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin!

  • YES! YES! YES! It’s really hard sometimes, marriage and parenthood, but so worth the battles and the bumps. I always have Christ at the center of all I do, especially when dealing with the relationships that mean so much to me, like James and Connor.

    • Oh man I think we all do that. It’s like a constant struggle to keep things from becoming idols really. I have several of those things in my life.

  • This is SO GOOD and so spot on! I feel like we get off track sometimes with putting our marriage before the kids…and then we have to get back on.

    • There are so many distractions just trying to derail us. I know we struggle too.

  • Yes to ALL of this! I agree with the pecking order for sure! Some days it’s so hard to put Brian before the babies, and I know I’ve failed at it many, many times, but it’s one of the things that I vowed to really work on this year.

    • The older they get the easier it becomes. It is so good when everything is lining up just right too. Just intentionally trying to work on it is sure to bare fruit friend.

  • Definitely think #2 is the hardest for most marriages with children. We can become so focused on taking care of the kids that we forget to keep the home fires burning.

    • Yes! Especially during those early years and busy seasons.

  • This is why I love you and your blog. Well done! I think my goals fall right in line with yours. If you make room for God, then everything else seems to work out. Maybe not the way you planned, but it just does. Hugs!

    • Now that is a HUGE truth bomb “Maybe not the way you planned”. Oh have I been more than surprised, more than once.

  • Couldn’t agree more. Having been an active member in my church I learned this very early on – God first, marriage second, kids third – kids will leave one day so you better have things right with your honey bunny! xoxoxox

    • Exactly. I don’t like to think about those days but I like to know that we will be just fine when they get here.

  • I gotta say, I’m with you putting the marriage way up there!

    • Thanks Deena. I mean I love my kids, but I LOVE my husband :P.

  • Three boys and a girl blog

    I loved this post. Such a necessary read for me!! Thank you for sharing!

  • Oh my goodness. You took the words right out of my mouth. Though I say marriage is first, it is something we work on a lot with twins that are just barely 2. They are consuming. But date nights and evening talks help so much.

    • It is so hard in those early years! I remember being so tired when we had us time that we just wanted to crash, haha! But it is so important. Keep up the good work, it is always worth it.

  • I have to say that it’s been a struggle with my husband until recently. We are five years into our marriage and we are still trying to balance things out with each other. We have been going to church more often so I really think that thing will go a whole lot better when we start putting Christ more into our marriage. Great post!

    • Yes, Justine a few comments above described it like this:

      Before getting married when we were speaking with one of our church leaders, he explained that our relationship should form a triangle with Christ. That as we grow together we’re also growing towards Christ, and as we’re growing towards Christ we’re growing together!

      It is so true and so good. I will be praying for you Brittney.

  • Whitney Jordan

    Such great priorities!! Your family will really thrive with things in the right order. I am hoping to do more date nights as the kids get older

    • I am hoping to do that too :P. I am slowly realizing we are getting closer and closer to a time that they will be able to stay home unsupervised. ACK! I mean it is still a few years off, but not as many as it used to be!

  • Justine Y

    Loved this. Before getting married when we were speaking with one of our church leaders, he explained that our relationship should form a triangle with Christ. That as we grow together we’re also growing towards Christ, and as we’re growing towards Christ we’re growing together! I always thought that was a really neat way to look at it.

    • That IS a beautiful way to picture it and oh so true. Thanks for sharing that with me.

  • This is a great post! I always struggle with who comes first: my husband or my kids. To be perfectly honest, it changes with their ages and what’s currently going on in our lives. Sometimes he comes first, but sometimes it has to be the other way around because I’m the lone parent at times. We definitely make it a priority to spend time together Sunday – Thursday evenings after the kids are tucked into bed. They know that it’s our time!

    • It is totally going to change at seasons and times. Obviously people are going to have needs, or get sick, or, or, or. I think intentionally carving out that time on a consistent basis and choosing to make that happen is one of the biggest keys. Like your kids, our kids know we start to get grumpy if they are stretching out bed time :P.