This is our second post in our Live with Intention series.
Being intentional in your marriage when you have kids & a busy life is HARD! I will speak from experience here, it is so worth it to fight for your marriage! My husband and I have been married for almost 21 years. I can now look back and clearly see the seasons that we were intentional and how much it paid off!
There are a million ways to be more intentional in your marriage. Let’s focus on three…
Evaluate your marriage in these three areas: Connection, Communication and Surrender.
Which one needs more intentionality from YOU this year?
In a time where everything is screaming for our attention, true connection with our spouse can be difficult. Make it a priority to connect with your spouse as much as possible. This will look different for each couple, just find something that works for you… here’s some simple ideas to get you started!
My husband and I have always tried to have include date nights in our schedule! This can be a fancy restaurant and a babysitter or it can be on your couch with dessert after the kids go to bed. Just have real adult conversation, lock eyes, share time together talking about your plans, dreams and future. (Hint: don’t let all the conversation be about the kids.)
Another thing that has worked well for my marriage is to make it a priority to connect with my husband as soon as he gets home from work. I let the kids greet him & have a quick hug and then I “give them permission/require them” to go watch a show or play a game while I connect with my husband talking about the day. For me, this often happens while I’m cooking dinner. He just pulls up a chair in the kitchen or helps by chopping some veggies 🙂 I’m always amazed at how much this connection time sets the tone for the rest of the evening. I think it also teaches our kids that our marriage is important! It also teaches them that they don’t always have to be the center of attention! This may not be an option for you if you husband works long hours or is gone for extended periods. If that is you, check out this post to encourage you in this area as well.
This is a big one and we all know it, but it’s a hard one. Our husbands need to hear more from us than just what needs to be done or just menial small talk. He needs to hear what you love about him, but even more than that he needs to hear what you respect about him. If those words are hard to say out loud, then write them in a note, just communicate them!
We also have to be sure that we clearly communicate around the idea of expectations. (This is a great resource to help with this.) We struggled way too much in our early years because we never had open conversations about our expectations of each other. These may be hard conversations to have, but your marriage will be stronger on the other side!
If communication is an area you feel needs work in your marriage, this article from FamilyLife on Communication in Marriage is also a great read.
Last but certainly not least…this seems like an odd one, but it is an intentional choice to surrender your marriage to the Lord! Part of surrender is to serve our spouse from a true place of love. Check out this post on the benefits of serving our spouse and the importance of cultivating a servant’s heart. I can tell a huge difference in my own marriage when I approach things with a servant’s heart!
I think we (myself very much included) tend to want to control our spouses and this is not at all God’s intention! We are to be supporters, encouragers and helpers, but not controllers. So much of the journey to relinquishing control is about surrendering in prayer!
I’m guilty of not asking my husband how I can be praying for him. This is something I am aiming to be more intentional about in the coming year! This post inspired me!
This year, one of the ways I am committing to surrender my marriage to the Lord in to go on a prayer journey with my husband. We are planning to use these books to be intentional about praying for each other this year!
How do you invest in your marriage? Share in the comments below.
Founder of The Praying Mom
This website was birthed out of Christy's passion to see women become intentional in their lives. She is passionate about helping moms discover their purpose in their homes, churches, communities & world! Follow more of her journey HERE