March 5, 2013

Keeping the Marriage Relationship Priority
{Marriage & Mommyhood Link-Up :: Session 2, Week 4}

"Now, yall remember this," my grandmother was changing direction, becoming direct and earnest with her tone.

It was 9 1/2 years ago, four months before saying, "I do," and he was meeting the extended family.  Three cities, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, step-siblings, all in one weekend.

"Listen hard," she said.  "Now, yall aren't getting married just to have children."

I wondered silently with slight panic where she was going with this...

"Children will be an indescribable blessing and will be the biggest part of your young lives together, but giving birth and raising children is not your reason for getting married.  Yall are getting married because you love each other and want to spend the rest of your lives together, as partners."

"And one day," she continued with tone tinged of regret, "One day they'll be gone, and what you've made of your partnership together, or not made, will be what's left over to live life with.  If yall make life all, 100%, about them you won't have much when the raisin's said and done."

We had slowly sat ourselves down together, as if choreographed, in that log cabin while she spoke.

"Stay best friends," she pleaded.  "Stay partners."

We must remember that we were partners together in life and in covenant before we became partners in raising these precious souls God has intrusted to us.  It's so easy, too easy, to forget in the hustle and bustle of parenthood that we chose each other first.  Acknowledging this does not in any way devalue the intense love, responsibility, and relationship with our children.  It does however change what relationship receives the oxygen mask first.

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On airplanes they explain to all the passengers that in the event of an emergency, the oxygen masks will fall from the the compartments above you.  They tell you firmly, "If you are with someone in your care, put your oxygen mask on first."  How can I make sure my children will be safe if I pass out while putting theirs on first and I cannot breathe??

The result could be neither of us breathing.

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Remembering that my husband and I were partners in covenant before we became partners in parenthood, makes putting an oxygen mask securely in place on our relationship first a priority.  Then we are able to put on theirs together.

It keeps us all breathing.

The thing with being married is this:  One day you wake up and realize that love is truly not best described as those brides on the TLC wedding dress shows say.  One day your love is not, "as easy as breathing."  One day you realize love is a choice.  And that's when its preciousness becomes priceless with each hard moment recommitted.  Never become complacent.  Never stop pursuing your love.  It will not fade.

Making each other a priority is not easy when you're parents together.  They rightfully need so much of us every day.  And when we forget, relationship can become strained.  The romantic emotions don't always walk hand in hand with your love commitment during those times.  The Lord has encouraged me when I needed it most, to treat my husband like the romance is there already and pray that the Holy Spirit gives it wings to truth by my faith.  And He never fails.

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Just to name one thing that Aaron and I have begun doing that aids us in being more intentional about making our relationship a priority is to read together more than we watch movies together.  We don't have cable TV or even a digital antenna to pick up local programming, but we are big movie buffs.  Our "go to" over the years, after the daughters go to sleep in the evening, has been to have chill time in front of something on the silver screen.  This is totally fine, but not for most nights.  We weren't talking enough and we weren't doing anything together that would grow us as people in our marriage.  Reading to one another in the evenings does both!  It encourages growth and gets us talking about stuff that matters.

We've found ourselves subsequently to be much more on the same page in our partnership as these girls' parents when we spend time reading and talking together in the evenings.

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What are some ways that you struggle with or that aid you in making your relationship with your spouse a priority?  What are some things that help you to be more intentional in this partnership?

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Welcome to our weekly Marriage & Mommyhood link-up!  Please feel free  to share any post on marriage, mommyhood, faith, or family below. This  week we are continuing our walk through the No More Desperate Moms Resolution, with resolution no. 5: I will commit to making my relationship with my spouse a priority.  {---tweet this}  And  remember that my spouse & I are partners in the raising of the eternal souls in our care.  {---tweet this}

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