Day #4 of the 20 day challenge to strengthen and celebrate your marriage!!
The Challenge of Today: Keep Your Spouse at the TOP of your LIST!!!
No Matter What.
The dictionary says it like this:
Definition of CLEAVE: to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly
I was deeply impressed realizing how subtly the demands of every day can steal away the top spot from your spouse. Mike and I have felt to remember this simple and very powerful advice.
What are some specific ways to keep and show your spouse that they are #1 with you?
Gary and Joy Lundberg mentioned one small way that has made a very joyful difference for us and our children. They suggested that each time the husband, or wife, comes home you connect! First and above all else you greet one another (with a kiss is best and actually lowers stress – did you know??) Even if children, or telephone calls, or dinner, or pressing needs of the night are waiting, CONNECT!!
How? They role-played it and for us it stuck. Now each day when my husband returns home he calls out, “Where’s my beautiful wife?” I put down what I’m doing to greet my ‘handsome husband’!
(It’s so endearing to see how thrilled our children are with this tradition! The little ones lead Daddy to me and come running at times to find me to tell me Daddy’s home so that we can greet each other. The bigger ones can’t hide their smiles. My 3 year old nephew even imitated my husband and came in heartily calling, “Where’s my beautiful wife?” one day! too funny!)
It’s been a great blessing for us to, in this very small way, put our marriage first every day.
One other way we personally try to do this?
WEEKLY DATE!! Oh, DO IT!! It’s soooo FUN and WORTH IT!! The highlight of the week!!
I’ve seen way too many people shrug ‘continuing courtship’ off. This is subtly saying that others outside the marriage, money, kids, community and job commitments matter more than their spouse and in the end it can damage, or even destroy, that which matters most!
Mike and I had a life-changing conversation during fellowship year. We had made it through residency, we had 7 beautiful children and we were enjoying the blessings of lots of family around us for his last amazing year of training. But we started to feel that all the good things that had come into our life because of our marriage were the very things working to pull us apart at the time. We made a conscious decision to keep working to put our marriage first and foremost above all else, to face all the daily demands TOGETHER rather than let those demands drive us apart.
In other words, many good things come into one’s life because of a good marriage. (For us some of those have been children, medical training, great job, service at church and community, many good friends.) And then the irony is that if a couple isn’t careful those very things can topple one’s spouse off the top of the list, sap their marriage and leave it weak and wanting. KEEP YOUR SPOUSE, YOUR MARRIAGE at the TOP of your list!!! Nurture it first and foremost. Decide how you will do that today! (I’d love to hear!)
Be sure to keep your marriage #1, then reap all the benefits that come!!
Of course, there are a bazillion ways to consciously keep your spouse as #1. This whole 20 days is 20 more ways to put your marriage at the top of your list and life! Please share some of the ways YOU do this and how it’s blessed you & your marriage!
Celebrate your your marriage TODAY by putting it FIRST so it will LAST!!!
Love, Mike, CaMarie and Crew
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