Life has a way of getting incredibly busy. The busier we get, the more things seem urgent.
But as we’re all aware, just because something is urgent doesn’t mean something is important. Likewise, not everything that is important is urgent. The older we get, the greater the stakes when we prioritize the urgent over the important.
This becomes painfully obvious when it comes to marriage.
Your marriage is the single most important relationship in your life. Your spouse is the person that you committed yourself to before your friends, family, and God. Somehow the people closest to us are the ones we take for granted. We know they will always be there. Therefore, the urgency to pour into the relationship can fade…
- …as careers advance
- …as children enter the picture
- …as children start joining extracurricular activities.
With so many urgent things calling for your attention, you can find yourselves forgetting to invest in your most important relationship.
Here are three questions to make sure you’re marriage isn’t in trouble.
Three Questions to Make Sure Your Marriage Isn’t in Trouble
#1 | Are We Still Dating One Another?
When life gets hectic, eventually something has to give. It’s easy to see why date night would be one of the first things to go.
- It costs money.
- It costs you a night.
- It costs you whatever else you would have done that night.
Of course, you can always reverse that logic, and a very different question emerges.
What will it cost you if you stop dating your spouse?”
Here’s an even more painful question:
If your dating relationship was as romantic as your current marriage, would you have ever gotten married?”
That isn’t an entirely fair question as it’s difficult to compare different stages of life. However, while the question isn’t entirely fair, it is useful. When we stop pursuing our spouse romantically, you’re headed towards trouble.
#2 | Are We Still Talking?
Early in your relationship your partner is the most interesting person in your life. You’re attracted to them physically and relationally. They’re a treasure trove of stories you want to hear and opinions you want shared. Likewise, you want to share your life with them.
What happens when you’ve been married for five years?
- You have shared all of your past stories.
- You were present for their new stories.
- Your daily routines have become…routine to one another.
Where talking initially came natural, suddenly it can seem difficult.
To state the obviously, in a relationship you have to relate to the other person. If all you talk about are your schedules and making family decisions, you’re not really relating on a deeper more personal level.
Healthy couples talk. Are you still talking?
#3 | Do Our Kids Come Before Our Marriage?
I firmly believe your spouse must come before your children!
I understand that many of you will disagree with me on this point, but stop to consider what your children need most in life: stability, guidance,discipline, a spiritual foundation. Don’t each of these things come most naturally in a stable home with two parents who love each other and are on the same page?
Now that I have two kids, I totally understand how easy it is to want to put them first. However, you can’t sacrifice your marriage at the altar of your children. Your children reap incredible benefits by growing up in a home with two parents that love each other and work together.
When you put your child first, naturally you drift away from your spouse. It costs your relationship, and it preps you for further tension. Consider this, if you prioritize your children over your spouse, what do you do when your children grow up? What is the basis for your marriage, when the nest is empty?
The great irony in putting your children first, is that no one wins in the long run. However, everyone wins when a husband an wife love one another and work together.
If you want to avoid trouble, you must ask hard questions. Where do you need some work?