In this journey called life, relationships hold tremendous value, none more so than the bond shared between a husband and wife.
When it comes to building a strong and lasting marriage, prioritizing my relationship with my husband after first having a strong relationship with Christ is very important. When a husband and wife keep Christ at the center of their marriage they receive guidance, support, and a sense of purpose. By putting your spouse after your relationship with God, you acknowledge the sacred nature of marriage and the responsibility to nurture and cherish it.
Marriage is no easy task, but we have been given a guidebook to follow. The Bible is clear in many different chapters about the importance of marriage and just how special it truly is.
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”
Proverbs 18:22 (ESV)
In the beginning of our marriage, my husband and I didn’t take the time we needed to invest in our relationship. We were busy, constantly chasing one child or the other, attending a football game, baseball game, or dance competition. There never really seemed to be enough time. Doing this can cause distance in a relationship as a couple takes their eyes off of the true purpose of marriage and family. God, of course, comes first, but making your spouse a priority in your life – even before your children – is a powerful testament to the love and commitment you share. It creates trust and strengthens the marriage bond.
Even though my husband and I began working really hard on our marriage, life is tough. We struggled, and we made mistakes, and there were moments of unintentional hurt that required lots of grace and forgiveness to be given.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
Even in the midst of the struggles, God never left our sides. Yes, there were times we both felt like we were walking in opposite directions, but God’s divine providence would allow us to cross paths again and something magical would happen. We both began to feel valued and cherished, and that began to create a loving atmosphere within our home.
When your children grow up witnessing their parents putting God first and then each other, they learn invaluable lessons about the importance of love and respect in relationships. This legacy of love becomes ingrained in their hearts and shapes their own beliefs and actions.
When we began to put each other first, it had a ripple effect on the entire family. The children watched and saw the love and respect shared between us, providing them with a positive model for their own relationships. That loving and nurturing environment will influence not only our children, but our grandchildren and even great grandchildren.
As adults, we are daily teaching our children the value of nurturing a lifelong marital bond, showing them what it means to prioritize the needs and happiness of the spouse that God has blessed them with. We aren’t called to teach them that love is a fairytale. It’s a real-life story with real-life problems. Instead, provide them with faith in Christ, knowing that no matter what, He can bring them to the other side.
I am in no way an expert in marriage. My husband and I have had our shares of ups and downs. There have been times of very dark valleys, but by the grace of God we continue to walk together, seeking always to reach the next peak. And through those dark valleys, which seemed impossible to climb out of, God always taught us a very important lesson and brought us right back to Him, adding joy to our lives.
So, let us celebrate the beauty of love, committing to put God first and our spouses second, learning to create a lifetime of joy and happiness together. Through our example, we can shape a legacy of love that touches the lives of our children and resonates in the world around us.
Ashley Carter is a wife, mother, and grandmother living in Elmore County, where she and her husband run Farm to Table Living and Carter Farms. Ashley serves as Controller and Executive Assistant at 1819 News. She is currently working on an inspirational book of short stories. To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email email@example.com.
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