3 Ways to Invest in Your Marriage

Marriage is hard work sometimes.  I’d be lying out right if I said anything else.  But it’s also the most rewarding relationship we can ever have on earth.  Tonight I’ll be teaching Song of Songs at my Bible study.  We’ll be talking about what makes marriages last … and how we can protect ours from the lies of this world. More and more I’m aware how fiercely marriages are being attacked and how diligently we need to be investing in and protecting them.

3 Ways to Invest in Your Marriage || www.terilynneunderwood.com/blog

I’ve been reading Love to Stay by Adam Hamilton.  {Look for a review and giveaway next week.} In the chapter titled The Significance of Sexual Intimacy, Hamilton writes:

Based on the comments (on a survey) and my own personal experience in counseling, the greatest marital dissatisfaction occurs when people are in their 40s.

Whoa now … I’m in my 40s. As is my husband. Let me just say I’m extremely satisfied with my marriage … but apparently many people in my age range are not. Let’s face it, for most of us in our 40s, we’ve been married between ten and twenty years. The newness has worn off. Our kids are more involved in activities. Our jobs are demanding. Our homes require upkeep. Our bills need paying. Our churches expect more of us. Our parents need more help from us. This season isn’t the easiest. And with all those other things pulling at our time and energy, it’s very easy to understand how marriage can slip down on the priority list. We’ve watched a couple who married less than six months after us split up. It happens. Far too often.

I have to admit, the divorce of a close family member in the past year has been really hard for me. I’ve found myself insecure and uncertain in ways I never have been before. It never occurred to me before to wonder if Scott might fall in love with someone else or decide our marriage wasn’t really what he wanted after all. But now, I realize, no marriage is immune to attack. We’ve talked through all these fears and doubts, forging a closer relationship than we had before. But they were not fun conversations. When divorce happens, it doesn’t just affect the couple who splits up … the ripple effects of a broken marriage go much farther than that.

I’m more committed than ever to protecting the covenant we’ve made. I’m determined to fight hard for a marriage that celebrates year after year together. After the past year’s events, I’m less naive … but I’m even more fiercely committed to making my marriage last and thrive. 

We have to invest in what matters to us. And investment generally requires sacrifice. I choose “we” over “me.” I’m willing to dig deep and give all I have to this relationship. Here are three ways I’m intentionally investing in my marriage:

  1. Spiritually.  I’m becoming more diligent about praying with purpose for Scott, for myself, for our marriage and for our home. I write prayers for him and read books to keep me focused on building a solid foundation in our marriage.  
  2. Physically.  I know, I don’t normally talk about this but I have before and it needs to be said.  We need to be physically available to our husbands.  In his book, Hamilton addresses the way we view sex, “We’ve allowed society to dictate what sex is and what it means, and consequently sexual intimacy has lost much of its beauty, power, and significance for far too many people.  The Bible speaks regularly about sexual intimacy — not just prohibiting certain things, but positively portraying intimacy as a gift from God” (p. 57).
  3. Practically. It is so stinkin’ easy to get busy with our kids and the house and our jobs and our church and our activities that we simply don’t have time for our husbands.  I’m working hard not to let that become the case in our home.  Shut the laptop.  Stop and give him a hug. Look him in the eye when he talks. Ride with him to the hardware store … there are countless ways to accomplish this goal.  The thing is, we just have to do it!

Of all the gifts God has given me, my marriage is the one I treasure most.  I’m thankful beyond words to have a husband who loves me deeply and believes in me and invests in our marriage and loves our daughter and serves the Lord.  But it’s not enough for me to talk about how important he is, I have to live it.  I have to be willing to sacrifice other things to invest in my marriage.  And I choose that. I hope you do too!

How have you learned to invest in your marriage?

4 Replies to “3 Ways to Invest in Your Marriage”

  1. I’m just a little ahead of you, Teri Lynne, and have, sadly, had at least three close friends go through divorces in the past several years. Just last year some friends in our lifegroup divorced, and it still makes me shake my head in wonder. The worst part of it, personally, as you pointed out, is that it makes me trust my husband less than I should. I hate that. We’ve talked about it, too, but the doubts are something I have to constantly pray about and wrestle with. You are so right–divorce affects more people than just the two involved. It affects people you might not even realize. Thanks for writing this.

    1. Shelly, thank you for sharing so honestly. This is one of those things we need to be more open about, I think. The ramifications of our decisions go so much farther than we consider sometimes. This situation has also opened the doors (sadly) for some significant conversations with our daughter about faithfulness, commitment, and consequences. I appreciate your comment.

  2. Thank you for your honesty and encouragement. Now that James is in school, I’m hoping to get more work done during the day and be more available when Lee is home in the evenings!

  3. […] I shared about this a few weeks ago, I was encouraged to find I wasn’t alone in some of these fears and feelings. […]

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