I am so excited to be back blogging after a month break and even more excited to be blogging at A Prioritized Marriage! I have been contemplating a name change for about a year now, and toward the end of November, I decided to finally move forward with it and never looked back! Like I mentioned a month ago, I loved Life with Amberly & Joe, but the content of this blog has evolved into something more than just a personal journal type blog and I didn't feel like the title reflected the goals and vision that I had for it anymore. Solidifying the new name and working on the "new" blog has inspired a lot of things and at the moment, I feel like I have more creativity going than I know what to do with. I can't wait to introduce you to all of the great new things that I have planned for A Prioritized Marriage, but before I do that, I wanted to share with you a little bit about my thought process behind the new name and what it means to me.
In one of my favorite articles from Love the Grows, I remember reading and rereading the quote, "EVERYTHING you do with yourself (meaning how you spend your time, energy, resources, etc.) should add to your marriage relationship. And if you aren't constantly adding to your marriage, you are detracting from it."
Is everything that you focus on making a positive difference in the relationship that you have with your spouse, or are there things that are taking away from the time that you could be building up your marriage and making it better? Challenge: Make a list of everything that you do in your life (school, work, hobbies, etc.) and then write down how each of those things are contributing to your marriage. If you honestly can't think of a way that it benefits your spouse and especially if you can think of ways that it's getting in the way of your relationship with them, reevaluate the importance of that activity in your life and consider cutting it out or drastically minimizing the thought, time and energy that you put into it.
There are a lot of things in life that at different moments can seem like the most important thing to focus your attention on, but are they really as lasting and valuable as the relationship that you have with your spouse? In another article from Family Share they list "putting everything else first" as one of five ways that you are unknowingly killing your marriage. The article also brings up a good point that putting other people, responsibilities and activities ahead of your spouse sends a message to them that they are unimportant to you, whether that is true or not. Without a job, you don't have any money to live so work is important, but is all of the time that you put into pursuing that next promotion worth the time that you are spending away from the one whose life you are trying to better with the money you earn? Children are a treasure and obviously a very important part of life, but if we choose to make building and maintaining a relationship with them a priority over the one that we have with our spouse, what happens to that marriage after the children are out of the house and have families of their own? The same thoughts could be put toward our hobbies, education, friends, etc.
If you strive to make your spouse and your marriage a priority every day, that relationship will only get better with age, your husband/wife will be the very best friend that you've ever had, and you will find yourself falling more and more in love with them with every year that passes. You will look back on the many adventures of life and be glad that you had your best friend by your side the entire way. That old couple in the park who makes everyone smile because they're still holding hands and obviously still very much in love will be you one day. Deciding to put your marriage first will help you avoid that awful moment when you look at your spouse and realize that you don't know who they are anymore and that you're more like roommates than husband and wife.
What do you do to prioritize your marriage on a daily basis?