“Marriage has value but you have to see it.”
~Jackie Bledsoe, The 7 Rings of Marriage
We daily make choices in all areas of our lives. And how highly we value something affects the choices we make about it.
What we value as important, gets our attention. We think about it, plan for ways to help it, and schedule time for it.
Often those are our job, our kids’ activities, our friendships, and our downtime. We don’t want to mess them up (or mess up our happiness) by missing them, because they greatly matter to us.
Yet far too often our marriage gets left out of the scheduling. There are many reasons for that. It’s partly, though, because we undervalue it. At least we undervalue the importance of nurturing it.
Assuming it’s there for the long haul, our relationship gets pushed aside: hidden behind those other things that clamor for our immediate attention. But if we want a dynamic, “to-death-do-us-part” union, we need to reset the priority of our marriage. We need to value marriage.
God placed a high value on marriage. He instituted it for our benefit. It is sacred in His eyes.
We are to “leave and cleave” for life, two becoming one! A profound mystery with transformational value.
Yet because we don’t assign a high priority to the nurturing of our marriage, we don’t devote designated time for marriage enrichment until something happens to get our attention. We don’t build a foundation that will weather well its various stages.
If marriage were thought of as sacred in our eyes, we’d make the foundational choices to, not just keep it intact, but elevate it to rich and fulfilling.
5 Actions for Elevating Your Marriage
That said, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that it can be hard to know how to do that. I think differently than my husband.
He makes decisions differently, parents differently, shows affection differently, processes loss and hardship differently. In many ways, we are opposite.
So given our differences, how do we make the choices that elevate marriage as the sacred institution God intended—in our eyes and in practice?
According to Jackie Bledsoe, author of The 7 Rings of Marriage: Your Model for a Lasting and Fulfilling Marriage, there are 5 important actions to take to move your marriage up in your eyes. Resulting in more intentional behaviors and a relationship that matters.
- Friendship: Develop your friendship; it’s crucial!
- Commitment: Commit to your marriage and each other.
- Delayed Gratification: Realize the future benefits to your marriage your current investment will bring.
- Intimacy: Be truly intimate in your marriage; reserving some things for only your spouse.
- Foundation: Decide on (and build on) the mutual foundation your marriage will stand on.
Move Beyond Marital Drift
I’ve found it easy to drift in our marriage. To go through our days without really thinking about its importance (except on anniversaries and Valentine’s Day). This was largely because I took it for granted that it’d always be there.
However, after more than 2 decades (yes I’m a slow learner), I’ve realized the dynamic, growing, passionate marriage I want will never happen by drifting. I need to value marriage enough to be intentional in the relationship.
Thanks to Jackie’s new book and other marriage resources, my husband and I have incorporated intentionality into our lifelong commitment. A move that is shoring up our core foundation and injecting new excitement into our relationship.
A move that has elevated our marriage to sacred in our eyes.
In The 7 Rings, Jackie offers foundational concepts for highly valuing our marriages. He also provides practical tips and strategies to build on that foundation through each of seven stages of marriage. Assessments, checklists, step-by-step guidelines, and motivational encouragement make this a great book for marriages in all stages and even in between stages. It will likely not be the only resource you need to move your relationship from sustainable to dynamic, but it is a perfect one to begin with. (Click on any of The 7 Rings of Marriage links [or book image] to purchase your own copy.)
“Then the Lord God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 And the man said: ‘This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called “woman,” for she was taken from man.’ 24 This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:22-24
Reflections: How does thinking of your marriage as a sacred institution established by God redefine its priority in your lives?
- Medicine for my girl; Grab bars on the bathtub that now allow Rach to enter/exit the tub independently!; Freedom to caucus for national candidates
- Wintry day filled with family time, including games of Twister and Candyland; Homemade chicken noodle soup; Peace and beauty of the woods during a snow storm
- Gorgeous snowy morning; Living in such a beautiful location; Best homemade pizza yet
- A day to get caught up; An encouraging, loving husband; Snuggled in for an afternoon of writing in front of the woodstove
- Afternoon with my guy; Rachel and I sharing a love of worship music; Long Skype call with Zach
- Great showing by Joey and all the high school kids at state speech contest: fun to see their hard work pay off as they strove to do their best; Couple hours alone to think and process; Rachel “attacking” me with LEGO swords and snakes: so fun to be a recipient of her creativity!
- My kids being at the ages where they like naps!; Watching the Super Bowl with friends; Fun and delicious food of a potluck
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I'm so glad you're here to walk with me through this messy but glorious journey called life! Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends. And don't miss a single piece of encouragement! Sign up to get every post in your inbox. It's free, and you'll receive free gifts just for signing up. Oh, you can unsubscribe at any time. Yours in grace ≈ Julie
I'm so glad you're here to walk with me through this messy but glorious journey called life! Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends. And don't miss a single piece of encouragement! Sign up to get every post in your inbox. It's free, and you'll receive free gifts just for signing up. Oh, you can unsubscribe at any time.
Yours in grace ≈