What Does Your Marriage Mean To You? (and Why It Matters)

“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.

Our marriage often gets left out of the scheduling because we undervalue the importance of nurturing it. Click To Tweet

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. 

value marriage

Value Marriage

God placed a high value on marriage. He instituted it for our benefit. It is sacred in His eyes.

Marriage is sacred in God's eyes. We need to value it as highly. Click To Tweet

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.

5 important actions to take to place a higher value on your marriage and make it matter. #7RingsBook Click To Tweet

  1. Friendship: Develop your friendship; it’s crucial! 
  2. Commitment: Commit to your marriage and each other.
  3. Delayed Gratification: Realize the future benefits to your marriage your current investment will bring.
  4. Intimacy: Be truly intimate in your marriage; reserving some things for only your spouse.
  5. 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.)

A perfect resource to begin moving your marriage to fulfilling & dynamic. #7RingsBook Click To Tweet

“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?

More than 4 years of counting and I’ve surpassed 4,500 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #4,726–4,746. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • 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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Yours in grace ≈

Julie

I am a blessed wife, mother of four, and follower of Jesus Christ, celebrating each messy day through His grace. I write, edit, and speak as God leads.

Posted in Marriage
  • Linda Fitzpatrick McClellan

    Hi Julie,
    Your mention of that book the “The Seven Rings of Marriage” really hit me as I’m sure it may have you. With my Husband going through cancer treatment we need to be closer than ever. I’ve been going with him every day to chemo and radiation except radiation on Friday because of Bible study at church. We need each other so much right now and be able to understand each other. Tonight he told me he just doesn’t feel right and I asked him in what way and he said he doesn’t know he just doesn’t. So finally after talking to him just a few minutes ago actually he said the lump he has on his on the side of his neck where the cancer started is bothering him but it doesn’t hurt except for the pain he has all over the same side of neck which is hurting more because of the burning they’re doing to the whole side of his neck and face and his ear and his throat. I asked if he had taken his medicine and he said no so I got it all together along with his pain pills he took out of his bottle and left sitting on the table in the living room. So I’m going to have to keep track of his meds and make sure he takes them when he needs them. It scares me. I’m going to order the book tonight and read it first, and I have so many Christian books it’s unreal. I also need to start a study I’m doing for Lent and work on my the Bible study. I’m one of those that I get so bogged down with so many things I offer to do I can’t keep up and right now my husband needs me the most. Why do women always overdo and it’s because I want to do it but with it comes stress and guilt about not caring for my husband. God be with you and thank you again for this blog and maybe this book will give me more understanding of what marriage should be. I’ve been married several times, I have a bad picker and end up with abusive men who drink or do drugs and take their anger out on me with black eyes and bruises and stitches. Not once but 3 times and Fred would never lay a hand on me and he loves me so much and tells everyone how great and beautiful his wife is and he’s the first one who has ever treated me that good. He’s the best and I want him around for many more years. Time to check on Fred and I think I wrote another book too. Blessings and love, Linda.

    • I’m so sorry for all you have and continue to go through, Linda! Praying that as you are pressed with the weight of your burdens you will be crushed near to Jesus and His strength, peace and comfort.

  • Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit)

    This week two sets of our friends observe their wedding anniversaries. My Sunday school teacher and his wife, a dear friend will celebrate 60 years. Then my best friend and her husband will celebrate 50 years. A couple who now reside in heaven were able to celebrate 65 years before the husband passed on. I have learned from each of these friends and their spouses what it takes to make a marriage work. Oh, yes, Hubby and I celebrated 47 this past November.

    • What wonderful examples of lasting marriages, Cecelia! Congratulations on you and your hubby’s 47 years!

  • Eric Von B.

    That’s all well and good, but if I remain single I don’t have these concerns. And there is practically no incentive or motivation to make marriage a priority. An individual has a hard time putting a value on something he has no urge to engage in. Even Scripture tells us we’re better off single, which is counterproductive when you’re telling people how sacred matrimony is at the same time.

    • Ahh, good point, Eric. All God’s children do not have the same calling. If you are called to singleness, then I would not want you to consider marriage. God ordained marriage; it is a sacred institution for those called to it. But for those who God calls to celibacy, then I rejoice with them in their singleness and their opportunity for whole-hearted devotion to Him. Thank you for your insightful comment. Blessings.

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Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's BLESSINGS to get lost in its HAPPENINGS. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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