Let's get real. Life can be challenging. We have had our fair share of "challenges". But through all the challenges, we can honestly say, our marriage has always be a solid foundation for us to stand on. Never have we ever questioned or doubted the commitment we have for each other. For the first 20 years of our marriage, we enjoyed every aspect of our union. But life changes. The kids grow up. Jobs change. Schedules conflict. And we get old, or at least older. Then it sets in; the marriage killer. The status quo.
We have always allowed for time in our marriage to care for and work on our relationship. Date nights, weekend get-a-ways, marriage conferences, seminars, books, and other couples to mentor and speak into our lives have been a big part of our success. After two years of marriage we moved away from our families to enter into full-time ministry. It was the beginning of an exciting adventure. These early years away from our families forced us to lean into each other and make our way as husband and wife. We were a four hour drive from either in-laws, close enough to visit, but far enough that we had to really rely on each other.
As our family grew, so did our commitment to strengthen our marriage. We were blessed to serve in churches that supported our family. That support manifested in babysitters for date nights and care-givers while we went away to attend conference and training events. Keeping our marriage strong and healthy was, dare I say it, easy. But that was then.
And, this is now. Five kids. Two working parents. Two in college. One in high school. One in middle school. One in elementary school. Sports. Dance. Part-time jobs. Friends. Girl-friends. Church commitments. Family commitments. It all adds up quickly, and unfortunately, the amount hours exceed the daily limits.
These last couple of years have proven to be more challenging for our relationship. In many ways, we have allowed the busyness of life to infiltrate our marriage. And, that busyness has started to drive a wedge between us.
We talked recently, addressing some of the struggles we are having to face. We realized that we have neglected to make our marriage a priority. It wasn't something we planned, it kinda' just happened. Instead of date nights, we're playing taxi service. Instead of weekend conferences, it's weekend sports. Instead of small group with friends, it's booster and church meetings. We're living on two separate schedules. Amy goes to work early in the morning. That means she's off to bed early. Jay goes to work a little later after the kids go to school, so he's usually up later. Amy's job is more physical as she's on her feet most days. When she's not at work, she's at home watching children, managing the house, and caring for our kiddo's. By the end of her day, she's exhausted. Jay's work day is divided between office, after-school events, church meetings, networking, and youth gatherings. That leaves Jay with a schedule that keeps him up later. It feels like we're the proverbial "ships pasting in the night."
As we talked, we recognized that a few things needed to change. The first thing to change was that we needed to again prioritize our marriage. We have been working so hard at so many other things, we forgot that we have to work hard at our marriage. We let our marriage take the backseat as our focus drifted towards everything around us. We replaced the simple loving moments and romantic gestures with household chores and completed items on the To Do List. Late evening trips to the grocery store for milk and bread became like date nights as we stole 15 or 20 minutes as "together time."
But To Do Lists and grocery runs, as important and necessary as they may be, don't strengthen your marriage. And the more you push the issue under the carpet, the more you find that your losing your best friend. So, something has to change, and change it will.
One of things that we cling to as a married couple is the promise that we would always fight for our marriage. We are still deeply in love with one another. That love, and the desire to live in that love drives us to make our marriage a priority once again. We've never been ones to run away from hard work. Instead, we get down and dirty, sweating it out until we have accomplished our stated goal. And that is what we want to do, get down and dirty as we fight for our marriage.
A few of these areas have come super easy, but now require a little more effort or attention, while others are items that we need a little reminding.
We've decided that we need to work on a number important areas in our marriage. In the past, some of these areas have come super easy, but now require a little more effort or attention while others are items that we need a little reminding. What are these areas needing our attention? Words of Affection. Reestablishing the Date Night. Sexual Intimacy. A Renewed Commitment to be in God's Word. A Promise to Pray With and For Each Other. And the Quest for Fun.
Marriage isn't easy. It takes work, patience, love, forgiveness, and grace. It requires that both parties show up, do their parts, and fight for what's most important. It takes a commitment to communicate; too listen as much as you talk. To wake up each day and say, I am going to love my spouse better today, than I did yesterday, and together, we're going to win
We want to invite you to join us as we share a little bit of our lives with you. Maybe you find yourself in a similar place. You love your spouse and you know that your spouse loves you, but it feels like you're just going through motions, doing the whole family/marriage thing, but you feel like something's missing. Or maybe, your in a dry season and just need a little reminder to help you wet that romantic side that you thought you had to put away when the kids arrived.
Or maybe, your marriage is cruising along with all cylinders firing the way they should, but deep down your thinking, How can we keep this going? Over the next couple of weeks, we will be sharing some of the things that we are doing to make our marriage a priority again. As we work through each topic mentioned above, along with a few other topics that we haven't mentioned we are planning to share what we are learn here on the blog AND as part of our vlog series, Parent Talk. Our hope is that our journey might in some way, encourage and inspire you to make your marriage a priority for you and your spouse.
Welcome, now let's get started.
- the higham family
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.