Unlock the secrets to a thriving marriage with intentional partnership and proactive gestures. In this article you’ll discover how prioritizing your marriage can revitalize your relationship and strengthen your bond.

Happy wife looking at her husband with her hand on his shoulder

The Computer Analogy

Control… Alt… Delete! Ugh… Control… Alt.. DELETE! It’s one of those things where if you know, you know. For the bourgeoisie Apple computer classe who may be reading this, control + alt + delete is how you keep from losing your natural mind when using a cheap Windows pc or laptop. I am very familiar with this struggle. Believe it or not, yours truly was not always decently off financially.  

When I was ready to begin college, I was gifted a cheap laptop to help me with my studies. Don’t misunderstand me, I am very thankful for the laptop which served me faithfully for about 5 years. That laptop helped me power through many an all- nighters. The only downside to a cheap laptop, outside of the machine doing its best impression of a launching fighter jet from time to time, is that the device inevitably slows down… way down. No, my friend. Don’t let that supersonic sounding winding noise deceive you. The louder your computer gets, the slower that thing is processing. Enter your secret trump card. Control + alt + delete. With this code you have the opportunity to set that computer right again. You are instantly turned in to a genius software engineer at the entry of this code. It brings up a task manager menu that allows you to close unresponsive programs and see which programs are eating your poor laptop’s memory.  

It didn’t take long after entering this shortcut before I realized there were a ton of programs running in the background. While I may have just been trying to browse YouTube or write a paper, my laptop was running a host of other programs simultaneously that would contribute to slowdowns that could make Manhattan traffic envious. The thing about background programs is they run without your permission or acknowledgement. They are an existential fact of using your device. 

The same thing can happen in marriage.  

The Perils of Marriage as a Background Program

Married is a state of being. You said your vowels one Saturday afternoon in front of friends and family, you got your license from the state, and you had a minister oversee the ceremony. The result of the day’s ceremonies has bestowed the coveted title of married on you.  

Unfortunately, what happens all too often is being married begins to run as a background program. 

You have a ring or a band on and likely some photos framed of the big day, but what happens when intentionality gets lost in the day-to-day routine? Much like the task manager on that cheap laptop you may be reading this and examining your own life. 

Differentiating Between Being Married and Having a Marriage

Being married and having a marriage are two different worlds. 

Most people plan with a tenacity and the fear of God what they want their wedding day to look like, but spend little time planning out the actual marriage. The wedding day is one evening, albeit an important one. The marriage is the rest of your life after that. To fail to plan is to plan to fail, or in this case at least have a rocky road on the way to the grave. It’s strong language for sure, but your marriage is serious business.  

Taking Action: Prioritizing Your Spouse

Ok, I get it, Sheldon. My marriage is important. What now? I’m glad you asked. Much like the devil, your destiny is in the details. 

People don’t perform tasks that are expected. They do what’s inspected. This simply means that task number one is to keep your spouse at the forefront. 

No one vies for second fiddle. This is especially true of the person you married. Do simple things that speak to their love language. Healthy marriages have a culture of celebration. Acknowledge the wins in your spouse’s life. Do the small things for them frequently. Acknowledge when your spouse does the small things for you. 

Having an entitled attitude and calling acts of love and respect the “bare minimum” will bare minimal fruit. 

Elevating Your Partnership

Let your marriage be the lens and filter through which you view all decisions. Place your partnership, not your partner on a pedestal.  

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