Over the past year, my husband, Dave, and I have shared a lot about how to avoid fights and how to effectively communicate during a disagreement with your spouse. But, fighting isn’t necessarily a BAD thing. There are some things worth fighting for in your marriage.
I am talking about those important issues that both husband and wife need to go after or protect with EVERYTHING they have. We live in a world that is hard on marriages, so we have to take it upon ourselves to collectively fight for and protect our marriages as much as possible. And, let me be clear…both spouses are fighting this battle as a united, not divided, front. We are in this together; therefore, we must address these issues together. Here are things worth fighting for in your marriage:
1. Daily Time Together
There are so many people, places, and things needing our attention each day: our kids, job, extended family, friends, school, obligations, etc.. With so much going on, we often assume that our spouse is okay and doesn’t need our time and attention. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. We must spend some one-on-one time DAILY with our spouse. He/she needs to know that we care about him/her and all that is going on in his/her life. We need to set aside some time each day to spend time with each other…ALONE. Grab coffee in the morning, do lunch one day, or set aside some time before bed. No matter when or where it is, we must make it a priority to keep our marriages strong.
2. A Healthy Sex Life
This one often makes people uncomfortable when talking about it, but we need to talk about nonetheless. We are MARRIED after all. God made sex for married people, so we should be having lots of it. The desire is often there, but life just kills the mood sometimes. Screaming kids, work deadlines, exhaustion, homework, communication issues with our spouse, dirty laundry, and a messy house are just a few of those things. Parents, be sure to read, 3 Parent Hacks to Get Some Mommy-Daddy “Alone” Time, for more on this.
We could make a lengthy list of excuses, but it all comes down to us prioritizing our sex lives. Yes, it should be one of our priorities. We starve our marriage of the deeply intimate relationship that God so desires for us when we fail to engage in regular physical intimacy with our spouse.
3. Peace in the Home
We can have strong marriage and still struggle with maintaining a peaceful home. Again, we have to fight for it. It seems counterintuitive to fight for peace, but we must do it or we won’t have it We have to start with our relationship with God. We need to read our Bibles, pray, and commune in worship. God will give us peace.
Philippians 4:9 says,
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
We also need to take an assessment of our own negative habits and behaviors. Consider the following questions with your spouse:
Is there anything we do or don’t do that tends to impede on the level of peace in our home?
Do we talk or text on our phones too much?
Are we constantly bringing work home and ignoring our family?
Do we try to cram too much into each day only to be left angry and frustrated?
Do we need a break in order to refuel? Do we allow each other the time to take it with a good attitude?
Are we preoccupied with television or certain hobbies to the point that we are neglecting time with our family?
When we’re honest with ourselves and our spouses with the state of peace in our home and the negative habits and behaviors we might have that are contributing to the problem, then we can work towards changing our own behaviors to achieve and maintain more peace in our homes. Read The #1 Need in Most Families Today for more on how to achieve peace in your home.
4. Avoiding or Ending Unhealthy Relationships
This is a hard one, but it is extremely important. I have seen too many marriages adversely affected by harmful outside relationships. It could be a nosy and vocal extended family member who has a codependent relationship with your husband. It could be a co-worker of the opposite sex that you consider to be a “friend”, but you know it could turn into more. It could be a neighbor that wants to come over and verbally bash your spouse all the time. These are kind of relationships that pose a threat to our marriages. Anyone who does not respect your marriage is not good for your marriage. We need to avoid these negative relationships as much as possible.
I know this is particularly difficult when it comes to unhealthy relationships with our extended family members, and I am certainly not suggesting to end those relationships. We just need to make sure that we set healthy boundaries with those family members. As hard as this is to do sometimes, our marriage must come before our extended family. If we don’t prioritize our relationships this way, there will be constant tension in our marriage and the rest of our family.
Some things are worth fighting for, and our marriage is one of them. Let’s put these four things into practice and fight for a stronger marriage. Be blessed!
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