Kate says . . .
So recently I posted 7 Ways to Prioritize Your Marriage, which is so important. Our marriage needs all of that intentional attention. Today though I’d like to explore what else our marriage needs and that is to be mightily protected. Just as prioritizing marriage is huge, so is being intentional about protecting that marriage. When there is a lack of focus on protecting your marriage you are leaving it open to the enemy’s foothold. The reality is that being married puts a big bulls-eye on your back because the enemy has THE MOST to gain by breaking up marriages than any other relationship. Simply because it affects so many other people and relationships. Therefore active protection is vital.
So here are the things we do to mightily protect our marriage . . .
Go to bed together each evening
I like to start with this one because it seems so simple and ridiculous in so many ways. We are adults why do we need to go to bed together each night? As I said in our last post, we do our evenings together, side by side. That includes heading to bed. It is just a smart move all around. When one of us is ready to turn in the other one comes too. If Brad is ready to sleep, I may read next to him and when I am tired he often watches a show right next to me. But there isn’t this separation and time that can easily be misused, becoming selfish time as well as an opportunity to grow distance between us. We didn’t do this in the beginning of our marriage, and now that we do there is a huge difference in how connected we are. I love that Brad is always beside me in bed and I know he loves it too. My question to those of you who think this is silly, is simply why? Unless you have a completely different sleep schedule due to work (which many people do), then why wouldn’t you do this?
No personal stuff (social media, passwords etc.)
This is a touchy subject, but let me be clear . . . there is no privacy between Brad and I. Every password is shared, every account, every email, both phones and anything else you can think of. We are no longer two but one. That includes all of this. There is no room for secrets in marriage and things that are not shared are simply that! What about trust, many people ask us. But we don’t see these things as trust issues. Sharing these things is being transparent and intentional.
What we need to keep in mind is that anything that is good (social media, email, phones) can be used for bad and the enemy wants you to think you are entitled to the secrecy in your marriage. Let me be clear – YOU ARE NOT! Secrecy is darkness and Jesus is all about light. Keep things in the light, my friends. It is the best way!
No being alone with someone of the opposite sex
This is one that with jobs and such, isn’t always easy. But if you are intentional, then it can happen. Brad and I, although it is awkward at times do not allow ourselves to be in situations with someone of the opposite sex alone. Now that being said, Brad is a counselor and therefore on occasion has met with women individually when he has to. But he is in an office with other counselors and accountability. He also tries to keep those counseling sessions to a minimum because of this and because he likes to meet with couples together. So we understand that in work sometimes this happens. However we are intentional during those times and all other times. The reality is that you may trust your spouse and trust yourself, but you should not give that trust to the other person in the room. There is too much at stake to do so.
Each of us has “final say”
If there is a person of the opposite sex that Brad or I are uncomfortable with, we give each other the final say. The final say means that we tell each other, who the person is and that they make us uncomfortable (even if they are a close friend). The other person then acknowledges that and does their best to limit interaction with that person. Giving each other that permission is removing any barriers that may keep us from speaking up when someone makes us uncomfortable. To be honest we have not used the “final say” very often in our 16 years of marriage (23 years together). When we do feel the need to use it, we understand completely that the Holy Spirit is speaking to our spouse and to trust that.
PDA’s and Talking About Each Other
When we are out in public together, we want people to know we are married and crazy about each other. Not in a “get a room” kind of way, but the message about our devotion is clear. We stick close to each other both physically and emotionally. But it isn’t just for show, we just like being that way. It’s a win/win!
The other thing we are intentional about is mentioning each other in conversation when we are not accompanying each other. Especially if we are talking to people of the opposite sex. Let them know your husband or wife isn’t far from your mind!
Protecting your marriage is so important. I would challenge you that to think you DON’T need to protect your marriage is setting yourself up for the enemy to get a foothold. There should be no secrets in marriage. No “off-limits” between the two of you. You are no longer living separate lives, but becoming one flesh.