Building a Strong Marriage, one day at a timeBiblical Marriage . Parenting
When I was a child my parents were very organized and routine. I thought all families were until I got old enough to go to my friends’ houses. I think some people just naturally prefer routine and order. I think some of us run to order and routine because the chaos of life is too overwhelming. I also think that all people actually grow and thrive in an orderly and disciplined life. God is a God of order.
So many women have come to me and said,” I don’t know how to get my husband to lead our family, to read the Bible with me, to turn off the tv, to eat dinner at the table as a family”, etc., etc., etc. What each of these women want is to spend quality time with their spouse, to have quality family time, and to have quality time together with God. They hungerly desire that their spouse will see them, hear them, and care about them. Why is this such a common problem?
Don’t their husband’s care? Don’t they see? So many women say, “my husband doesn’t even notice the work I did to make dinner.” “I ask him to take out the trash, and he says ok, but never takes it out.” Why? “I ask him to fold the laundry, and he starts it, but never finishes.” Why?
After 28 years of marriage, I still have times when I feel like my husband and I are not on the same page. So, what is the answer? What is the problem, and how do we fix it?
The problem is several things. Marriage is hard work. It is constantly giving of yourself for someone else. It is the only relationship when we truly become one with someone else. This oneness sadly can cause us to take advantage of each other. We can become easily dependent on the other person for certain things, and not ask ourselves how can I be a better spouse. We can become set in our ways. Each of us have different backgrounds, we have different ideas about how life should be lived, and we have different stresses and ways of relieving stress.
When I was a child, we got up at the same time every morning, we ate breakfast at the table and cleaned it up before going to the bus stop. We went to school, and came home. When we got home my mom always asked us about our day and told us what chores to do before dinner. We had dinner at relatively the same time each evening and everyone who was home sat down to the table for dinner. We began dinner with prayer, we passed the food around the table, everyone visited, and often my mom asked us silly or interesting questions at the dinner table to just bring us all together. After dinner we did our homework, and my dad helped us with it. We usually went to church once a week during the school week, and we always went to church on Sunday morning and evening. Also, usually once a week we had family Bible study. We went to bed at 9 pm, until we were a teenager, and then we went to bed at 10 pm. My dad would come up to our room and actually pray with us and tuck us in each night. This was the routine we had for as long back as I can remember. We did have a tv when I got a little older. My dad had a couple favorite tv shows that we watched once or twice a week.
This was my childhood.
But my husband grew up in a completely different type of home. They were busy. Three boys running around, doing sports, and two parents that worked full time outside of the home. They had a tv that was always on and they were constantly busy. I don’t know if they had a routine or not when he was younger. But I do know he did not have the same routine as my family.
So, when we got married. I had these great thoughts that we would go to work/school each day, come home and have dinner and read our Bible together. We would play board games and/or do puzzles, or do other projects or things together. It was truly a great idea, but real life is complicated. We had different work schedules, and I would be tired when he was awake, and he would be tired when I was alert. The stress of our jobs crowded into our lives, and our involvement in community and church activities took a lot of time, and spending time with family, and the list goes on and on. Then the next thing we knew, we were having kids, and wow, that was the biggest game changer of all.
So, next thing I know, I am taking care of kids all day, and often working, or helping family, or church members, or counseling someone, and the housework piles up, and the bills pile up, and the stress piles up. It is a good and busy life, but it is an exhausting life too. Jeremy is busy working to pay the bills, feed the family, and afford our dreams and goals in life. The stress of being a provider is constantly on his shoulders, and the weight of the world is all around him as he works out in the real world all day. The mental and emotional pressure to make a difference is constant for both of us.
So, we work each of us separately, daily, at the tasks that Yehovah God has placed in front of us each day. For me, that looks like cleaning house, doing laundry, making menus, planning and preparing food, teaching our children about God and life, changing diapers, and praying for others, and being at home most days all alone with little tiny people. For Jeremy, that means going to work away from home for 10 hours daily, sleeping 6 hours daily, and then only having 8 hours a day to impact his kids, maintain his home and vehicles, mentor and lead the men in his church, and support me his wife.
Sadly, so many men and women just feel like there is too much to do, that they can’t possibly do it all, and even if they try it always seems they fail. We, all of us, often don’t get to where we want to go in life because the thought of starting something new is too overwhelming. So, I want to give you some practical ways to take some baby steps to making the changes you truly want to make.
I truly believe men want to be more involved in their children’s lives, they want to be more helpful at home, and they want to show their wives they appreciate them.
I also truly believe most women see their husband’s as brilliant and more capable than they see themselves, and just want to be the helpmate that God created them to be, but have no idea how to help.
I can’t say this enough. Every morning pray. Every meal time, pray. Every evening, pray. Every Sabbath, pray.
Pray for yourself to have a humble attitude, to be a servant of servants, to have the strength to do the work you are called to do, and to love like Christ.
Pray for your spouse to rise above their fears, pride, doubts, and guilt, to walk in obedience, to be a leader among men, to have the strength and energy to do everything God places before him to do, and to trust God in the unknown.
Don’t just say meaningless prayers, really dig deep and ask God for big things. Then believe and step out in Faith.
Make a Schedule/Routine Guide for your day and week. This doesn’t have to be every minute of every day. Just a outline of what your would like to do in a week/day. Here are some examples:
Sunday have some family time, Monday have a family worship night, Tuesday watch our favorite tv show as a family, Wednesday go to Bible study, Thursday kids put kids to bed night, Friday family dinner and worship, Sabbath read and discuss Torah Portion
7 am wake up, shower, pray, and read Bible alone
8 am chores, breakfast with spouse
9 am wake kids, feed them, and dress them (spouse might have go to work)
9:30 read Bible stories and other stories to kids
10 am exercise or go for a walk, include kids if possible
10:30 do dishes and a load of laundry
11 am ?
1-4 run errands, play with kids, do chores, etc.
5 pm began to prepare for spouse to return home
6 pm family dinner
7 pm family time
8 pm wind down time
9 pm kids in rooms
10 pm lights out
You can add details or take details out.
Just make a general outline of your week and daily routine.
Prioritize. Ask yourself what is the most important things for me to do each day and week. How can I be sure I am being a good spouse and the accomplishing the goals I have for myself each day?
Make a list.
teach my kids God’s Word
study God’s Word for myself
keep a clean home
keep a peaceful home
family worship/prayer times
be a great employee
be a great spouse/parent
Share your schedule and priority list with your spouse. Ask your spouse to sit down with you and discuss what you have been working on, and ask them for their input. Then together come up with a priority list and routine that works for your whole family. Compromise. Don’t be upset if your spouse wants to do things differently than you do.
Get started. Take the top priority and the biggest routine change that you and your spouse agree on and do it. Maybe your family has never set down and ate dinner together as a family, and that is important to you. Then do it. Don’t worry so much about time, as much as activity. Maybe you live a lift style that you can’t always eat at exactly 6 pm, then work around that.
Don’t assume your spouse is going to remember and do what you talked about one time. Instead, assume that your spouse wants you to take the lead and run with the new goal. If you discussed sitting down to breakfast every morning. Then when you go to bed at night, say, “I am going to get up at 7 and start making breakfast, what time do you plan to get up?” Then get up and make breakfast, and gently remind your spouse again in the morning the plan. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t have a great attitude the first days, or even weeks of a new routine. Just keep at it. Talk about what is working and what isn’t. Make adjustments if needed.
Find the balance between encouraging, asking, and nagging. If you ask your spouse to fold the laundry and they forget, or don’t do it completely and correctly, then instead of being upset. Just say, thanks, and next time you want them to fold laundry, do it together and show them and say to them how you do it and why you do it that way. Not bossing or complaining, just discussing the why and how if it.
Don’t Assume, Ask!!!
Don’t assume your spouse is being lazy, or rude, or mean, or selfish, or ungrateful, or forgetful. Instead if you have discussed something in the past, ask them if they remember discussing it, and if they are still on the same page about it.
You are not perfect and neither is your spouse. You need to give yourself grace, and you need to give your spouse grace.
Marriage is hard work, but it is worth it. I don’t want to just have a good marriage, I want to have a great marriage.
A marriage that is always growing and changing, getting better year after year is the goal. The only way that can happen is if I am humble, kind, patient, and forgiving. I have to be willing to serve my spouse and care for his children, property, and goals and dreams above my own. Nothing makes it easier to do that than adjusting my goals and dreams to be in line with his.
I hope this post encourages you to keep working on your married life one day at a time.
Written by Katie
Things to know as you visit our site
We are Bible believing, scripture only people. We love to learn about the Hebrew roots of our faith. We believe it is important to not add or subtract from the Divine Word of God. The compiled scriptures that agree with one another and have no contradiction is the 66 books of what is commonly referred to as the Christian Bible, or the Holy Bible.
These writings were originally written by men inspired by God. They were written in the language of the writers and readers of the original documents. Many of the original documents have been lost, but God’s Word is eternal and remains. Therefore, it is important to us to study, learn, and consider the culture, history, and language of the original writers of the scriptures.
In our studies we have learned that the true name of God is Yehovah, and His son, our Messiah, is named Yeshua. Therefore, as you read our posts we will use the Hebrew names of God and our Messiah.
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