Have you ever heard the phrase ‘the best gift you can give your children is a healthy marriage’?

I heard that a long time ago and it has really stuck with me along the way. Making marriage a priority is hard! 18 years after we said “I do”, we now have 3 kids, 2 dogs, travel sports, caring for aging parents, and full-time work outside the home. This article from Focus on the Family points out different factors that can place stress on your marriage and how to handle that stress in a healthy way.

Being intentional and committing to the small things are two tips the author talks about. This includes understanding what matters most to our husbands and making the most of the short time we have together. For instance, quality time is one thing that is extremely important to my husband, so we are now in a rhythm of waking up early before our kids to connect over coffee and a couple’s devotional. We also enjoy exercising together so we make that a part of our morning time as well. Throughout our workdays, we try to stay in touch by texting or leaving each other notes of appreciation.

Of course, things are not always sunshine and roses, so Christian couples therapy has been incredibly beneficial to help us process different hurts and emotions. We also try to grab dinner after therapy and turn it into a date night! Now, I know babysitters can be an issue, and fortunately now our daughter is old enough to stay home with the boys. However, in the past, we would take turns with other couples and watch each other’s kids so the other couple could get out. Get creative!

Each moment you try to stay connected, you are investing in your marriage.