Why Every Christian Marriage Should be a High Maintenance Marriage
Something was off between us. Way off.
We weren’t in harmony.
We were bickering. A LOT.
He wanted his way and I wanted mine.
I thought he was being selfish and demanding the majority of the time. And I’m sure he thought the same of me. 🙂
Of course we were busy with life trying to move and pack, and move and unpack. But we weren’t new to the demands of moving and the strain it could put on one’s marriage. Been there, done that and many times over. So it seemed odd to me that we weren’t faring well with our current circumstances.
I started to ponder the why behind our bickering….
Besides the obvious reasons of just living through a season that is filled with high-pressure and high-demands, I needed to go deeper because I didn’t want our bickering to turn into the norm for our marriage.
Why did I feel so angry and snappy toward my husband?
And why did he feel that way toward me?
Well, I didn’t know his answer, but I was able to pinpoint mine.
It was a simple problem, really.
I felt like the neglected wife.
My emotional bank account was withdrawn. And I’m sure his account was low, too.
So I decided to slow down and get off the merry-go-round of life because I was no longer a kind and joyful wife.
I told my husband we needed to go on a date. Nothing expensive. Just something for us to get away from all of our responsibilities for a little while.
So Taco Tuesday it was.
My husband happens to love fish tacos, but I don’t. However, I do love an inexpensive dinner bill, so it was a win-win for both of us.
Now each Tuesday night we have a standing date- eating fish tacos! 🙂 This little excursion allows us to reconnect and invest in one another.
I can remember when we headed out the door that first Tuesday night. We had to let go of all the things that weren’t completed in the house and all the business that was left unfinished. It definitely seemed like it wasn’t a good time to go out on a date when you looked around at our situation. But what you couldn’t see with the naked eye was the crack that was taking place in our marriage due to our lack of investment with one another.
It was at that moment that I realized we had a high maintenance marriage. Sure, we could carry on the way we had been for the last month or so. But over time our love would began to erode due to our bickering, not to mention the effort we were putting forth into our other responsibilities rather than each other.
Of course working, putting a home in order, and tending to the hearts of our children are important, but those things will fall apart if our marriage falls apart, first.
Keeping our marriage a priority is of utmost importance to us and because of this, we’ve had to fight for it.
It was during this fight that we made the decision to go one step further and declare that we have a high maintenance marriage.
And then something dawned on me. I thought every proclaiming Christian marriage should be a high maintenance one. And here’s the reason why: because a Christian marriage should reflect the love of Christ and the Church.
In a high maintenance marriage…
- We should seek to meet one another’s needs that only a husband and wife can meet.
- We should be putting on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, and longsuffering.
- We should make allowances for each other’s faults and forgive one another.
- And most importantly, we should put on love.
Now I don’t know about you, but the list above could make this girl faint! These things require a tremendous investment of our lives; spiritually, emotionally, and physically. A God-honoring marriage is a high maintenance marriage. Just sayin’.
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Col. 3:12-14
I don’t mind having a high maintenance marriage, after all, it honors God, blesses my husband, strengthens my family, and proclaims the Gospel to the world around me.
How about you? Do you have a high maintenance marriage? If not, are you willing to start one? Share in the comments.
Live a poured out life for Christ,
How would you define a “high maintenance” marriage? I feel like that was the only thing missing in your post. My husband has often told me how he admires the fact that I’m not a high maintenance woman (not fussy/naggy/into lots of makeup or fashion/prissy/needy/I don’t demand things of him, etc.). I’m easy going, forgiving, loving, attentive, etc and he’s glad of this. So how would you define a high maintenance marriage?
My husband says the same about me not being a high maintenance wife!
I think a high maintenance marriage is one that emulates the verses in Colossians 3:12-14. This list is a great place to start implementing attitudes and actions in a God-honoring marriage. I hope this helps!
What if you are willing to do all that, but your husband is not putting Any effort in to it to make it work??? ?
Keep pushing through!! Keep loving and respecting him!! It may take more time than you would like it to, but trust that God is moving, even when you don’t see it. Oftentimes God works in ways that we don’t see, until much later. My biggest piece of advice is to keep respecting him, even when he’s acting like a jerk. And pray for him. Pray pray pray!!!!!! Hugs to you!!
I’m sorry to hear about your situation, Lina.
My short response would be this question: Are you willing to live to please the Lord regardless of what you husband does or doesn’t do?
Also, you can check out this series I wrote on. When a Husband Isn’t Loving His Wife with Christ-Like Love. You can find it here: http://joleneengle.com/husband-isnt-loving-wife-christ-like-love-series/ Hopefully it will minister to you.
Yes!! We have a very high maintenance marriage!!! When I make a new friend, I make sure to tell her up front right away that my husband is my priority and that at some point in our friendship that I guarantee that I will ditch her, cancel plans last minute or be unavailable to her, because my hubby wants to spend time with me or needs me. And I always tell her that if she cannot handle that, then we probably won’t be able to be close friends. And I also expect that sometime she will ditch me for her hubby and I expect it even. If we make our husbands a priority above friends, not only is it a tremendous witness, but it is a positive role model for how they should prefer their husband above friends. (And family, and children. But I want go there today haha).
My hubby and I have a date night as often as possible. Which sometimes is tricky, with 4 kids in many activities and the husband working in the oil fields. Planning ahead is sometimes impossible. So we try, but a lot of the time we make an impulsive decision to have a date, or after the kids bedtime, have a neighbor come over and sit and hang out till we get back from a late night date dessert! Sometimes we do a double date for dessert late with our couple friends. Much laughter.
But it is hard work, marriage isn’t easy, but the things that are worth it are hard.
Every day I try to ask my hubby what I can do to make his day better or easier, and how I can pray for him specifically today. Some days are better than others. ? But just that act shows him that I put him first. The laundry and dishes and messes can wait until I have given him my love and attention. That shows respect which is what men need most from us.
Oh I could go on and on but you get the idea. My husband is an amazing man, and I am so blessed to have him….. But I didn’t always feel this way.
Awesome, Stephanie. Thanks for sharing some simple ways you maintain your marriage!
During a very heated argument I said some hurtful things. Argument was two years ago and to this day my husband will not let it go he says he forgives me for it but he punishes me in different ways he’ll become cold and distant or withhold love or affection. I feel like my marriage is doomed because he can’t forgive me …not truly forgive me. so what do I do? He has said hateful things to me to but I have forgiven him and let it go but he can’t do the same.
I’m so sorry to hear this. Well, if your husband isn’t a follower of Christ, he won’t hold to the same standards of forgiveness that is written in the scriptures. If he does profess to be a Believer than I would ask him why he won’t forgive you since he’s commanded by God to forgive you. Here are some old posts that may help you: http://joleneengle.com/10-ways-to-live-in-an-unequally-yoked-marriage/ and http://joleneengle.com/8-earmarks-of-a-christian-husband/
We, unfortunately, have far from a high-maintenance marriage! It’s only because of God’s grace & because both of us are strong-willed & believe deeply in commitment that we’ve been able to make it this far.
We were 18 & 21 when we got married after having dated a whopping 4 months. My parents were thrilled (sarcasm intended) when I announced that I was dropping out of college, throwing away my full ride scholarship, & marrying a farmhand who made next to nothing!
That “farmhand,” though, has become one of the best things that ever happened, not just to me, but to our entire family!
When we were 23 & 26 & our kids were 1 & 3, I got really sick with Increased Intracranial Hypertension caused by a buildup of cerebral spinal fluid around my brain. The first surgery they did to try to fix the problem resulted in a spinal cord injury, so obviously, our lives completely changed forever.
I’ve now had 47 surgeries, 5 feeding tubes, countless procedures, more pills each day than you would believe, & more doctors in my phone contacts than I like to admit.
Jody’s been beside me, sometimes carrying me, through all of it. In fact, we just renewed our vows to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary! I’d be lying if I said that my illness & disability hadn’t had some major effects on our marriage, though.
My medical bills have caused a lot of debt, & I haven’t been able to work. (I actually just started a job Monday. Jody needs help, I was created to be his help meet, this is how I need to try to help pay bills right now, I’m trusting God to give my body the strength it needs & to keep my pain & nausea manageable for as long as I need to work.) He’s been so overworked & overwhelmed that he doesn’t have time to “woo” me. He doesn’t have time to notice when the house is extra clean (although he notices when it isn’t) or when I’ve made a special dinner, or I’m wearing something special. He seems to have time for his friends, though. I find out most of his day-to-day info by hearing him talk on the phone to his buddies. He & I can take a trip that takes several hours in the van & barely say 2 words to each other.
He loves me; I have no doubt of that. His love language is service, & he works tirelessly & sacrificially to try to keep us afloat. This may make me sound really needy & selfish, but I don’t FEEL loved. I don’t feel valued, good enough, appreciated, respected, I don’t think he’s proud to have me as his wife. All I’ve ever wanted to be is a wife & a mom!
What’s a good, practical first step that I can take to make my marriage high-maintenance, even if my husband isn’t ready to do so?
This article really struck a chord with me. My husband and I are working to make ours a high maintenance marriage, it is difficult sometimes with all the demands of life, but we are working to make ‘us’ the priority!
With limited time together (as he works really long hours), I am trying to make the time we do have together, as ‘together’ as possible. Which means getting up before the sun so we can start the day together, sitting down for family dinners, and limiting tv/reading/computer time at night to be together. It can be exhausting but totally worth it!
Comments are closed.