Stocks. Bonds. Bear Market. Bull Market. Dow. NASDAQ. Those are all the words that normally come to my mind when I hear the word invest. But did you know that money isn’t the only thing you can invest? Unfortunately, we don’t usually put the words MARRIAGE & INVEST together. However, one of the most important things we can invest in is our marriages.
A few weeks ago I got a notification about a marriage seminar that my church was hosting and I scrolled to that date on my calendar. When I got there, I saw a ridiculous amount of activities staring back at me that were already scheduled for that Saturday…
-Girl Scout Cookie Booth
-Father Daughter Dance
I thought to myself how in the world are we going to fit this marriage seminar in our already busy day? I forwarded the information to Carlton to ask him what he thought. He responded by saying “we have to make our marriage a priority, go ahead and sign us up!” I must admit that wasn’t the answer I thought he was going to come back with, but the more I thought about it the more I realized he was right.
His reply reminded me that we have to constantly be looking for intentional ways to create spaces that cultivate intimacy and strengthen our marriage. A great marriage just doesn’t magically appear – it requires us to invest our time, energy, and resources. In other words, you get out of your marriage what you put into it.
Investing in your marriage allows you to uncover layers that may be slowly tearing down the foundation of your marriage without you even realizing it. Your marriage can be like the money in your bank account – if you aren’t actively investing it into something or bringing in fresh sources of income, the balance will gradually be chipped away as you spend small amounts of it on mundane necessities of life. In the same way, if your marriage isn’t actively growing – aren’t you slowly drifting apart every day as you go through your ordinary routine?
When we talk about investing your money, the answer to ‘why’ is obvious, right? Because I want to grow what I already have. Sometimes in marriage we might find ourselves thinking that I’m already married so why spend additional energy on this relationship. Shouldn’t our answer there be the same – Because I want to grow what I already have?
There are several reasons why investing in your marriage is always worthwhile:
- It will help you to be proactive by allowing you to anticipate problems in your marriage before they occur.
- Investing in your marriage enables you to protect your marriage. You can gain tools and learn methods for how to deal with the inevitable storms that will come your way.
- It strengthens the connection with your spouse.
- It builds the intimacy that creates the safe space of trust that is needed in marriage.
So now that we know why you’d want to invest in your marriage the next question is:
How do I invest in my marriage?
Counseling – Think of this as taking your marriage into the auto repair shop. Sometimes this visit might only be for routine preventative maintenance or sometimes for major repairs. At different times throughout your marriage both are essential to having a healthy long lasting relationship. Working with a counselor is a great way to gain objective outside perspective and build on your communication skills in a safe place. We make sure to visit our friendly neighborhood mechanic (aka our counselor!) at least once a quarter for a tune up.
Marriage Seminars – These are great events that allow you to not only learn from excellent facilitators, but also from your peers. That’s right, other married couples who have been through (or are going through) the same things as you are can be a great resource and serve as a support system. Also these sessions can be just what you need as you get to take time away from the regular routine and have a time of intense focus completely on your marriage. We’re always looking for the next one in our city!
Date Nights – Date nights are one of the most obvious ways to invest in your marriage, but we all know how elusive they can be sometimes. This time is key to reconnecting while spending quality time together with no distractions. If you’re looking for fresh ideas for your next date night, we’ve got you covered here!
Couples Only Vacations—Family vacations are great but let’s be serious if you have children you know that family vacations are more work for the parents. If you’re like me you’re lysoling every surface and trying to plan how to spend each day until it becomes almost as stressful as being at home. It’s more for the kids at that point. But when it’s just the two of you, you can truly spend uninterrupted time together doing things centered around just the two of you.
No matter what stage your marriage is in, make it a priority to invest in it. I promise you will reap what you sow and get a great return on your investment!