Song of Songs 1:7 (NIV) – [She] Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman beside the flocks of your friends?
Have you ever read one of the mythical, made-up fairy tales that ends “And they lived happily ever after”? If you’ve been married for more than 5 minutes, you know that it’s not always happy and that happiness and joy in a marriage must be protected and, oftentimes, fought for.
The worldly myth is that romance is effortless if it’s your soul mate but the truth is, in the first few chapters of Genesis, first came the wedding, then the war. Satan didn’t even show up until Adam and Eve were married. Marriage is the most incredible earthly relationship and can be happy, healthy, and holy, but this doesn’t come without intentionality.
Solomon and his wife, as we call her Abbi, both had priorities that were not negative but were oftentimes competing. He was busy “shepherding” the nation as King while she wanted more intentional time with her husband (“take me away”, 1:4). As we’ll see later in the book, they get into a fight essentially over not having enough intentional time together.
When my wife Grace and I first got married, we were broke college kids, starting out in ministry, had extended family and friends who also wanted time with us, and I started writing, traveling, and speaking while we also had five kids.
It took us some years, but we had to get on the same page and realized the importance of a shared calendar, a weekly “sync” meeting to go over life’s details so date nights could just be fun and enjoyable, and a yearly vision retreat to plan out each year of our lives together.
I can now report we’ve been faithfully married for 30 years and are in the most joyous season of our entire lives. If you’re each intentional in keeping your priorities in line – God first, spouse second, children third, with other priorities like work and extended relationships after that – you will have a much more enjoyable marriage together as God intended it.
If you’re married, is your marriage your second priority after God? If not, how can you prioritize each other and have a healthy life together while still also getting important things done like work and parenting? If you’re not yet married, how can you get your life architected in a way that you’re ready to be married?
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