Let’s say your family is an airplane. You and your spouse are the pilots. Your children are riding as passengers. Maybe you’ve been flying this plane for so many years you’re just operating on autopilot. It’s easy. It’s efficient.
But flying on autopilot can put you out of practice if something goes wrong. And when something challenging occurs, if you can’t keep the plane in the air, you don’t just hurt yourself and your spouse. You hurt the kids, too.
The very best thing we can do for our family is to work on our marriage.
I want to call your attention to one of the best ways to keep flying high in marriage. It’s the Law of Priority, and God revealed this in Genesis 2 when He created marriage for Adam and Eve.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Just like a plane stays in the air because of the laws of aerodynamics, a marriage works best when it follows God’s laws. The number-one law of marriage is that marriage has to be first. That’s indicated in the verse above.
Before marriage, individuals’ closest relationships are with their parents. But they leave their father and mother and become joined to their spouse. Their spouse comes first. If your job takes priority over marriage, you’re in trouble. If your kids come before your marriage, you’re at risk. The same goes for friendships or hobbies.
One special challenge couples have today is related to electronics. On a number of occasions, I’ve heard one spouse tell me something like this: “My spouse is sitting across the room from me, but they’re never with me. They’re on their phone. They’re texting. They’re on Facebook. They’re connected somewhere else.”
Did you know one-third of all divorce filings contain the word “Facebook”? This doesn’t mean technology or social media is evil. Technology can be a wonderful servant. But it’s a terrible master. If you can’t look away from your phone in order to talk with your spouse, then you’re under its control.
Your marriage needs a technology-free zone so the two of you can be together without the influence or distraction of anyone else. Schedule time with each other. Set boundaries. Put your phones away so you can connect, face to face.
In one of the most fruitful seasons of our marriage, Karen and I would eat dinner with our children, spend the evening as a family, put the kids to bed, and then the rest of the time was ours. We would pop popcorn, keep the TV turned off, and just sit and talk, face to face.
We connected every day and it was vital to strengthening our relationship. Do you have this kind of time together, every day? To maintain your connection and keep flying high, you have to put each other first—and that means refusing to let technology intrude on your marriage.
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today