(Continuing on with posts about Planning with Priorities in my mothering series Forever Close: The Heart of a Mother ... specifically applying these planning thoughts to mothers, but they easily can be adapted to any and all places of career or life.)
Our First Priority as mothers is to pursue First Love. And as we continue on with the other priorities, I hesitate to put them in a specified order, as it implies that they are separate from each other. For actually, they all blend together. And the First Priority is the overall priority as it is the glue that holds all of life together. It cannot be separated from any other area of life.
And in our lives as mothers, there are multiple, unending areas of focus that call for our time and our energy. Our job description is multi-faceted. We are on the job 24/7. Our days are b-u-s-y, and full as we care for the needs of our children.
Maybe that is one reason that we need to purposefully remember to keep our priorities in mind when we think through and plan our weeks, and our days - and mostly, where we choose to focus on.
The priority that I have chosen to list next - after pursuing God - is to love and support our husbands, and seek to be the companion that they need and desire. We need to purposefully and intentionally love, honor, respect, and focus on our husbands.
"A worthy wife is a crown for her husband ..."
Caring for children, and also following God's direction in other responsibilities that we may have (whether they be at home or outside of the home) can take up all the hours of our day. And we need to be careful and save our hearts and our time and energy to pour into our husbands. After all, he is the reason that we choose to marry, and he is the one that we spend all of life with.
My sweet hubby has been easy to love. In fact, it seems that he is the one who has set aside his wishes over and over, to care for mine. And to help with the children in the busy years of parenting six children. Yet, in those busy years (34 years of parenting with children in our home, as our six were spread out in age, 17 years between the oldest and the youngest), we had to purposefully take time for each other.
Here are some of the things that we put in place (at various times in our marriage) to keep us close through those all-consuming years of parenting:
weekly or every-other-week dates (just the two of us, hiring a baby-sitter so we could spend time together, away from the children)
anniversary get-a-ways, just the two of us (occasionally accompanied by a nursing newborn)
much communication (so essential, and needed continuously)
attending some marriage conferences together (gaining valuable insight and new ideas)
writing letters and notes to each other (for a period of a number of years, we wrote weekly letters to each other, covering some suggested topics, and also creating our own topics)
seasons where we spent time in prayer and fasting together (covering some big needs in our family)
We cannot give too much effort to nurturing love and respect in our marriages. As I look back on my years of mothering, I wish that I had given even more energy and time to focusing on my hubby. But by the grace of God, and by the patience and love of my husband who did not demand more than I could give - our marriage is strong and is amazing even now in our "empty nest" years. We would rather spend time with each other than with any other ... we are blessed to live and love together through all of life.
And for those moms who may struggle with a less-than-understanding husband, my encouragement is to focus on First Love. To continually bring your concerns to God, asking Him to give you wisdom, love, and strength to be the wife that He desires you to be.
Loving Lord, please work in our hearts and lives as busy moms to honor, respect, and love our husbands. Help us to build into their lives all that is good, and worthy, and all that will bring You praise in this needy world.
"Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life."
(Photo above was taken on one of our "empty nest" vacation trips together - last summer, on the coast of New England ... just the two of us.)
Links to all the posts in this Planning with Priorities series:Planning with Priorities
Loving Our Husbands
The Gift of Family
Making a Home
Time for Me
Beyond Our Homes
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