“I choose US.” This is a simple phrase packed with a powerful lifestyle message—especially for those who are married. It was repeated twice in a movie that we’ve watched several times. And each time it catches our attention.
Something we’ve observed is that after promising, “I do” on our wedding day, we can eventually forget what we promised each other. Ultimately we can forget to choose to give our spouse more priority than other people and other things. And if we aren’t proactive and paying attention, we can become more of roommates than marriage partners. And that is a road that can lead to relationship disaster!
It’s amazing how we will go to all kinds of lengths to spend time with, and try to please each other before marrying. But after marrying we can gradually let go of those same priorities. Sometimes we don’t even notice the change until we’re deeply disconnected. And what’s with that? Why do we neglect the priority of building our love relationship?
Actually, we’re not throwing stones here. We confess that we have fallen into that same marital trap (many times). That’s a sad testimony! It would be especially sad if we didn’t do anything to combat our selfism. But we’re continually working on fighting against it. We hope you will too.
I Choose US!
The “I choose us” phrase was said twice in the movie we referred to earlier. One time the wife said it, and the other time the husband. What they said essentially is, “I choose to set aside the other possibilities. My choice may not be what I would choose when I was single. But it’s a better one for us, as a married couple. So I choose US instead.” Here’s the motto here: “Just because we CAN do something, it doesn’t mean we should.”
And just because we did certain things or was close to someone when we were single, it doesn’t mean that’s what’s best now that we’re married. Maybe yes; but maybe no. Our priorities need to change after marrying. Here’s a good illustration of this concept:
There’s no doubt that there are certain past priorities that we should not drag into our present life with our spouse.
We repeatedly hear from spouses where their marriage “partners” make choices that are seriously hurting their relationships. This includes their use of money, substances, cell phones, social media, and other people. As a result they are ripping apart their marriage, one choice at a time. It’s important for us to realize:
“A great marriage doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning, but how well you continue building love until the end.” (Unknown)
So, no matter what the dog or others think, hold to the vow to choose each other. Just because you enjoyed doing something as a single person, if it causes separation between you and your spouse… don’t do it! On your wedding day you promised your spouse not to let anyone or anything separate you.
Considering the “We” in Marriage
It’s not that we can’t show forth differences and individuality in marriage, because of course we can. Actually, our differences can even make us more interesting to our spouse. Plus, they can enhance our marriages. “Differences are the spices of it all,” as one man, wrote in a Marriage Missions comment. And that can be true—concerning the “we” in our marriage relationship. But if the individuality that we exert is something that causes problems, we need to be careful.
We’re told in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “‘Everything is permissible.’ But not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible.’ But not everything is constructive.” Another version of the Bible words it this way, “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.”
If you apply this principle to marriage, it means that just because you CAN do something, or USED to do something before marrying, it doesn’t mean it’s the most “beneficial” thing to do now. Prayerfully weigh your choices. If you and your spouse are in agreement, then great! Steve and I do different things all the time. We’re supportive of those things. And when we come together, our relationship is all the richer because of it. We totally agree with Zig Ziglar:
“In your marriage the seeds of success are already present. But, realistically, so are the seeds of failure. The choice boils down to which seeds you will feed, water, and cultivate. In most cases, beautiful marriages are the result of a long series of right choices you’ve made along the way. Miserable marriages are the result of a long series of poor choices you’ve made.”
To Choose Us Should Be a Priority
If a choice you could make would tear against the marital relationship, remember what you vowed on your wedding day. Your vow should be a priority. It’s to love and care for your spouse. You are no longer a single person going through life. On your wedding day you became half of a marital team. (Read 1 Corinthians 7, which better explains what your priorities need to be after marrying.)
If what you are doing (or are considering doing) is something that tears against your relationship with your spouse —causing division between you, it’s not “beneficial.” You didn’t marry to live a parallel life with your spouse. You married to live together in union, helping one another to be the best you can be.
So approach the “choose US” matter wisely.
“Ephesians 5:15-17 says, ‘Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.‘
“The fool chooses the good over the great. Rather, we need to make decisions that show our marriage is a priority. Yes, we need hobbies, time for ourselves, and have bills to pay and mouths to feed. But, if we don’t make our marriage one of the highest priorities, our marriage and commitment to each other will suffer. Sometimes you need to say “no” to hanging with friends, girls night out, or overtime at work. Go on a date, share what God is teaching you with your spouse, and make time for each other. When you do, you will grow your affection (and commitment) for each other.
“Question: What can you do this week to help raise the priority level of your commitment in marriage?” (Scott Kedersha, from his article, “3 Ways to Grow Your Commitment”)
In consideration of your marriage relationship remember what we’re told in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
God’s Word Says:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
May God help us to make HIS priorities OUR priorities! And may we continually be proactive in choosing “us” in our everyday choices! A three strand marriage commitment is God’s choice for us, and it should be our choice also! As you do so:
“May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
If you are not a subscriber to the Marriage Insights (emailed out weekly)
and you would like to receive them directly, click onto the following:
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Marriage Insights