Is Your Marriage on the Back Burner? (Or How Doctor Who Reminded Me Why I Love My Husband)

marriage1 "Are you crying?" my husband asked as the tears streamed down my face.

Sniff. "Yes." I mean who wouldn't cry when the Doctor and Rose have just been separated forever? (Yes, we're nerds, and yes, we were watching Doctor Who. We're a bit late to the Whovian party and just finished up season 2.)

"You do know they're fictional characters, right?"

With those words, I was reminded why I fell in love with this man. He makes me smile.

I don't spend a lot of time talking about my marriage in this space, mainly because my husband is a super private person. But today, I wanted to share just a bit.

My kids are gone for the week, spending time with the grandparents on a trip to Chicago. They're having a great time, and my husband and I have had time to do some things we haven't done in a long time -- go out to dinner, have a conversation of more then three seconds before someone interrupts, watch TV together.

It's been a long, busy year since last August. Between homeschooling, working and simply being parents to two active girls, our marriage kind of got shoved to the side. Conversations were had in short snippets. Many days we only saw each other in passing. Weeknight dinners went from family affairs to eating in shifts. And our marriage simmered on the back burner.

It was a season, and marriages can survive those seasons. However, our marriages can't survive years of simmering on the back burner. At some point, we have to put them back on the front burner and turn up the heat.

It's way too easy to push our spouses to the end of the priority line. Their needs aren't immediate. They can wait. But when we put our kids' needs and their activities in front of our marriages, our marriages end up in trouble.

We have to be as deliberate in building our marriages as we are in raising our kids. Because marriage takes work. Marriages crumble when we stop working on them, when we stop making them a priority.

That's why when my husband asked me last night if I knew the Doctor and Rose were fictional characters I smiled. And I remembered some of the reasons I fell in love with this man in the first place. My husband is a great dad. He's an awesome person. He's the total opposite of me -- quiet, thoughtful with a dry, slightly off-kilter sense of humor. But too often it's easier to focus on the things that annoy me rather than things that drew me to him in the first place.

That's why it's so important to take time for our marriages, to not let our kids consume us to the point that our spouse is just another person that lives in our house. Genesis 2:22-24 says:

Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

God designed husbands and wives to work as a unit. It says "they become one flesh." That doesn't just mean the obvious. It means they function together, they work together, they weather the hard times together.

We can't be one with our spouse unless we're spending time with them on a regular basis. We can't function as a unit unless we're taking the time to talk to our spouse. We can't create a relationship together unless we remember what it is we loved about them in the first place.

So, today, evaluate where your marriage falls on your priority list. If it has fallen to the bottom, work to bring it back up to the top. Because one of the most important things we can give our kids is an example of what marriage looks like. The opinions they form of marriage now are the ones that they'll use when creating their own marriage.

Spend some time with your spouse today. Reconnect. Remind yourself why you fell in love to start with. Even if you're nerds like us, and it takes a couple of episodes of Doctor Who to make that happen.