Protect the Castle

When you have something of great value, your natural inclination is to protect it. For most of us our most expensive assets are our homes and cars. For this reason, most of us have home owner’s insurance and car insurance. Our most precious asset is our marriage. Unlike our cars and homes, our spouse is not replaceable. (Or at least they shouldn’t be.) In the same way we protect our financial assets, we must have a plan to protect our marriage. One of the elements in creating a phenomenal marriage is to have a plan in place to protect the marriage from forces that have the potential to lessen or destroy the marriage. Imagine that your marriage is a beautiful castle that is located in hostile territory. If you owned a castle in hostile territory you would most certainly build a mote around it. The mote would serve as an advance warning system and defense against invading enemies. In the same way you can build a mote around your marriage. There are many ways to build this mote and protect your marriage, but for today I want to share my top two ways.

The first way to insure your marriage against outside forces that seek to weaken your relationship is to make your marriage your number one priority. Make your spouse more important than other family members, your friends, your jobs, where you live, your home, hobbies or money. When many of us were married we included the phrase, “Forsaking all others” in our wedding vows. When we made that promise we were saying to our spouses, you are going to be my number one, forever. What about children? Shouldn’t they be our number one priority? Your children are your number one priority, next to your commitment to each other. The best gift you can give your children is put your spouse number one. It is the way to ensure sparing them having to be parented by another man or another woman in the future. Parents who make their marriage their number one priority, stay married and have extremely healthy children.

The second way to insure your marriage against outside forces that seek to weaken the relationship is to speak life over your spouse. I tell people to imagine that their marriage has ears. Everything that you say about your marriage has tremendous power over the quality of the marriage. When you talk about your spouse or your marriage to others never talk negatively. Several years ago, I met one of my wife’s co workers. It was a person that I had never met with but who works closely with her on a daily basis. I will never forget her opening line to me. She said, “David, I can’t believe I am finally having the opportunity to meet you. I have heard so many amazing things about you. Your wife adores you, you must be quite a husband.” I graciously thanked her, and it reinforced two things that I already knew about my wife. One, she really does adore me. And two, she speaks life over our relationship. Imagine if she had spent days on end complaining about the dishes that I leave in the sink, my working too many hours and my habit of clicking my toes. Imagine if she had gone to work and regularly complained about the ball and chain at home. Imagine if she had only referred to me as her “old man”. Instead she clearly had spoken life over me and our marriage. She has a picture of our family on her desk that her colleagues regularly ask about. In this way, people know what her number 1 priority is outside of work and she has the opportunity to speak life over the relationship. These two insurance policies to have a phenomenal marriage are free, but if you neglect them they will cost you much more than money.