What does your marriage have to do with being a great leader? Awhile ago, I wrote about the importance of leading yourself. For those of us who are married, it’s also important to “lead” your spouse. I’m sure some of you are wondering about that. Marriage relationships are made of up of two equal individuals. Let’s substitute another work for lead here- influence. Leadership is influence. We tend to think of leadership as holding a position, but it’s so much more than that. If you truly have the attitude of a leader, people will be influenced for good by you, regardless of the position you hold. Your marriage can be a great place to work on those skills of influence. I also firmly believe that we will be our best at our callings when things are going well in our marriage and our spouse is supportive.
I strongly advocate prioritizing marriage over our callings and not just saying it, but taking a series of actions to keep it there. Here’s what it looks like in my marriage. Yours may look a little different than ours. That’s okay. What matters is that you have a plan and you’re acting on it.
Daily Prayer and Scripture Study
Every morning, we take a few minutes to read from the Book of Mormon and share our thoughts on what we read. Then we pray together. It really is a blessing to hear my husband when he talks about me in his prayers. We spend about 10-15 minutes on this. That’s not a lot of time. It helps bring the Spirit into our home and relationship when we do this.
Weekly Date Night
Weekly date nights are a great time to connect with each other. It’s time where you can focus on each other, share an experience and have fun together.
I’ve been a huge fan of date night since my youngest was a baby. One of my friends was a bishop’s wife and she told me that she needed to go on a date with her husband every week to maintain her sanity. She’s someone I admire and I thought that was a pretty good example. It’s helped me keep my sanity through the demands of raising kids and tough callings.
Monthly Date Night Planning
This is something we started doing about 4-6 months ago. We take turns planning our dates and kept forgetting whose turn it was! Now we take 15 minutes once a month to get out our calendars and record when and who for our dates.
Weekly Finance Check-ins
We’ve tried doing this alone, with me entering most items on our budget and just found that it didn’t work for us. Not being on the same page when it comes to finances can lead to marital problems. Taking a few minutes each week to talk about what was spent and make needed adjustments for unanticipated (or forgotten) expenses can help you stay on the same page.
Monthly Budget Planning
Taking a little time before a new month to come to an agreement on what your expenses are can also prevent disagreements and arguments. This also gives you some time to work out compromises on items where you might disagree.
Taking time to invest in your marriage can make such a big difference in so many ways. It can even help us to be better in our callings because we will be developing our influence and our spouses will be more likely to be supportive.
What is your favorite way to strengthen your marriage?