What I Learned About My Marriage From a Bunch of Rocks!


If you don’t prioritize the most important things in your life, the less important things will take over and there will be no time or energy left for what matters most to you.

Many years ago, we had a consultant come to help us do some strategic planning at Family Matters. As he walked us through some next steps and big picture tactics, he also taught us a great lesson on keeping our priorities straight. In fact, he drove his point home with a great illustration.

He got out a big jar and a handful of rocks and sand. He said that the rocks represented the most important priorities in our ministry and the sand represented everything else that could fill our time and require our resources. First, he filled the jar with sand and then he tried to shove the rocks in. As you can imagine, the rocks didn’t fit. Then he emptied the jar and filled it with the rocks first and then the sand. Everything fit!

His point was that if you don’t prioritize the most important things in your life, the less important things will take over and there will be no time or energy left for what matters most to you.

Even though those words were meant for our team at Family Matters, I’ve thought of them often in relation to marriage. I mean, how often do we let everything but our spouse grab our attention and time? We even know that we need to prioritize our marriage and make time for each other. And yet, it’s the tyranny of the urgent that robs us of the importance that is due our marriage.

Don’t get me wrong. Most of these interlopers are good, legitimate uses of our time and energy–kids, domestic management, friends, church, “me” time. And some times these activities and people can’t wait to be attended to. We have to give them our attention.

But it’s the priority of marriage, the foundational relationship in our home, that can equip us and encourage us to be even better Moms, friends, church members and people. And equally so, it’s an anemic or neglected marriage that can make these other causes mediocre at best or fail at worse.

However, keeping our marriage as a top priority isn’t easy. In addition to all the other rocks and sand that want to fill our jars, marriage at times is hard and sometimes the reward for emphasizing its importance is delayed. This is where we need to rely upon God’s grace and His power to help us prioritize each other even when we don’t want to or feel like it. It’s the only way Tim’s and my marriage has survived and even thrived after 4 decades—with God’s power and grace.

That’s one of the reasons we’re so excited about the Grace-Filled Marriage book. Not only does it build a biblical case for why marriage is so important, but it shows us some real practical ways to turn our Plan B, C, D marriages back into God’s Plan A for our lives.

You can do this! I know you can. And we want to help.

Here’s to rocky lessons and keeping the good from robbing us of the best,

Love, Darcy

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