It's so good to hear from Kate again from One Flesh Marriage for our MARRIAGE MONDAY post this month. At Hope at Home we believe that giving attention to our marriages is a primary source of strength for our children, so building up and enjoying our marriage relationship is totally a parenting issue!
Do you remember the time when you were first married and time was all of your own making? As a couple you chose what to do and when, no little ones to run around here and there. I remember thinking when we were first married that we were soooo busy and yet now when I look back on that time and wonder what we actually did with all of our time. We are in the phase of life where we are running kids to activities each evening as well as serving in church ministries during the week as well as Sunday’s. We limit our three children to ONE activity at a time and yet with three of them that still seems to take up much of our free time.
Time is elusive, it slips through our fingers as fast as grains of sand and yet finding time for our marriage is incredibly vital. It is vital to our children, to our one flesh connection with our spouse and to our intimate relationship with our Abba Father. Yet, while it is important to all of these things, time is the first thing to go MIA when life and schedules are full to the brim. So we know it is important and we know we need to prioritize it, but how do we actually flesh that out in this hectic life?Learn to say No
I am sure you knew this was coming . . . but you need to learn to say no to things so that your spouse can be a priority. Sometimes this will be saying no individually and other times as a couple. It may be saying no to work, to friends and even to church. All of these things are amazing and important in our lives, but God has asked us to keep our priorities in order-God first, spouse second, children third and everything else after those three. Learning to say no will truly help you. You can do it; it won’t always be easy but it will be worth it!What do you do in your free time together?
So you are home with your spouse and have free time-- I know it doesn’t happen often but when it does what do you choose to do with that free time? Do you check Facebook, or watch a game, or fold laundry? Or do you forget all of that for a glorious hour and spend that time with your spouse?
Our plates are so full that naturally we like to lighten the load when we have free time; I totally get that and fall into the same routine. Yet when you have your spouse with you, make that time about them. It will be an incredible blessing and I assure you that your laundry will still be there when you are done. No laundry fairy here yet, but if you find one, send them our way!Sneak moments often
When you have those little moments of time to sneak a hug or a kiss or a snuggle-do it! Those moments, though short are good. They are bonding moments and are important to staying close and connected. Don’t be tempted to just skip right over those moments, embrace them (and your beloved) often throughout the day.10 minutes of the day talk
Decompressing and unwinding from the day is a gift that often times can seem like a task, especially when there is a lot of other things that need done. When your spouse gets home from work, or if you both do, take 10 minutes to sit down together and just talk about both of your days. If you kids are still little, this is a great time for them to watch a video or to be in the high chair getting a snack. This time helps you to understand each other’s day, stresses and joys. It truly is connecting you and husband and wife to share about your day.Schedule date nights weekly
Yup, weekly! You may be thinking I am crazy. Who has that kind of time or money? I hear you and agree. One of the things we have done that has been incredible is something we call “dinner date nights”. We feed the kids dinner and sit and chat with them as they eat, then after we have tucked them in bed, we have dinner just the two of us in a nice quiet kitchen. If your kids are older and you have the funds, then by all means go out together once a week. These dates don’t have to cost anything really, unless you choose to. Taking time to be close and alone will nurture intimacy. And since I mentioned that, remember to seek out sexual intimacy with your spouse each week too-it is a need in marriage, not just a want.Pray
Pray together sometime during your day. Seeking God together is such a wonderful thing. Aren’t sure? Give it a try and see if you are not blessed in incredible ways. There is nothing like your spouse praying for you and for your family.
These are just a few ways you can begin to find that time once again for your marriage. God wants good things for your marriage and he desires for you to know the fullness of His plan for one flesh. Seek to find time in each day and each week to nurture your marriage together. You will find that all areas of your life will benefit from prioritizing your marriage. Once you carve out that time, it will become so special that you will find you want to carve out more. God will bless you in that.
What other ways have you learned to carve out time in your marriage? We would love to hear them!
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