Everyone’s busy. But if you’re married, it’s important you’re making time for your spouse.
If you’re married, think back to your wedding day. Remember the most important part … your vows? What did you promise your spouse?
If your vows were like mine, you might have made promises to love, honor and cherish each other. In sickness and health. In poverty and wealth. Until death do you part.
But one phrase couples neglect to include – but maybe should start to promise – is that love, honor, and cherishing in busyness and in leisure.
The danger of busyness
How well are we loving, honoring, and cherishing our spouses in busyness and leisure? How well do you make time for your spouse?
I know that on my wedding day, as I gazed into my husband’s eyes, I fully intended on loving him every day. I never expected life to get so hectic that it was hard to spend much time alone together.
When life gets busy (and boy, does it get busy!), it’s hard enough to feel like you have time to hear yourself think, let alone find time to spend connecting with your spouse.
In marriage, one of the biggest snares to intimacy is found in busyness.
Because of that, it is so very important to make time for your spouse. To create that time, I’ve found that connecting every day, every couple weeks and a couple times a year can really strengthen a marriage.
Connecting every day
Every day, whether you have hours to spend together, or you feel like you’re just exchanging high fives and kisses as you pass each other on the way out the door, or you’re separated by distance, connect with each other – preferably in a way where you can look into each other’s eyes.
Make time for your spouse by giving each other your full attention for a few minutes. Get past focusing on the demands of everyday life and dig deeper. Ask meaningful questions – and focus on your spouse’s answers. Use this time intentionally to connect with your spouse.
In Genesis 2:24, marriage is meant to unite a husband and wife; it’s meant to turn two lives into one. To be one, you need to know each other. To know each other – especially if you’re away from each other for most of the day – you need to communicate about what’s happening in your lives.
(If and when you’re tempted to get so focused on your life that you’re accomplishing everything on your own, take a step back and remember that you and your spouse are joined together … you’re not separate.)
Connecting every couple weeks
While daily times of catching up with each other is good – and necessary – dates every couple week are so important.
These dates may change a lot depending on your season of life. If you don’t have children, you can go out for a date whenever you have free time together. If you do have children, your dates might solely depend on babysitting.
If you have babysitters at your home, you’ll want to go out for a couple hours. If your children are visiting somewhere else, you can stay home together. (Need babysitters? Try grandparents … or swapping babysitting with friends.)
When my children were infants and toddlers and we lived far from grandparents, we traded off date nights – after our children were in bed – with another couple. On Friday nights, I’d stay at their home while they went out and their son slept and my husband stayed at our home with our sleeping children. On Saturday nights, we’d switch. This was a perfect set-up, because we were able to enjoy date nights and our children never experienced babysitter anxiety – in fact, they never even knew they had a babysitter!
If you can’t find babysitting and need a date – or if your budget is tight and you don’t want to go out – plan a special night at home. Make a date night snack and play games, watch a movie, or talk like you would on a date night out.
Connecting a couple times a year
While my husband and I are good about getting away for a date a few times a month, I was shocked to realize that it had been more than eight years (years!!) since we took an overnight getaway together.
We’ve had overnights without the kids at home, but we’ve neglected to get away – just the two of us – to somewhere else for an overnight visit.
Finally this summer we did – and it was wonderful. I was shocked at how much getting away from home together – alone – made a difference. It brought back so many memories of our newlywed traveling days before we became parents.
We were able to step back from our daily routines and distractions, unplug and unwind with each other.
We loved it. And we are making it a priority for our marriage a couple times a year.
We tried Airbnb for the first time and loved our experience. Not only did we find an amazing value right where we wanted to go, but the entire planning and reservation process was very easy. My goal is to keep visiting new locations and trying new places through Airbnb for future getaways.
It took getting away from everything just for a day to realize how much we needed it – and how much it helped strengthen our marriage.
While marriage is obviously impacted by busyness (isn’t every relationship?) the best solution is being intentional as you make time for your spouse. Fight the tendency to drift apart by taking time for each other – every day, at least every couple weeks, and getting away from everything – together – a couple times a year.
If you’re married, what helps as you’re making time for your spouse?
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All images courtesy of Unsplash.