One thing that everyone takes for granted at one point or another is time. Perfect example; you probably noticed (or you didn’t) that I didn’t post on Saturday. Instead, I spent the morning attending my daughters spelling bee (or at least driving there. She didn’t get past the written round), working out in the yard, getting my homework caught up, planting my garden/re-seeding my herbs, and spending some one-on-one time with my husband.
The day just seemed to fly by and it wasn’t until we were on our way to Sioux Falls that I realized I hadn’t made a post. But, that wasn’t the time to do it. I was on a date with my husband and the last thing that I needed to do was stick my nose in my phone and write a post.
The only time I touched my phone was to take pictures when we were at the sports complex playing Glow Golf. Other than that, I did not communicate with anyone other than my husband and the employees of the businesses that we visited.
I got messages like “Why are you ignoring me?” “Are you mad?” “How did I upset you?” None of these were the case. I was putting effort into keeping my marriage a happy marriage and supporting my husband. Because, believe it or not, he needs me just as much as I need him.
Ephesians 5:25 says “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church.” Christ didn’t just do enough work to get by. He pursued His people and sought them out because He loved them. This verse points at the husbands and that they are supposed to love their wives in this way, but it’s not just the husbands. Wives, it’s us too.
Pursue your husband the way you did when you were first dating. Those stolen glances, the flirty eyes, the little giggles, the sweaty palms when you held their hand for the first time, and the butterflies in your stomach. Leave little notes for one another, take date nights just the two of you and leave the phones at home or in the car.
It is all too easy for the outside world to get in the way of marriages now. Not only do we have those men and women who are so unhappy in their relationships that they set out to ruin others, we have technology. Literally anything can be at our fingertips in a matter of seconds. Pornography, a conversation with an ex, a flirty conversation with someone other than your spouse, pictures of other people who you lust after. We also have other forms of technology that are just as invasive. Video games, computer games, online gambling, television series, etc. The list of things that can invade a marriage are endless.
But it isn’t just technology and unfaithfulness either. It’s kids too. You get so busy running and scurrying that soon one day turns into six days and you can’t remember the last time you had an actual conversation with your spouse.
As soon as one of those things works it way in, it is hard to maintain the level of communication and the amount of dedication that our spouse needs. We would rather sit down and zone out to the latest episode of Revenge/Grey’s Anatomy/Dancing With The Stars/The Walking Dead or sit down and indulge ourselves in our computer/video game until we reach the next level…or the next….or the next. We then lose track of time and it’s time to head to bed and you don’t even know how your husband or wife’s day at work went, how their doctor’s appointment went, what they spent most of the day thinking about, etc.
I’m guilty for sitting down in front of the TV for a couple of hours without muttering more than 7 words at Shane. But, he will sit next to me, he will rub my feet or hold my hand, and he will just be there. Sometimes, that’s all I need. I’m not good at communicating how I feel most of the time, or offering suggestions as to how it can be fixed. My head spins on things that it shouldn’t and it ruins my day and I spend the next 2-3 days picking myself up out of the dumps. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t try to communicate these things.
I’m also guilty for jumping to my phone when I hear a game notification, an e-mail, a call, a text, or a Facebook chime come through. I’ve told countless friends that I will be there for them whenever they need me, and I have been and will continue to be. But I also need to keep in mind that my family comes first. My family needs me and they can’t have me when I let these things get in the middle of us.
I’ve had a couple of people tell me that their marriage “isn’t as fun as they expected.” Let me ask you this, when was the last time you had a date with your husband? When was the last time you put down the phone, turned off the electronics, and had a meaningful conversation? When was the last time you listened to what your husband had to say and offered advice or support or vice versa?
To be honest, my marriage is more fun that I expected. Did I expect to fight all the time? No. But I was always warned on how it takes a lot of work and it’s exhausting and it’s a full-time job. Yes, it is a full-time job; there is laundry to be done, bills to be paid, dishes to be caught up, dusting that has been neglected for weeks, floors that are disgusting, mouths to be fed and treats that need to be baked. That doesn’t include the yard work that needs to be done, the basement that needs cleaning, concerts and sporting events that need attending, the dogs that need to be fed and walked, the cat that needs to be fed, and the flower garden that needs weeding.
But it’s fun. We find a way to enjoy these things together. We’ve turned bills into a lesson about money for the kids. We’ve created meals out of random foods in the kitchen. We’ve found enough stuff in half the basement to hold a healthy garage sale. We cuddle with the dogs before bed. We plant, dig, rake, and tend to the outdoor things together. We compete to see who can tend to the dishes or the laundry first so that the other doesn’t have to do it. Just because it’s work doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
I realize that you need your friends as well, but you married your spouse, you didn’t marry your friends. Marriage takes work. A lot of work. But how can we put work into something if we are always putting distractions and addictions before our husbands or wives?
Not only do we have to work with our spouse, we have to work with the Lord as well.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
It was refreshing to get out and disconnect from the world for a few hours. I got my behind handed to me in Glow Golf and we ate super unhealthy burgers that fixed our (my) burger and fries craving. But we were spending quality time together and we were able to work on our marriage while having fun. We talked about faith, we talked about friends, we picked on each other, we talked about family, we watched people in Sioux Falls, we relaxed. Together. We probably even prayed together without realizing we were probably doing it together.
Marriage is all what you make it. What have you made yours?