Every year I tell my husband that we need to slow down in our lives. Yet, year after year it seems as if our schedules become even more cluttered and more overscheduled. How can we have “normal” lives if we are working all day, checking our emails all night, working on projects until midnight, and not taking breaks on weekends or even during vacations? Last night I posed the question of possibly committing to NO technology over our vacation. My husband immediately turned white with fear and didn't even reply to my request. Why can’t we unplug? If I can find any comfort in the answer, at least I know we aren’t the only couple that struggles with constantly being plugged into everything. That still doesn’t make it alright though!
We set aside time for God, but it’s never enough. We set aside time for each other, but it’s never enough. We rarely set aside time for our entire family, and with two young college-bound men for sons, we may be missing our last opportunities with them. We have goals, ambitions, work demands, church demands and physical demands. Honestly, most nights I want to break down and cry because of the overwhelming number of tasks and deadlines we need to complete.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (MSG), the word says, “There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth. A time to (for):
God’s word is great at providing clear direction as to how we are supposed to keep order in our lives. He gives us these guidelines to show not only the limitations we need to set on ourselves mentally and physically but also so we can give time for the spiritual. How is it that God gives such easy direction on how to live a stress free life yet we won’t listen? He’s even given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to comfort us and we still find ways to take control back over.
I would like to challenge you to join my family over the next 30 days. Commit to making some changes in how you schedule your life. Don’t find yourself regretting the years that mysteriously passed by. Even if you have to schedule specific time in your calendar so you set the time aside…DO IT! Over the next month, think about the opportune time to do things such as time for:
If you accept this 30 day challenge, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tell us on Facebook. You can always find out more information about us at www.wholearmorministry.com.
This week my husband shared the most meaningful observation with me. He said we spend a lot of time together but he couldn't imagine it any other way. He even commented "You are my best friend and I love sharing life with you." He then proceeded to share that a lot of men he knows spend more time with their male friends then their wives. That most men use their male friendships to escape out of their marriage.
I don't want to mislead you to thinking our marriage is all about "us" because it's very important to have friends you can share other interests with. Our time together however is critical to us staying connected at a different level with each other. We spend time talking, sharing business ideas, discussing ministry, remodeling the house, going to concerts, fishing on the lake, talking over dinner and so on. If I don't have that time with my husband I get very lonely and less confident in our marriage.
Would you consider your spouse your best friend? If not, why? What would it take for you to get to the point where your spouse's company is a necessity?
Here are some solutions to turning your marriage around from just being married and living out your time like a job, to have a relationship that is meaningful, interactive, and full of connection and intimacy:
Be the instigator: Schedule date nights and time together. Be the one with the ideas and motivate your spouse.
Be positive: Who wants to spend time with someone who is always negative. Be happy and find the brighter side of life's events.
Show interest: Just showing interest in your spouses hobbies will build a connection in your relationship.
Take a trip down memory lane: Do things you used to do when you first met. Reconstruct the date that was the most significant in your relationship.
Be fun: Simply just enjoy life and have fun.. Demonstrate a spirit of joy and happiness.
Be selfless: Put the needs of your spouse before your own.
Be intimate: Don't overschedule so you have no time left for intimacy. Intimacy allows for that strong connection to stay fastened. You remain comfortable and confident with each other as you continue to share in this one-on-one time.