How often have you or your spouse said:
- I don’t have TIME…
- When we have TIME…
- SOME day we will have TIME…
- Our TIME will come…
- The kids need our TIME now…
- I’ll get around to it when I have TIME…
- Work is busy now, but when it slows down I’ll have TIME to…
Do any of these sound familiar? Every one of them is a lie. We know that sounds strong. But if you choose to give in to ANY excuse that distracts you from your spouse, or dilutes the attention your marriage deserves, you begin down the slippery slope of disconnect and drift.
The great evangelist, Billy Graham, has been used to touch more people for eternity in our generation than anyone else. He has spoken to literally millions of people around the world. And yet in an interview he was asked,
“Looking back, what is the one thing you would change about your life if you could?”
He answered, “I would have spent more time with my family.” Wow.
We have seen too many marriages sacrificed because of spouses over-focusing on the kids, the career, the hobbies or the friends. Don’t fall into the “time hoax” that someday things will change. Someday is TODAY.
Here are four steps to take in reclaiming time for your marriage:
Your marriage is your priority. Other things are important, but you must choose to fight for your marriage. It is the greatest relationship into which you can invest your time. The spillover effect into your children, family, friends and church is exponential when you start here.
Tell you spouse your intention to free up more time for your marriage. Follow up with a plan for how it is going to happen. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just focused time together.
- “We are going to set aside Saturday nights as our date night.”
- “I will go on a walk with you X times a week so we can talk.”
- “I am going to give you the first part of my evening so we can get caught up.”
You figure it out. Maybe it’s cheap dates like frozen yogurt or tacos. Read more about date night ideas here.
Make a declaration that you will do what it takes to get away alone together at least once a year. Yes, it’s an investment, but well worth it for your marriage. We’ve always said that getting away is great for our marriage and way cheaper than counseling 🙂 (though we’re huge proponents of good counseling!).
3. DEFLECT DISTRACTIONS
This will take creativity and discipline. Maybe you swap watching kids with friends you trust. Or you invest in a sitter. Perhaps you do something romantic at home once the kids are in bed.
Take a break from electronics so your spouse has your fullest attention. Turn off the TV, set the smartphones aside, maybe even turn off the radio. And then gaze at your spouse with the intensity you shared when you were first dating.
Consistently follow-through on your declaration. Not only will it build trust, it will build connection in your marriage. Reject the time hoax and reclaim your time as you build your marriage!