If you travel for work on a regular basis, you know that the glamor quickly loses its luster. Loneliness is a frequent companion. You miss your spouse. You miss your children. You miss your home (and your bed!). You miss your friends.
The dangers of loneliness on the road to a marriage are real. As a business traveler, there are some things you can do to build your marriage and keep the bond of trust solid with your spouse. Here are four areas of focus with some practical ideas to implement when you are on the road:
1. Declare Confidently
Before you leave home, take time to pray with your spouse. Pray for God’s protection on them and on you. Ask God for spiritual and physical protection while you are apart.
As you travel, begin and end each day with a verbal declaration of who you are in Christ. Say something like, “I am a follower of Jesus. I am set apart to serve him and I choose to honor Christ through this day/night.”
You have no idea what took place in your hotel room in the day(s) prior to your arrival. The Enemy could have gained a spiritual foothold in that room from prior activity. This may sound extreme, but it should become a normal practice for any of us who travel.
When you enter your hotel room, make one of your first practices a prayer of declaration and spiritual cleansing. A simple prayer like, “In the name, power, and blood of Jesus Christ, I declare that this room is a holy room. It is set apart for him. I command all evil in this room to leave and go where Jesus sends you.”
2. Connect Faithfully
As we wrote in our last post, there are some great ways to stay in touch electronically. You can read those ideas by clicking this link.
Find a devotional that the two of you can read together. Have two copies and alternate nights for who reads the devotional. If your varying time zones make that difficult, choose to read the same devotional on your own, but touch base on it the next day.
Be sure to pray together at some point when you’re apart. If your spouse is having a rough day at their job or at home, initiate a word of prayer on their behalf as well.
Do something fun while away like a game on your smartphone. Scrabble, Monopoly, Words With Friends or our favorite—Ruzzle—can be playful competitions to stay connected to your spouse.
3. Schedule wisely
Redeem your alone time. One traveling salesman we knew was able to spend over ten hours a week doing Bible studies in his hotel room. He eventually became an elder in his church!
Have you always wanted to write a book? Perhaps this will be the time you can spend in research and writing. Do you need to exercise? Here’s your opportunity.
If you regularly frequent the same city, find a second church home. They may have a mid-week service or serving opportunities where you can get involved. You’ll find your new connection refreshing and grounding spiritually.
You may have errands you can run or appointments you can schedule while on the road. This will save time from having to do these things when you’re home. If you like to cook, do some meal planning from your hotel!
4. Protect vigilantly
As a man or woman on the road there can be relational danger lurking along the way because the Devil is against your marriage. Peter wrote, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Your vigilance matters to your marriage.
Ask someone you trust (of the same gender) to keep you accountable as you travel. Invite them to text or call you as you are on the road. Encourage them to ask you questions about your TV and movie viewing, relationships, conversations, and any threats to your marriage.
If you can, install filtering software on your computer, smartphone, and tablet. You can check out Covenant Eyes or x3watch.com for software choices.
You might want to get creative. We heard of one person who traveled in ministry who unplugged his TV as soon as he got in his room. Then, he took a hotel towel, draped it over the screen, and put a picture of his family on top of the TV.
These are a few ideas for protecting your marriage when you travel. What else can you share in the comments below? Be proactive and do whatever it takes as you travel and build your marriage!