Time for a Great Marriage
How much time do you and your spouse spend together in a day? A week? A month? If you kept track of the 8,760 hours in a year, how many of them would be allotted to your mate?
Let’s say the average person works 40 hours a week and sleeps 8 hours a night. That rules out about 5000 hours. So, you're left with approximately 3760 hours that you must choose how to spend.
Do you invest those hours in your relationships with your spouse, immediate/extended family, kids, or friends? Perhaps you have hobbies, play sports or have other commitments like volunteering or church activities. Maybe it’s surfing the internet or watching TV or movies. Of course, we must clean and groom ourselves, the house, the yard, the car, the kids and possibly the dog so that takes some time and energy, too.
Many people say they wish they had more time, yet how many of us even stop to inventory where our time goes? “There just aren’t enough hours in the day!” we exclaim as we drop exhausted into bed. Someone or something probably got the short end of us today. Most often, it’s the person you’re married to.
Perhaps it’s just a particular time in life that your spouse ends up at the bottom of the priority list…like when you are starting a job, there’s a new baby in the house, you’re dealing with a family crisis, etc. Those times are to be expected in life but often it’s not just a “season”, rather it becomes the pattern in marriage.
We all know that time equals quality in many areas of life. If we want to be good at a sport, hobby or job, we have to put the time in. Someone who desires to be a great cook must spend time cooking. If you want to be a great artist or musician, you are required to put in time developing your skills and strength. You get the idea…
Most people (especially moms) understand this concept when it comes to parenting. We want to be good parents so we spend time with our kids. We nurture and cuddle and teach and care for them in a multitude of ways. We also find the time to spend with our friends and extended family members. Why? Because we know that a good relationship is the product of time spent with these people. Yet, there is often a breakdown in our thinking when it comes to the marriage relationship.
While everybody and everything else gets our time and attention, the one we promised to love and cherish at the altar slides so far down the priority list that he or she has fallen off the page! Bottom line is this: You can’t have a good marriage unless you spend time with the person you’re married to.
How much time and when varies from couple to couple so there isn’t a set schedule, but you must make space for your spouse. Don’t sit around wondering what happened to your connection, your sex life, your relationship if you spend little, if any, time together.
I received an email from a guy who lamented that he had lost connection with his wife. Work, projects, kids, etc. all got in the way and the marriage was suffering. He wondered what to do and my advice is simple:
You act intentionally by making the decision to connect with your wife. Have some conversations with her and ask her what she needs from you and then do those things…on purpose. Set aside the time for her and your relationship…or you won’t have a marriage left.
He responded back: My lists were growing and responsibilities increasing, but our couple time was getting pushed down the list of importance without even realizing it. I am now consciously (on purpose) adding my wife to every mental list I create. This forces our relationship back to the front where it should be.
Bravo! He realized that a great marriage happens on purpose, not just because you wish, hope or want it to! This goes for both husbands and wives. Don’t get so caught up in your other duties and obligations be it kids, work, church, hobbies, friends, that you fail to make your primary relationship the priority. So, turn off the TV, make arrangements for a date, cancel an appointment, take a walk together, put down the phone, add your spouse to the To-Do list…whatever it takes! You won’t be sorry.