Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Time For Two: Part of the Glue of A Great Marriage

A little child was once trying to get the attention of his daddy. So he walked up to his father who was reading the paper and said, "Daddy?" And dad responded without even looking up, "What son?" To which the little guy tried again and said, "Daddy?" To which the father said once again with a little more energy, "What son?"

After several times trying to get through to dad, the little boy climbed up into his dad's lap between him and the newspaper, put his hands on his father's cheeks and said, "Daddy, listen to me with your face!"

Sadly, a lot of couples rarely, if ever, listen to one another with their faces. That's why for most of our marriage, we've taken a day or part of a day that's just for us. Even before we had kids and now after our children are grown and living on their own we still have a day that is ours to be together. It's not that we're not together other times or never talk on other days, but we've learned that those other moments tend to be different than our day off by ourselves.

And when we did have children, we worked hard to keep that time as much as we could. For example, when the kids were little, and even though we didn't have a lot of money, we found someone who we could swap babysitting with us every other Saturday morning. They would take our kids for a few hours one week and we would take theirs the next.

It is doable but we have to make time together a priority. You might say, "Well, what's the big deal about putting aside special time?" First of all, special time gets interrupted less. If you know the time is for you, then you'll guard it better from interruptions, tendencies to do work and getting distracted.

Second, when you make the time special you do more special things. We're big on the outdoors so here in Texas we spend a lot of Mondays hiking in the hill country and trying out new parks or trails that we haven't seen. We go back to some we've especially enjoyed, too. When the weather is too hot (or too cold where you live) you can find indoor things that are enjoyable like movies, museums, aquariums or whatever.

Now granted we also use some of that time just to do errands if need be. We are more likely to do some of our projects together just because we both got involved in the planning stage. Sometimes we take a day off at home, too, and just rent a movie, read books, swim in the pool or take a nap. Whatever the case, we know that time will be more special and we'll be more intentional about making time to talk, think ahead and just get to know each other better.

Some of you might be thinking, "Well, we just can't afford to do that right now with our kids' schedules, our job demands and other commitments." Let me say it this way - you can't afford NOT to find the time. Your marriage needs the glue of time together, of meaningful conversation and developing continuing intimacy of body, soul and spirit. If you've been finding together time, keep on! If it's been slipping away, start small, but start again.

Once you start my hunch is that you'll likely wonder how you lived without it.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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