Monday, June 17, 2013
Connecting with your spouse--summertime and anytime
If you're like me, the summer months mean a different schedule for you and your family. We don't have school, but our work hours have increased (Joshua works full-time during the summer). We're up at about 5:45, he's off to work a bit before 7, and my work hours vary from day to day. Evenings are more free because we don't have homework, but we also can't stay up as late as we do during the school year.
Maybe you're not like me-- perhaps you work full-time, year-round, so the only difference during the summer is that your kids are home from school, and you and your spouse are still working every day. Maybe you're a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, so the only difference between the school year and the summer is that you're less busy with "school stuff." Or maybe you do school year-round, and the only difference in the summer is the heat!
Whatever your lifestyle, family situation, and schedule, I think it's good to take a look on a regular basis at how you and your spouse are connecting. Are you getting in a date (even if it's at home) at least once a month? Once a week would be even better! Are you spending some time alone each day (sleeping doesn't count), even if it's just for a few minutes? Are you praying together daily? Are you getting enough sleep so you have energy at the end of the day for intimate time together?
If you answered "no" to any of those questions, sit down with your spouse and look at your schedule. Figure out what you can consolidate or eliminate so that you can spend some quality time together every day. Even if it's just a few minutes after dinner while your kids clean up the kitchen, your marriage will be strengthened by the time you spend re-connecting with each other and in fellowship with the Lord.
When you do spend some time together, let me challenge you to do this: Talk about something that does NOT involve your kids, your jobs, or your schedule for the next day. Avoid, just for a few minutes, "logistics" and parenting. What did you love to talk about when you were dating, and before you had children? If you don't have kids, this still applies-- talk about each other. Your childhoods. Your memories of your years together. Your dreams for the future. Maybe you get excited talking about politics, theology, history, gardening, cars. Whatever it is you both enjoy, spend your alone-time talking about that. Take some time to refresh each other, to de-stress, and to encourage one another. (For an even bigger challenge, leave your phones in another room while you spend time together!)
I'm going to go home today and follow my own advice! Even though we're not parents yet, sometimes I fall into the trap of just talking about plans for the next day, what we're having for supper, or what movie we want to watch. I am blessed in that I get to have lunch with my husband (almost) every day, and we make a point to have breakfast and supper together every day, too--although sometimes supper is eaten while we're flopped on the couch after a long day! We have devotions together every morning, nothing fancy, but it's good to start the day in the Word and with prayer. And we spend most of our evenings together--but tonight I'm going to be intentional about really connecting with my husband and refreshing him, mentally and spiritually.
If you try any of these things with your spouse this week, let me know! What do you and your spouse do to connect?
Linking today with: A Proverbs 31 Wife, The Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, The Modest Mom, Yes They're All Ours , To Love, Honor and Vacuum, Messy Marriage