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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

8 comments:

  1. Good reminder to not take having that time for granted! We've had lots of extra together time lately bc he's home recovering more, but I don't think I've appreciated it like I should. and you're right, it's because we only ever talk about kids and jobs and money these days, not things that are relaxing!

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    1. Isn't it great how God blesses us even in the most difficult circumstances? How wonderful that you and your man have had more time together! :) And it's definitely way too easy to get into that habit (I'm guilty of it myself). Let's both work on being intentional and really personal in our conversations with our husbands!

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  2. This is an area that my husband and I have worked very hard to make time for, Jaimie. We've learned the hard way that it really makes a difference. It wasn't until just a few years ago, though that we began to pray together each morning. That has really made a huge difference in our sense of being for each other and has cut down on our arguments significantly.

    I'm so glad you're bringing this topic to light, Jaimie. And I love the suggestions you make for what to talk about. We all could use a little help in that department! :) I'm also glad that you've started off your marriage with these practices. They will strengthen the foundation you're building your marriage on, so that when the stressful, dry times come (and they will!) you'll be closer to one another and will weather that time better. Great encouragement here! Thanks for sharing it at Wedded Wed!

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    1. Thank you so much, Beth! We're doing our best to start off well. With God's help, we'll be in a place in our marriage that enables us to be a blessing to others in theirs! It's my dream to do marriage ministry together someday... we'll see what God has in mind!

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  3. Excellent post and very convicting! So much of our conversation centers around the children, the bills, the schedule, and logistics! And yes, the cell phones! My husband sometimes confiscates mine when we are out on a date! :)

    Thanks for this great suggestions! I appreciate you linking up for Marraige Monday!

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    1. Haha, that's awesome of your husband to make cell phones a non-issue on dates! What a great idea. :) And thanks for hosting the link-up! :)

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  4. Good reminder. Spending time with each other is important. We can get so busy with the little things that the big things, like our relationship with our spouse, slips. At first it's doesn't seem like a big deal but over time it makes a huge difference. We definitely need to make spending time with our spouse a priority.

    Also, I'm happy to be your newest follower! I'd love it if you could take a second to check out my blog and follow me back :)

    Thanks so much,
    Tyson @ www.uplifting-love.com

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    1. Yes! The little things make a big difference in the long run. :) And I've been enjoying your blog so much! Thank you for commenting and following!

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