After all, life is busy, chaotic; and stressful. As a result, couples often fail to put their relationships at the top of their priority lists simply because everything else that screams for their attention seems more important or urgent – whether it’s a deadline at the office, piles of laundry, or multiple trips to soccer, football, and dance practices. But eventually that lack of closeness and time together can result in awkwardness, tension, distance, and waning feelings of love. Over time, the lack of time for each other, can create a lack of interest in the relationship.
All work and no play can make a marriage feel like a job instead of a joy. Or a responsibility, instead of a relationship.
So many of us get caught up doing life, that we forget to stay caught up in our marriage. In fact, a recent study stated that a lack of quality time together was one of the top ten causes of divorce because eventually people out of sync with each other.
Even in cases where couples deeply love each other, if there is a lack of togetherness, the friendship part of the relationship may begin to fade. If it fades long enough, it might disappear altogether.
I was recently thinking about some close friends I had from high school, college, former jobs and years past. Friends that I loved and adored and had everything in common with. Friends who had been through thick and thin with me. Friends who were precious and important. But due to living in different cities or states, changing jobs, having kids, and living increasingly busy lives, we grew apart. The phone calls became less and less. The emails got shorter, until they stopped altogether. And eventually, communication ended. Relationship over.
There were no problems in these friendships, I treasured each person and was thankful for their presence in my life. But the lack of focus on both ends, and the pull to more pressing things in life, resulted in some wonderful friendships simply fading away. And the same thing can happen between a husband and a wife.
“Play” is not something to take for granted at all, especially in marriage. That is the one relationship we don’t want to let fade.
I tend to think that women care more about spending time together than men, or at least that is my unofficial opinion. It just seems that women, with the nurturing spirits God placed in us, are generally more inclined to think about quality time with the ones we love, than men do. However, regardless of who thinks it is more important, or whose fault it is that we may have not been making each other a priority, it is never too late to push time together back up to the top of our priority lists.
If you were to ask my husband to name one thing that I consistently “whine” about, it would be that we don’t seem to have any alone time together; or comments such as ” I have hardly seen you all week”, followed by sniff, sniff, and head hung low. In fact, a lack of time together has unfortunately become our reality, because a new job he took on about a year ago causes him to be out of town four to five days a week. Our only real time together now – is weekends. And I want to get the most out of those 2 days that I possibly can. Bless my husband’s heart.
Time is the most priceless commodity that we have, and once it is spent, we can never get it back. How we spend that commodity can impact our lives, and our marriage, in big and life changing ways.
Maybe you and your husband haven’t been spending much time together in recent months because life is busy. Or maybe because the kids and all their needs and activities take up all of your time, or energy. Or maybe it’s because you have different interests. Or maybe because you feel you have grown apart.
Or maybe it’s just that you have inadvertently not made time to play and reconnect, a priority – simply never taking into consideration whether or not you are spending our most precious commodity on the most important relationship in your life.
Maybe it’s time to put aside all our excuses, and start making time for each other, no matter what. When husbands and wives spend time together, they have each other’s undivided attention. Opportunities to talk, listen, communicate. And communication is the foundation of every marriage. Without time spent together, and time spent communicating, even a rock solid relationship is headed for rocky seas.
Time together with our spouse is always time well spent. If we hold fast to this truth, we may soon see that everyone else & everything else – can wait.
DAY 6 CHALLENGE: PLAY
Your challenge for today is to think of some ways that you and your husband can spend some dedicated alone time together. Maybe it’s on a romantic date that you haven’t made time for in far too long, or maybe it’s just turning off the television after the kids go to bed, and talking.
Consider making a list of things you used to do together in the beginning of your relationship, or things you you currently like to enjoy together, and check out opportunities to do some of those again. We are never too old to have fun. And with fun, comes laughter, togetherness, and happiness.
If your husband has been unreceptive to your attempts for ‘date-nights’, suggested activities or romantic getaways in the past, begin to pray for God to soften his heart and help your husband see how important his time and attention is to you. Just as we at times take for granted that our husbands need respect and honor, men often take for granted a wife’s need for time and attention, so praying for our husband’s hearts about this subject is always worthwhile. And making sure he knows how we feel and that we are communicating our needs, is also crucial.
If you have a great idea for couples to do together, from the most basic of activities to outlandish suggestions, maybe you could share them with the rest of us. Or maybe you have a sweet tactic for how you got your husband to begin seeing the importance of spending time together, and how he came around to understand your point of view and your need for his time attention. If so, your sisters in Christ are all ears and would love to hear your suggestion!
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