: a small piece snipped off; a small bit, scrap, or fragment: brief extract
Synonyms: piece, scrap, fragment, part
One of the common challenges for all couples in our culture is how busy we are. You and your spouse probably have a very full schedule this week, if you are like most married couples.
There’s work. There’s the kid’s school. There’s church groups and meetings. There are afterschool activities for the kids. The list goes on and on.
But in the midst of the busy lives we lead, Shawn and I often find there is something that is missing. Something that is vital for every couple. And it tends to fall to the bottom of most couple’s calendar priorities.
What is it? It’s time together as a couple.
I know what you are likely thinking: “Here we go, another post about how my spouse and I are supposed to have regular date nights”. While we do want to encourage you and your spouse to put regular date nights on your schedule, that is not what we are asking you to do.
What we are asking you to do is to find snippets of time for the two of you. Here are some examples of snippets for you and your spouse:
While the kids are doing homework, the two of you can clean up the dinner dishes together and spend the time also talking together about your day.
Both of you can get up 10 minutes earlier than normal and use the extra time to pray together before you both get started on the busy day ahead of you.
Put the kids to bed 15 minutes earlier than normal, and then spend that extra 15 minutes with each other sharing a favorite dessert and fun conversation.
You get the idea. Creatively and intentionally look for a few minutes here and a few minutes there to connect as a couple. There is really no substitute for time together - remembering that time together helps grow your connection as husband and wife.
One of the reasons couples feel so connected when they are dating is that they go out of their way to find time for each other. You changed your routine. You rearranged your weekend plans. All so that you could spend time together.
You need to have that same intentionality as a married couple. And snippets of time to connect as a couple, along with date nights and more extended times together, are some important things that can facilitate your marital connection growing!
One More Challenge to Consider
In addition to being intentional about time to connect as a couple, there is one more area we would like to challenge you and your spouse to examine: Sit down as a couple with your calendar and take a close look at all the things the two of you (or your kids) have on your schedule. Take a hard look at how busy you are.
If you are like most folks, most (if not all) of those things are good things. But if you are honest, some of them are not essential for you (or your kids). They are optional.
If you chose to take one or two of those optional things off of your calendar, what could you do with that time to grow your connection as a couple? We all would like to believe we prioritize time for our marriage - but would our calendar reflect that?
Let me end sharing something I heard years ago that has always stuck with me. Paul David Tripp was sharing in a marriage conference and told the audience that he was going to reveal what the number one killer of marriages was. Was it adultery, financial stress, in-law problems, or communication. What was his answer?
I was so surprised when he said, “The number one killer of marriages is NEGLECT”. Plain and simple. A husband and wife so busy with life, kids, work, and church that they don’t invest regularly in their marriage relationship. And after years of this neglect, you end up with a husband and wife living at the same address but totally disconnected.
Is that where you and your spouse want to end up? Of course not. But what action will you take together to guard against that happening?
Prayer: Lord, help us as husband and wife not to take our relationship for granted but to spend intentional time together growing our connection emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Help us to find both snippets of time, and longer times as well, to connect. Help us to make the adjustments needed so we can grow our relationship. Thank You Lord!
Sit down as a couple and honestly talk about how you are feeling about your marital connection and the amount of time you have for each other.
Brainstorm some snippets of time you can intentionally grab together to grow your connection.
Sit down together with your calendar and talk about what you might take off your schedule in order to give more opportunities for marital connection.
Written by Glen Solberg, Abiding Marriage, 2023. Send comments or questions to info@AbidingMarriage.org
Photo by Tsvetoslav Hristov on Unsplash