Do you give your marriage the time it needs?
Sometimes back, I read an article by Paul Byerly on creating relaxed relationship time.
“Relationships take time – but not just time, they take relaxed time. You cannot set aside an hour a day to “have your relationship” and just stop everything and set it aside when that hour rolls around.
You cannot cram your life so full that a five-minute delay ruins the rest of your day and expect to have the emotional rest necessary for a good marriage” (Source)
It was such an eye opener for me and I am sure for many others couples because most of us are just trying to strike a balance between the daily demands of life and our marriages.
The challenge, as Paul mentions lies in curving out quality relaxed time for our relationships.
Quality relaxed time requires energy; you need the margin of heart and mind to connect and fill each others love tanks.
Such moments won’t happen by themselves; they need to be weaved into the rhythm of our lives, intentionally put there and protected.
So why do husbands and wives struggle to achieve quality relaxed time together and how can they move forward?
1. Unhealthy mindsets
If your relationship with your spouse does not rank # 1 in your mind, it will not rank # in your timeIf your relationship with your spouse doesn't rank # 1 in your mind, it will not rank # in your time
We come from different types of backgrounds and how we grew up and our life experiences influence how we view our relationship.
We cannot live out what what we don’t know; and our marriages tend to follow what we know.
In other words, if what you know is incorrect, and without an intentional desire to learn and change, you will repeat mistakes from your past.
So if we want to have a real marriage encounter, we have to learn different; and one of the biggest lessons is learning to invest our best energies in to our marriage, not the left overs.
Change happens as we study ourselves and our spouses, as we spend time in the Word of God, as we keep accountability with others and nurture a genuine desire to change from within.
2. To give your marriage the time it needs, watch out for life’s good demands
“Good” can be the enemy of “best.” Sometimes we fail to reach the best because we settled for “good.”
Marriage happens to be one of life’s “best” yet couples strive for good careers, good money, good reputation, everything else, at the expense of their marriage.
The good, seemingly small endeavors ( e. g a better but busier job) ends up snapping at quality marital times. And before you know it, you are distracted and your marriage fragmented.
But you can prioritize your marriage. Read this: Priorities: The Unpopular Gospel of Putting Your Marriage First.
Married life does not have “off-duty” moments; it doesn’t matter what goodies are dangled in front of you. If marriage is # 1, then everything else has to line up behind it.
We must remember that “other alternatives” will always be there and it’s up to you to make consistent choices that are in line with your values and goals. You can’t have gaps in your convictions because these gaps will show in your priorities.
3. Lack of margin
In his book Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, Richard Swenson says
“Margin is the space between our load and our limits. It is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed….”
“If we were equipped with a flashing light to indicate “100 percent full,” we could better gauge our capacities. But we don’t have such an indicator light, and we don’t know when we have overextended until we feel the pain.
As a result, many people commit to a 120 percent life and wonder why the burden feels so heavy. It is rare to see a life pre-scheduled to only 80 percent, leaving a margin for responding to the unexpected that God sends our way”
Author Michael Hyatt further says
“Margin is not something that just happens. You have to fight for it.”
When your life is crammed to overflowing, when it lacks wriggle room, space to breath and navigate, somewhere down the road, something will come snapping at your quality time.
So you must seek to create margin in you life; it’s what protects your quality time.
Question – How do you give your marriage the time it needs? Share your thoughts in Comments!
Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. from Pexels