I discovered something very important while Brian and I were in Florida last week. It wasn’t something profound or really very surprising, but it’s one of those things that can be forgotten in the busyness of life.
We need time alone together.
We don’t just desire time alone together or just enjoy time alone together. We need time alone together.
I love, love, love my kids and I wouldn’t take anything in the world for them or for time with them. I’m not ready to rush them out of the next. However, I can’t even begin to describe how nice it was being a couple for a week, rather than being just parents.
We were two different people. We were nicer to each other, more affectionate with each other, and more tolerant of little annoyances. It was like we were dating again. We connected in new ways and rediscovered the fact that we have shared interests that don’t revolve around our kids.
We enjoyed playing games together – cards, darts, air hockey, pool, checkers…even a giant version of Connect Four. We enjoyed each other’s company and we both talked about how we needed to start making time together a priority.
I commented to a friend that I had to go 800 miles away from home to get a date night with my husband. This should not be the case. Our kids are old enough to be left alone while we go on the occasional date night, but even if they weren’t – or for the times that we just don’t have the time or money to go out on a date – there are ways that we can reconnect and spend time together at home.
The Bible makes it clear that the marriage relationship is important to God. What is important to God should be important to us.
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” – Gen. 2:18
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. – Gen. 2:24
God knows that conflict – or even apathy – within the marriage relationship gives Satan a foothold in our lives. Taking time to invest in our marriages isn’t just so we can feel the warm-fuzzies when we’re with our spouses; it is also a very real method of combatting spiritual warfare.
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.
Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. – 1 Corinthians 7:3-5
As unromantic as scheduling time with my husband sounds, I think the end result will be worth it. Our goal is to have one out-of-the-house date night a month and one in-house date night a week.
We’re going to start putting this time on the calendar, otherwise the time will get away from us, our schedule will fill up, and the time together won’t happen. So, at the beginning of each month, we’re going to put our out-0f-the-house date night on the calendar.
At the beginning of each week, we’ll schedule our in-house date night since this one will be affected more by softball and volleyball schedules and other evening obligations. Our in-house dates will probably be as simple as letting the kids know that we’re spending some time together and don’t want to be disturbed. We can shut ourselves up in our room and play cards, watch TV, talk…whatever.
It doesn’t matter what method you use to schedule your time and family activities – Day-Timer, wall calendar, digital planners, or printable ones – I would strongly encourage you to start including time with your spouse in your planning. It may not sound romantic, but the results of purposeful time together might just leave you feeling plenty romantic.
Additionally, making time for each other may just strengthen not only your marriage but also your family and your faith.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”– Ephesians 5:21-31
How do you schedule time for your spouse and your marriage?