Aug

05

2009

Time for Two


Recently our daughter went to camp with her youth group. After I dropped her off, I came home to a quiet house — no giggly, dancing, random teen went barreling down the hallway. Even our dog just lay by my feet and moped around. Apart from her bedroom still being a mess, it was a different feeling with part of our family missing for a few days.

 

I had grand plans to accomplish much in her absence, but many of the items on the list I didn’t get to. The most important one though, I did — spending quality time with my husband. We went out to dinner, watched a few previously recorded TV shows, relaxed in the pool without diving for pennies or being flipped over, kicked back in the hammock, talked, and just caught up with one another. It was a reminder to us of how quickly life crowds in and how little time we have for just the two of us.

 

When children are still living at home, the marriage relationship isn’t typically the default priority. The slumping economy doesn’t lend itself to planning frequent dates out of the house with our spouse. Today’s culture doesn’t foster a keep-the-marriage-together goal.

 

It takes intentional effort for each of us to nurture our marriage relationship. However, when we do, the rewards are priceless. The benefits extend far beyond our own personal connections — it trickles down to create stability for our children too.

 

So take time this week to plan a date with your spouse. It doesn’t have to cost anything. It just requires a concerted effort.

 

There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.  ~Martin Luther

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This is the week for love. Valentine’s Day is characteristically the day for romance, but often stress escorts the day as well. The florists hike their prices into oblivion, restaurants have no openings for those who didn’t make reservations early, and a husband agonizes over his lack of ESP to know what to buy to meet or exceed his wife’s expectation. Consequently, many forgo acknowledging the day as commercialism overshadows the reason to celebrate.

I’m not one to insist my husband pay the 200% inflated price for a dozen roses, he lavish me with extravagant gifts, or expect an elaborate fanfare. But I do like having a day to remember to take time out for nurturing our relationship.

Life is busy. Schedules are full. The demands from children naturally push the luxury of dates into the background. Sometimes … a reminder is necessary.

I love the idea that this week millions of couples will go on dates and take time for each other. But I’m saddened that it is reduced to an annual event. A decade ago, one million children were involved in a divorce each year. Now, half of all children will witness their parent’s marriage break up and one-fourth will witness their parents’ second marriage break up.

Our marriages must be priority.

As much as I hate the commercialism of Valentine’s Day, I love the idea. Love. Romance. Uninterupted time together. Concepts just fading these days.

Rather than refusing to indulge commercialism, make a fuss over your marriage! Plan a day this week to spend time together (without children), talking about anything (except children), to cultivate a relationship that is essential to our children.

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. ~Simone Signoret

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