Today’s a great day! Know why? Our first guest blogger is in the house! Her name is Monica, and she is wife to Anthony and mom to five beautiful girls.
Okay, so at the risk of stating the obvious, Monica and Anthony are clearly #relationshipgoals. From the first time I met them, I couldn’t help but notice this sort of palpable, effortless connection they had.
Some months later, she and I met for breakfast, along with another girlfriend of ours, and somehow or other we got on the topic of marriage and relationships. And when I say she took us to school that day, honey, she took us to SCHOOL!
You should know that I absolutely hate typing in all caps. It feels like you’re yelling. I don’t like yelling. But right now I need you to know she took us to SCHOOL!
She began to explain that what I saw as natural and effortless was actually very calculated and deliberate. She was putting work into her marriage. And a lot of it! Work into the words she spoke. Work into her attitude. Work into what she did and why she did it.
My mind was blown. No, really. I took NOTES! It feels a little funny admitting it now, but I guess somewhere along the way, I figured that good marriages just fall into place. Man plus woman plus some really killer Bible verses posted in prominent places in the home equals a quality Christian marriage. Not so much.
Monica has tons of wisdom on this subject so I invited her here to share with us. Enjoy!
Marriage is tough, and it can be difficult to keep the fire burning. Because of our daily routines, work, kids and other responsibilities, we tend to put our marriage relationships on the back burner. Here are a few ways to stay connected and keep our flames going strong!
I think we’re all in agreement that every relationship needs quality time (there was even a song about it in the ’90’s), but it seems that quantity time is underrated. There needs to be a healthy combination of both in your marriage.
Regularly scheduled date nights are a great place to start. Be intentional about it. Plan a day of the week (or month, depending on how full your schedule is) and make sure you get out together on this day. Put it on your calendar so you can schedule things around it, and treat it as important — because it is!
Disconnect from your cell phones while on your date. I have recently adopted a rule:
Extenuating circumstances aside, people in front of me are more important than people on the smartphone, especially my husband.
I simply put the phone down when we are conversing or on a date. He gets my full attention.
I may peek at the lock screen of my phone to see if a text is coming from any of my children that might be home alone or out of town; that may be important. But that’s it! I have a separate ring tone for text messages, Facebook, and other message apps, so I’m not unnecessarily looking at my phone for everything.
Tell him you’re thinking about him
This can be as simple as a text that says, “thinking of you,” asking how his day is going, or just expressing that you miss him and are looking forward to seeing him when he gets home. It breaks up his day and helps him feel loved and considered.
If you or your mate isn’t into texting, a little note left in a lunch bag, on the bathroom mirror or somewhere it will easily be found will do the trick!
Do something nice
We all love to be thought of every once in a while. This will require that you open your ears, listen to your husband and find out what he may need or really desire.
Pick something, and do it for him. If he’s not very vocal, you know your hubby: prepare his favorite meal, bake his favorite dessert, rub his feet — whatever you know he loves and appreciates.
This will remind him of how important he is to you and assure him that all of your attention isn’t consumed by work, the kids or even yourself!
Plan a getaway
Life struggles, deadlines at the office, social media, and even children can get in the way of us connecting with our spouse. Occasionally, it is good for us to get away from all of the above.
Be intentional about taking a couple of days for just you and your husband. Whether you can go to a hotel somewhere, or ask a close family member to keep the kiddos for you while you stay home, disconnect from life, social media and texting friends, and reconnect with your husband!
[Kelly’s note: If you feel like you don’t have the time to get away, make the time! Believe it or not, all your work, family and personal responsibilities will get along just fine with you. They’ll even be there waiting patiently when you get back!]
Stay in, go out, whatever tickles your collective fancy! But talk, hold hands and have some fun! Take pictures to help you remember what you felt!
Whether this is something you do from time to time, or hardly ever, it will more than likely always be very welcomed!
There is something about physical intimacy that seems to undergird our emotional and spiritual intimacy with one another. It seems that being physically “naked and unashamed” helps us become more spiritually and emotionally “naked and unashamed” (Genesis 2:25).
But we have a tendency to put off sex, as if it is not important, handing our husbands a proverbial rain check to be cashed in when we’re “in the mood.”
But sex is a key part of marriage! Sex in marriage was created by God and is a physical desire — dare I say necessity — that is to be fulfilled in marriage. [Kelly’s note: And it’s fun!]
Not to mention that sex is something that your husband can only get from YOU! I Corinthians 7:5 says, “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.”
It may also help to have the right point of view here. We have a habit of thinking of our bodies as belonging to ourselves, and only ourselves, but if you’re married, your bodies also belong to one another! (I Corinthians 7:3-5)
If this is a struggle for you, I suggest you talk it over with the Lord and ask Him to change your heart, or help you through any personal difficulty you may be experiencing.
God is always faithful to help us do the things that He commands us to do if we yield ourselves to Him.
After you talk to God, go ahead and love on your husband — physically! The more you do it, the more you’ll want to do it, and you’ll grow to appreciate it more and more over time!
A little effort can go a long way!
Which one of these will you put into effect in your marriage today? If you were in a marriage that didn’t work out, what advice would you give about the importance of staying connected?