Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored


Stay Connected to God, Stay Connected to Your Wife

Last week I talked about my devotional time: habits I have developed to help me stay connected to God and allow Him to pour into me.

Relationships work the same way. The more time they get, the better they do...and the most demanding and important relationship we have is our marriage. The question is, how much time are you giving it? Or maybe more importantly, how much QUALITY time are you giving it?

So many people end up spending all their married time with other people in the room--the kids, the neighbors, friends, etc. One-on-one time is crucial to a good marriage, and not simply a single 2 hour date night each week--good time. Here's how Stacy and I are trying to make it work at present:

  1. Date Night - we have one fun night out at a restaurant each week...usually Chick-Fil A. We don't require nice food--just a comfortable table where we can sit face-t0-face to talk for hours. Believe it or not, CFA refills our drinks and leaves us alone for the majority of our 2-3 hour conversation each week.
  2. The daily, "how was your day?" talk. Work can be stressful. Stress is better when it has been vented. Stacy and I are each other's listening partners each evening. Each person gets a chance to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly from the day. Confidentiality and HIPPA laws do not apply in our marriage. We know that anything we share is never leaving our partner's lips.
  3. Our Day for Us - We try our best to keep Saturdays free from too many plans. These are days we try to stay home together and simply enjoying doing life: cleaning up the house.
  4. Weekends together - So often as a married couple living away from family, we have made all our travel and vacation time about seeing family. Stacy and I started taking long weekends several times a year just for us: Labor Day, sometime in the spring, and a short break after Christmas are times that we try to escape for 3-4 days. We don't have to go somewhere extravagant, we just need to get away from the chores of housework and enjoy some recreation together.
  5. Recreation - Stacy and I have run together, played tennis against other, swam together, and biked as a couple. Some of these were epic failures at first--figuring out that one person's interest was a disaster for the other. But having fun and getting exercise are priorities for us--so we try to find something to do together. This winter we trained together for a half-marathon, and we both made it 😉

Dr. Willard Harley recommends 15 hours of quality conversation should take place between husband and wife each week in his excellent marriage book, His Needs, Her Needs. That seems impossible at first, but I can tell you from experience, that the weeks where Stacy and I share 15 hours of conversation are good weeks for us as a couple. I recommend giving it a try.


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Excellent Marriage Counsel – The Song of Solomon – Tom Nelson

I first heard Tom Nelson a decade ago, when I attended his conference at Liberty University in Lynchburg Virginia. No lie, I was told by one of the campus pastors that I was the world's biggest fool if I did not attend the conference--it was an extreme statement--but it was worthwhile. The conference definitely reprogrammed me for a godly future relationship with Stacy, who also attended that conference. I am incredibly grateful that I took the time to go.

Still today, I pass the audio from that conference on. It is incredibly helpful to people in every stage of relationships: dating, married, considering divorce, even divorced. I highly recommend the conference to you too. I am grateful that this resource--one of the best I have found, is available to the world for free. Denton Bible has not, and does not sell material to make a profit, from what I have seen. Here's the link, along with some key notes from the message, The Art of Conflict, from that series.

  • Don’t react to your spouse, respond to God.
  • Can’t love your spouse? Not as a friend. Not as an outsider. Love them as an enemy.
  • What you do in marriage effects EVERYTHING else. Your family, your friendships, your success at work. God sees that your private life affects the public.
  • God can’t deal with your spouse if you are trying to punish, manipulate, or insult them. Doing so would add too much legitimacy to your actions—and he is not about tearing down, he is about building up.


VERY Funny: Married vs. Single Life

Today I stumbled upon a very funny contribution to the banter between married and single people. writes regarding his tips for getting people married, here's a short exerpt of the full article, available here.

1. Always tell your single friends that marriage is awesome.

2. Start every sentence with "my husband" or "my wife."

3. When they describe their weekend, always reply with "awww."

4. Don't let them throw the Paul (the apostle was single) card.

I must admit that I start a lot of sentences with "Stacy and I".