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

23Jul/130

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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