Let’s face it: family life today is flat out busy. Everyone has packed schedules and often you will find yourselves moving at a fast speed but not connecting with your spouse at all. A few weeks of that may be okay, but it can also be setting up dangerous patterns that can cause couples to disconnect, lose intimacy, and even lose each other in the rush of the urgent.
Here are three quick ways each day that can keep you connected through the rush of normal life. These will not be sufficient for the long term. As a couple you still need longer connection times through date nights, overnight get-aways, and longer retreat times. But for the normal, day-to-day rush, here are three connection times that can make the difference.
1. The Intentional Good-Bye
Before you rush out of the house and away from each other in the morning, stop and spend five minutes connecting. For some of us, that will be hugging, looking eye to eye, smiling, a good-bye kiss, and extra long hug, a promised text message or phone call later. It is the perfect time to say, “How can I pray for you today?” This one question can keep you focused on your spouse, their lives, and their needs even when you are apart. Don’t let the rush of mornings keep you from making a few minutes of connection a priority.
2. The Loving Hello
When you come back together at the end of the day, take five minutes to reconnect. Food can wait. The children will survive (even if they are puling at you). Be intentional to stop, hold each other, make eye contact, ask how the day went, and check in on the prayer request made that morning, ask how you can help each other unwind for the evening. Maybe, you can give your spouse thirty minutes of alone time. Maybe just listening will be enough so you understand that mood they seem to be in is not about you but about a hard day or a difficult person. Take a few minutes to connect, to touch, and to see.
3. The All-Important Goodnight
Nighttime is when you are the most exhausted and the most vulnerable. It is a time to really pay attention in your marriage (and with your kids!). Usually, you are simply too tired to have any defenses up so you are more open. This can be the very best time to pray together so your hearts are open and honest before God. Prayer helps you give life over to God and the stuff of life over to God. He will give peace, perspective, redemption, grace, and strength. Prayer also helps us place the burdens of life off our shoulders and give them to God. Jesus said it best:
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Many couples go to bed at different times and may even work different shifts. Whatever your routine, make sure you connect before sleep. There needs to be time to hold each other, share from the heart, and just remind each other of your love and commitment. Make sure you save a few minutes every night to see beyond roles and see each other. Two people that God brought together to become one, sharing life together as one.
If you start with these three intentional five-minute times each day, you will find you want more time together! For some of you, this may not be an issue and you have figured out a way to have an hour or more together each day. For most couples my husband and I minister to, it is more challenging.
God designed marriage. It was His idea and His gift to us. I pray your marriage is healthy and growing. Be intentional and make sure the two of you stay connected to each other and to God.
Comment and let me know of other key ways you stay connected in your marriage given the challenges of time. I’d love to hear your ideas!