There is so much that makes up a day. Children going to school or started on school, laundry, dishes, dusting, (I’m supposed to do that?) helping your husband get to work and even getting to work yourself. This is just the morning! There are meals to plan and eat. Don’t forget the children’s activities! Somewhere in there you are supposed to eat and shower, yes even Mamas need a shower We are so busy doing, that we sometimes forget we need to work on our marriage too. We tend to forget, we are still going to be living with him, when our children are gone. Our marriage needs as much work and effort as everything else.
Marriage isn’t Dispensable
I remember my first fight with Stephen. I called Grandma telling her how much of a jerk he was, how I deserved better, how I didn’t know if I could stay married to him. She listened quietly and when she spoke it was with the wisdom of the ages.
She told me that I should hold it to his account, the same way I wanted God to hold it to mine, when I sinned. She reminded me that I was as much of a sinner as he was, and the only things I didn’t deserve were God’s grace, love and mercy. She told me throwing away my marriage, just because it was broken right now, would be me telling God that His blessings weren’t good enough for me. My attitude would be of knowing better than my Creator, which she knew was foolish. When I asked her how she put up with Grandpa, she told me that she was raised not to toss something, if it was broken, but to fix it. You only toss out things that are dead.
Work from Both
My husband isn’t good at planning dates. He is willing to do anything I plan, but the actual planning part, isn’t his strong suit. When we were younger this bothered me, a LOT! I believed that if he “loved” me he would plan great trips for us. He would think ahead and do something without any prompting. It was many years, and heart aches later, I finally talked to him about this. He thought loving me was doing whatever I wanted instead of “forcing” what he wants on me, with that in mind we came up with a plan. He would actively participate when I asked him to instead of letting me do all the work, and I would ask him to participate when I wanted him to be a part of it. Accepting this is something we both need, has taken our marriage to a new level of AMAZING!
Weekly Stay at Home Dates
We started doing this when we lived in Pennsylvania. We were away from family, struggling with being parents to a special needs child, and struggling with just life in general. We couldn’t afford a babysitter, so we could go out, and our kids were too young to leave home alone. It was during one of these times that I decided we needed to have a LONG talk about us. I to Wegmans and bought some fun foods for Stephen and I to munch on, after the kids went to bed, while we talked. This idea worked so well, that I did it the next week too. It was a time for he and I to download what happened in our week and make a plan on how to deal with it the next week. It became our planning session for battling the world. Not only did we have fun food, but we had a good time. This was life altering in our marriage, and in some ways saved us.
Weekly Date Night without Supervision
The difference between this one and the one before is more than just leaving the house. Now that I have two AWESOME teenagers, Stephen and I can go out once a week. It doesn’t always have to be dinner either. Sometimes it is going to the grocery store, or every once in a while a movie. This is NOT the place where we discuss the children, his work or problems in general… No this is where we actually DATE! We talk about our dreams. We talk about what we want in life. We talk about things we’ve read and Bible verses that stand out to us. We spend some time getting to know each other. We use this time to remind ourselves why we fell in love in the first place.
Now you may think, I don’t have the money to date my husband weekly, but I promise you do. There are tons of great ideas on Pinterest. Go out for dessert and SHARE IT! Cruise the mall, like I know you did with your boyfriend when you were in high school. (Make sure to hold hands so the other girls know he is yours.) Go to the park and PLAY on the playground. Talk a walk. Have a cup of coffee and a dessert. Wash the car together, (making sure to hose him down good before he gives you a good soaking.) Go window shopping at Home Depot or Lowe’s talking about your dream home improvements. Sit outside under the stars and just BE! These are a few of our favorites.
Now I know this isn’t just you and your hubby, but it is VITAL that you keep your family tight by tying strings. We all want our children to want to be around us after they have grown up and left home. You do this by tying stings. Yes, you can do this with BIG vacations, but it doesn’t have to be that way. My children remember the big vacations well, but it is the everyday things that make all the difference in the world. Card games, where the girls always seem to win (no, we don’t cheat.) The time Stephen came home from work to be attacked by the kids with Nerf guns, or the time he came home from work to be attacked with water guns. (I warned him so he bought his own arsenal of guns and gallons of cold water. Everyone was soaked.) The tickle fights we have and Stephen always loses because he is the most ticklish out of all of us. How about the bonfire where we burned that old couch that the cat had peed on, and the fire was higher than the garage? These are the things my kids still talk about. These are the memories that last a long time after we are gone.
There are many other ways Stephen and I work on our marriage. Sometimes we have to hash it out in a discussion. Other times is just goes together like second nature. The key is that we are working TOGETHER to make our marriage AMAZING! We have the same goals. We are going in the same direction. We are ONE.
What is something you can to TODAY to make your marriage AMAZING?!?