Investing In Your Marriage (part 1)
If you’ve been married very long at all you know how difficult being a spouse can be. I love my husband a lot, but it’s just not easy to live with someone. We all have different ideas about how to eat, sleep, relax, have fun and work, to name a few. Thomas and I have been blessed with a terrific marriage, but it didn’t happen that way by accident. It took a lot of time, energy and work. Ultimately our marriage is good, not because of two great people but because of one great God.
From the start of our marital journey sixteen years ago we dedicated our lives together to honor God. He is the One who deserves the glory for what our relationship is. Having said that, we have invested much time, energy and work into our lives together. Here are some of the investments we have made, I hope that they will be a help to you. The first is Investing Time. Here are a few ways that you can invest time in your marriage.
1. Date Nights
Thomas and I have consistently taken time for one another from the beginning. Even before children we set aside date nights at least once a month. On these nights we would put everything else out of minds and focus on each other. These dates are more about quality than quantity. No work or distractions can steal attention. We talk, we walk, we sit, we look at each other, we have fun, show love and hold hands. Most of our dates are very low cost or no cost. For some suggestions on this topic, I have compiled a list of inexpensive date ideas on my blog. The point is quality time spent together.
2. Special Occasions
My Thomas is so wonderful about this. He NEVER forgets a special occasion. He remembers and celebrates my birthday, Valentines Day, the day he proposed, the first time he said, “I love you”, our anniversary and Christmas. He makes these events in our lives feel special and important. In so doing he makes me feel very loved. He makes me feel worth celebrating. He posts on Facebook, texts me, gets a sitter and takes me out. This is in addition to date nights. Often, he will surprise me with a little present as well. Celebrate your personal relational milestones! They are what made you who you are today. They are your personal history. They are worthy of recognition and celebration. In our relationship my husband does most of the planning and surprising but in your marriage, it may be you initiating. Either way is fine, whatever works for you.
We also invest in our marriage with larger chunks of time. At least once a year, we leave the girls in good hands and head out on a getaway for two nights. We found that one night gets you somewhere only to turn you right back around to face reality again. It is not enough time to unwind and detach from responsibility. We will often take this trip around our anniversary. It is almost never on the day of our anniversary but nearby. We also go away for a full week on our bigger milestone anniversaries. Year Five, Ten and Fifteen we left for a week-long adventure. Theses weeks have been some of the best of my life! Just my best friend and I driving wherever we wanted to go or flying to a destination and exploring all around. We love to be together seeing a new creation for the first time, experiencing new things together or enjoying doing nothing at all with a spectacular view. These trips revive our love and affection for one another. They reignite passion. They create new memories to cherish.
4. Spontaneous Moments
Thomas is the king of spontaneity. He will text me in the middle of the day for a short walk, a meal out or a romantic rendezvous. I will always choose to say yes to these surprise moments to be close to my husband, unless I absolutely cannot. These moments have breaded a closeness in our marriage that is difficult to describe. We don’t just feel like husband and wife, but good friends looking to steal away together. Every time we have one of these spontaneous moments, we show each other with our actions that there is no one and nothing as important as our spouse.
Investing time in your marriage is an investment you will never regret.