Couch Time

12191453_10153207225141914_6691666512109779757_nNew 1-minute post: When Jeff and I were expecting our first child, we joined a group of friends to go through a Bible study on parenting. Included in the study were practical tips for sleep training, feeding and carving out time together as a couple once the baby arrives. The author’s idea for spending time together was referred to as “couch time”. The concept was to take 15 minutes when the couple arrived home from the workday and have intentional, uninterrupted conversation. Honestly, we all kind of mocked the notion of 15 minutes on the couch immediately when you get home, plus the idea that the kids would not bother you during this time seemed to be ridiculous. Truth is there’s TRUTH in a simple thing as quality 15 minutes to focus on each other. It paints a way bigger picture then what our initial reaction to it might be. It’s like the time in our pre-marital counseling that the pastor challenged us to write down how much time we realistically thought we’d spend together as a couple everyday…and this was WITHOUT kids in the picture. Jeff and I returned a week later with our homework complete, only to be greeted by laughter from the pastor (RUDE!). He promised us that “you’ll see how much time you really spend together,” and as much as I hate to admit it, he was right.
Making time for each other is almost as hard as working an eight hour workday. You’ve got to align your Google calendars, get a sitter for your littles if you go out and give up a little of what “I want to do” to show my spouse he is the most important person on this planet to me. As I wrote yesterday, the challenge of reversing “anything will break down when left unattended” to healthy, thriving relationships is very hard. For our marriage, we have “non-negotiables” to carve out time for one another. From weekly date nights (so much easier to do when you have big kids) to partnering together on ministry projects, our life of fun joins even our lives of “work”. We join our interests together when we can, and create togetherness, and even when words aren’t exchanged…our lives are shared. Healthy habits take time. The day to begin to create them is TODAY! We have fooled ourselves that kids make a family. No. God said from the get-go, that “a woman will join her husband”. THAT is FAMILY. Kids’ behaviors demand for attention, but what may be earth-shattering truth to you today, they are NOT the focus of family. The focus is mom and dad showing them, modeling for them, how to love one another. What steps can you take today to show your spouse they are the object of your affection? They say, “it’s so simple that it’s stupid”. It really is, but along the way it’s easy to just drift apart by not taking the same steps we took to focus on each other in the beginning. Instead of focusing on changing your spouse today, blaming them for not taking action to pursue, you start with YOU today. It’s often that in the most simple acts that make us feel the most loved! Love your spouse or significant other well today!

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