10 months is too long!
Our marriage is a living breathing part of our life that we cannot forget to water. Just as we have needs to survive, so does our marriage. Not water, food, shelter or light but time, prayer, love, patience, kindness and so on.
My husband and I had some friends watch our daughter so we could go on a date last Saturday night. We are trading date nights so the childcare cost was zero. While we were sharing what was the first multi course meal we have shared in too long we realized that it had been 10 months since our last date. It’s almost embarrassing to say out loud. For over a year now we have been doing everything as a family and relatively nothing as a couple.
Family and marriage are two different things. They have two different meanings. They may be connected but they are not the same. You are not a bad parent if you crave some alone time with your spouse and you are also not a bad parent if you enjoy that alone time. I’m sure if you’re a parent you don’t need much convincing but in case you do let me give you a few reasons to water your marriage with some alone time.
– you can complete a conversation, or sentence
– you can get through more than one course in a restaurant
-you can go for a walk, run or hike without the need to stop
-so you can laugh out loud together
-rekindle why you fell in love
-have some you time
I could go on and on and I’m sure you’re even thinking of some reasons of your own. I’m not complaining. When I picked up my daughter Saturday I loved her even more (if that’s possible) because I missed her while we were away. Missing someone is a healthy part of any relationship.
Last weekend we were obedient in putting our marriage first, something that we vowed to do. And while we were doing the one thing we could do with that time God was doing so much more. While we were investing time into each other I know God was building on the original foundation of our relationship, making us stronger together than we could ever be apart. And when we are gaining joy, strength and momentum as a couple, our daughter is gaining a greater likelihood of keeping both of her parents with her as she journeys through her young life. While we were focusing on our marriage He was strengthening our family.
A healthy happy marriage is the best gift you can ever give your children. I think there are very few circumstances in which if you asked a child if they wanted their parents to separate they would say yes. For me that makes the investment of time more than worth it and what better way to do that than on a date.
One of my girlfriends recently told me that she and her husband went on their first date since their baby was born and they couldn’t remember the last time they spent time alone together in the daylight. I got to thinking about that and it’s so true. I get up, it’s dark, and I see my husband for a few minutes before we are running in opposite directions. After work it’s dinner, dishes, a walk, baths and then another half hour or so before we are ready for bed and alone. Again, dark.
When it’s dark most of that time is spent sleeping. The small part of that time that is not spent in a slumber is likely reserved for getting ready for the day or ready for bed. Maybe exercising.
When it’s light, most of that time is shared between work, errands, chores and family activities.
Don’t reserve your alone time as a couple for a very small window of your day when you are not asleep or busy. Get creative! Meet for lunch or get the kids going early and go grab a coffee/light breakfast together occasionally before work. Get up before the kids and reserve some time to share a cup of coffee at home together. Find what works for you but find something. Make time for it! Pencil something in! You won’t regret it.