Here is Part 2 to our “womanly wisdom” installment on MARRIAGE.
What Are Some Practical Ways You Have Prioritized Time with Your Spouse, Even Among Your Daily Responsibilities?
Married 3 Years:
“We both like to get up early, so we spend time together and with the Lord. We eat breakfast together every morning. Time together is a big one for us. We don't do a lot on our phones when we are together. We do a lot of communicating. Lastly, we try to deal with any issues right away. Early repentance and forgiveness make for quickly getting back on track as a couple.”
Married 4 Years:
“Be willing to do something he wants to do instead of what you want to do, and actually enjoy doing it and learning to like it, too. Taking the time out to do something for him that he likes—make coffee and take it to him at work, make a special food he likes, etc. Also, stopping what you’re doing at the moment, when he’s home and seeking your attention. The dishes can wait. Listening is huge! Truly focusing your attention on what he is saying, even if it’s stuff you don’t fully understand, LISTEN! He doesn’t want to talk if you never listen.”
Married 5 Years:
“When it comes down to prioritizing time with my husband, this is a tough one for me. My husband’s love language is time & I like to multitask. With both of us having very busy work & ministry schedules, we try to spend time together at dinner time every day. I have to make a conscious effort to set my phone aside & not answer any texts or calls when we are together.”
Married 19 Years:
“My husband is my best friend and the most important earthly relationship I have. He’s the first person I share information with and his opinion and input is more valuable to me than any other person. We enjoy each other’s presence, and I take an interest in what he enjoys doing and ask questions about his day, trying my best to give him my full attention when we talk. I choose to cook food that I know he prefers and seek to make our home a warm inviting place to be. I make myself available to him; adjusting my schedule for him if necessary.”
Married 21 Years:
“When our children were little, date nights happened after the kids went to bed. A late dinner and a movie or time to talk was all that was needed. We’ve been fortunate to be able to talk on the phone during my husband’s lunch break. That time to reconnect during the day has been extremely beneficial to us. As the kids get older, quick trips to the store with just the two of us is something we look forward to. Most of these little things are done without a huge expense. One of the most important things we’ve done is try to do devotional plans together. We don’t really have time for couples devotions but we found if we are reading the same thing at the same time and can talk through it, it was so beneficial to us.”
Married 23 Years:
“Our time is very limited! One of my favorite ways is serving together. Bible Studies, Teaching 2s & 3s, Visitation, our church has many opportunities for couples to serve together, for that I’m thankful! Second to that is working on house projects together! The more I think about it, the more I realize that it doesn’t matter what we’re doing as long as we’re together. Not to sound cliché, but as wives, we ought to know what our role is… to be his help meet. When I’m diligent about my responsibilities, and even lightening his load, that frees up time for us to be together serving others. Choosing him after God and being available to him are ways I demonstrate how much he means to me. Since our time is so very limited, I try to not waste it by engaging in arguments over small things and take those things to the Lord in prayer. The Lord knows best how to deal with those things. I value our time and want it to be as sweet as it possibly can be. We recently had a very relaxing, and fun getaway! It was very nice to enjoy each other’s company without the pressures of daily cares. I think, we both agree that we should do this more often.”
Married 30 Years:
“I prioritize my time with my husband by spending time together and taking an interest in the things that he enjoys. This could include shopping trips or sporting events. Once our kids were older, we also enjoy playing a game as a family. When our kids were younger, we made time for “dates” and had “mommy & daddy” time after they went to bed.”
Married 36 Years:
“While we were raising our children, we didn't have much money. So we always searched for free things to do as a family together. We carved out time to do bike rides, walks, and picnics together. We were also very active in church as a family. We always tried to serve together while doing church activities. Now that we are empty nesters we try hard to stay in tune with each other's needs. Laughing is a big part of life and a great way to ease the situation and connect. Traveling is also a good time to get into some fun and much needed conversation. We enjoy biking, hiking, camping, gardening and getaways together. Serving in church is the most rewarding thing we do together. The Lord put us together and we try our best to honor him in what we do with our lives. Staying home is one of our favorite date nights - playing games, watching a show, eating pizza. Just be creative and take time to enjoy each other! A priority in our marriage, most of all, is doing our devotions and praying in the morning to start off our day. There is always something to work on in our marriage; we don't stay idle!”
Married 42 Years:
“The practical part is my husband takes priority. He knows as do I that we each would absolutely change plans without question if the other asked us to. I’m not saying we each don’t have our individual interests or do things separately, because we do. We are BEST friends, and because we have worked at it over the years, we truly are best friends. We talk about anything openly and honestly without judgment of what is being shared. We spend time together by choice. We each prefer the other. It can be as simple as me spending time with him in the garage ‘helping’ and other times just being with him while he works on a project. For my husband sometimes it means going shopping with me. We love having adventures together…maybe it’s time away for a few days, or hunting down a new bakery shop to get a treat and something hot to drink, or maybe just being together going on an errand quietly riding in the car holding hands.
The point is we make time to be together. When he comes home from work my attention is on him. Whatever hasn’t gotten done is no longer priority. What can I do to be a help to him? If you aren’t sure ask? Is it a hot meal on the table when he gets home? A listening ear? A welcome home “hug and kiss?” Maybe heading to bed early for a little hanky panky? I adapt “my” schedule around his. We are empty nesters so that is a much easier task than it used to be when we had children at home. I remember the busyness of the day to day of raising children, and the tiredness that comes with it.
There was a time we felt like we were having trouble connecting with one another. We were doing what we were supposed to do but losing touch as a couple. We instituted the 30 min rule. When my husband came home from work we would sit and have a cup of tea together and just talk and connect without distraction and give our full attention to each other (this wasn’t the time to give a rundown of how my day was, or discipline issues with the kids). The kids knew that they could NOT interrupt unless someone was bleeding or not breathing!
I am thankful cell phones were not part of the equation back then but I suppose if they were they would have been silenced for this to work. Both husbands and wives need to know that they are not competing with a device when trying to communicate with their spouse. If we are on our phones now and the other wants to talk, the phones get put down. It may sound like this is a one way street. It isn’t. My husband is as concerned about serving me as I am about serving him. Rom 12:10”
Married 48 Years:
“I have always tried to be available and willing to change my plans if possible so I could go places with him.”
Want to Dig a Little Deeper? Check out these resources recommended by our Pastor’s wife, Allison Hammett
The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smaller
Fierce Woman: The Power of a Soft Warrior by Kimberly Wagner
Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow
The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Gregorie
Sheet Music by Kevin Lehman
The DNA of Relationships by Gary Smalley
Pastor Roland Hammett’s messages on the family
SM Davis messages on the family
Suzanne has been married to Dean, her high school sweetheart, for 24 years. She is a former Elementary Teacher and homeschooling mom with two now adult children. Jeremiah is 22 and Ruth is 19. Suzanne was saved in 1998 and has been a faithful member of Lehigh Valley Baptist Church since that time. She enjoys reading, snuggling with her new puppies, encouraging others and using her “Happy Planner.” Suzanne is a first-generation Christian and knows all about the struggles of striving to be a Godly wife, mother and servant of Christ. She hopes to encourage you with the wisdom that she has learned through the years and is still learning.