What I am about to tell you is something that I want you to "do what I say, not do what I do."
In all honesty, my husband tends to get my leftovers. Between the children, house, and work, I am tired and each night my husband is handed a golden platter containing the few ounces of energy that I have left.
Strike that. Each evening, I make a measly attempt to throw my leftovers at him whether he is ready to catch or not.
You can say, "It's the season of life that I am in."
Yes. My husband and I have several strikes against us when it comes to quality, intimate time.
- We have four young children, two of which require 4x the amount of energy a normal child does.
- We have to find childcare for almost every date night that we take. It is close to impossible to find a babysitter who can handle our four blessings. Then there is the cost on top of that.
- After a day of caring for our family and doing work, I am tired! Period. Enough said.
The marriage bound is the most important earthly bond that we have. God calls our union "one flesh."
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).He declares that we are to leave our parents and cleave to our husband.
Observing several couples, I see how the majority of marriage is spent without children in the home. It seems like an eternity when you are in the trenches, but our first will go to college in only 11 years!
Think about it. Let's say you are blessed to be married for sixty years. If you have two children, two years apart, then only one third of your married life consisted of children living in your home. What are you going to do for the other 2/3's?
Think that you will be able to suddenly respark the marriage after letting the fire go dead for twenty years? Statics are not on your side. Now, I am not saying that God can't rebuild a marriage but that is a pretty big gamble.
Problem: Mommyhood is taking all of my energy but according to the Bible, my husband is to come before my children.
Solution: I must set aside time and energy to be able to give to my husband and our marriage.
1) Early and strict bedtime for our kiddos.
This has been key to our marriage. Our kids go to bed at 7:00. My husband puts them to bed, talks, and prays with each one of them. This usually takes 30 minutes. During this time, I workout or do work on the computer.
Because nighttime sleeping is not an issue, we don't see our children again for 11 1/2 hours. (Click to read some tips for bedtime routine that we learned along the way.) We have usually 1 1/2 - 2 hours of uninterrupted time to relax, talk, watch a movie, do an activity, prepare for the next day, etc before we go to sleep.
In my situation, I have to set aside the time and not be tempted to "catch up" during this time. Secondly, conserving energy during the day is important so that I am not wiped out by the time evening comes. Third, remembering not to waste the beginning of our time together doing needless stuff.
2) Datenights Inside the Home
You do not have to go somewhere and spend money to have a datenight. We used to have datenights every Saturday night after putting the kids down for bed. We typically watched an old movie and sometimes ate a 1/2 pan of brownies together. (Yes, I said "pan.")
3) Datenights Outside the Home
I wish this one wasn't so tough. And the more kiddos you have, the harder it is. In our situation, a high school girl is not an option with our four kids. Little Man would have her tied up in the corner with her thinking that it was a good thing! But God has recently supplied an older girl. She handles them beautifully and I don't have to worry. And whenever we visit my parents or they visit us, they make sure we get a night out as well.
But this has only come recently. And it came through much prayer.
I have grown to need and desire these times with my hubby. Often times I find that it isn't about the conversation or what we did during the time. It was strictly the fact that we were able to breath. I am sure my blood pressure lowers 30 points during our dates because I am not in a frantic trying to stay on top of everything and everyone.
Understandably, not everyone is in the place to get a babysitter every week like the professionals say we need. But, I praise God that He supplied when we sought Him.
4) When Daddy Gets Home from Work
There are several couples that I know who have "kid-free" time when daddy arrives home from work. The kiddos are trained to leave mommy and daddy alone for "x" amount of minutes while their parents talk together.
We have never implemented this into our home but I can see where it could be a good thing. It sets the precedence that daddy is first in mommy's life and gives the couple the time to prepare for the evenings activities.
5) Get Rid of Internet, TV, Kindle, iPhone, etc
During your time together, turn off! Turn off all electronics and spend time together. (I am speaking to myself here!) Just as we need to be intentional about our time with our children (more on that soon), we need to be intentional about the time with our husbands.
6) No Children Allowed
Although this is not a hard and fast rule, our children are not allowed into our bedroom unless invited. They know that our room is mommy and daddy's room; not a second living room. This rule has definitely helped keep our bedroom special and sacred.
If I am going to say that God is top priority in my life, then my husband must be placed before my children. This means that I must set side time and energy to devote to our marriage.
Yesterday, I asked you to print the Daily Schedule template or create your own. I pray that you were then able to set aside on your weekly schedule specific time to have morning devotions and church.
Today, set aside time for your husband. Will it be time before or after work? How about a datenight? Do you need to move the kids' bedtime up or be strict about the expectations for bedtime?
Don't forget to discuss this with your husband! Get his input on how you can spend quality time together.
Tomorrow's post..."But My Children are Young, and I Can't Do What You Are Asking!"
Further reading: "Does God Really Say My Husband is to Be My Top Priority?"
When did you set aside time for your husband?