Jill: I’m most impatient when I’m overscheduled.

Mark: I tend to take things personally when I am tired.

Jill: My tone of voice has exasperation in it most often when I’m running late.

Mark: I lack the ability to listen well when I’m trying to do too much.

Jill: Just like the margins in a computer document or the pages of a book, the white space arounds the words allow us to read the black typewritten words. The white space is critical to keeping our eyes seeing what’s most important.

Mark: Our lives need margin—white space—in order for us to live and love well. When we get too busy, too overcommitted, or spread too thin, we become too impatient, too self-focused, and too easily irritated than what is healthy for relationships.

Jill: Marriage needs margin. We need to slow the pace to give love space.

Mark: Need to increase margin in your marriage? Here are three types of marriage margin you need to consider:

  • Time Margin: Are you overcommitted? Are your kids overcommitted?  Do you need to learn to say no to good things so you can say yes to the most important relationships in your life? What do you need to start earlier to allow space for kindness and patience in your communication?
  • Energy Margin: Are you giving your best energy away and coming up empty for marriage? Do you need to take a short nap in the afternoon so you have the energy for intimacy in the evening? Do you need to submit your resignation for some volunteer positions so you can be the best you for your family?
  • Financial Margin: Are you budgeting for marriage? Setting aside money each paycheck to take regular time for the two of you? Do you have a “getaway dream” trip for the two of you that you’re saving for? Are you trading sitting with another couple to make date nights more affordable?

Jill: A marginless marriage is a slow fade waiting to happen.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll slow down later. Decide today to do whatever it takes to increase the white space in your marriage.

What about you? Where do you need to increase margin for the sake of your marriage?

Oh and one more thing…We’re on Focus on the Family Tuesday and Wednesday this week talking about marriage!  If you’d like to catch the programs, you can listen online at www.focusonthefamily.com!

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