Our friend Jody made this statement, “The two best indicators of whether you’re living your value system are your calendar and your checkbook.”
As we start the new year, most of us give some thought to “resolutions,” or ways that we resolve to change. We think about weight, fitness, being in the Bible more, slowing down, getting more involved, or not being over-committed.
But how often do we think of “investing more in my marriage?” Today’s Marriage Monday is about resolving to invest more in your marriage.
When Jill and I have hit the hard seasons of our marriage, we’ve done what we needed to do: get back to a weekly date, sort through issues with a counselor, increase our talk time at home, go to a marriage seminar, or read a book on marriage.
These are all great strategies for getting a relationship back on track, but the problem with all of them is that they are reactive.
Reactive strategies work for the short term, but a healthy marriage relationship requires us to be proactive far more often than we are reactive. Unfortunately, too many marriages on put on autopilot. They are virtually ignored until a crash occurs. And then the crash causes us to react.
Jill and I have definitely been in the reactive cycle before. We identify a problem and patch up our relationship enough to get it back on track. But this is a short-term fix, not a long-term investment.
As we launch into the new year, we all need to be proactive about investing in our marriage relationship. The goal needs to be so intentional about deepening our communication and intimacy that there’s no need to be reactive!
Most of us would say that our marriage is a priority…but when we do an honest evaluation of our calendar, we see very little–if any–time set aside to spend time with our spouse.
We want to extend a challenge to you…and it’s one we’re extending to ourselves. This week, set aside one hour to talk about strategies that you will set in 2011 to invest in your marriage. Here are a list of ideas to get you started in setting some practical strategies in place:
- Set one evening each week as a no computer/no TV night that you and your spouse have a date in your own house. Play a board game or a card game, share dessert by candlelight, etc.
- Set aside a set amount of money every paycheck for you to spend on your marriage. Even $10/paycheck can make a big difference!
- Decide a regular date night and put it on the calendar. Make regular childcare arrangements: trade with another couple, ask Grandma and Grandpa, hire a teen in the neighborhood, etc.
- Take 15. Start a new routine of taking 15 minutes to sit and talk face to face before or after dinner each night.
- Hold hands and pray each night when you go to bed.
- Put dates on the calendar for an overnight getaway in 2011. It could be one or more nights where the kids go to grandma’s and the two of you stay home. It could also be a bed and breakfast getaway or a to visit to a place you’ve always wanted to visit.
We’re sure you’ll have even more practical ideas to share! Put some strategies in place and share them with us this week so we can all be inspired!
Oh and before we forget…congratulations to MMiddona! She won the giveaway for having a date night over the holiday break and the prize is a CD of her choice of any marriage workshop Mark and I have done at Hearts at Home.
Now start putting your priorities on the calendar. We can’t wait to hear about your plans!
Want regular encouragement?
Subscribe to get Jill's latest content by email.
Great suggestions! (Same lady from the email!)
Those are wonderful ideas, but we really struggle with finding a babysitter on a consistent basis. (Affording the sitter and a night-out is a real struggle.) Hopefully we can resolve to fix that this year.
Can you find another couple to trade sitting with? Someone in your church, neighborhood, or moms group?
My husband just asked me to take the month of October off. A bit premature? Not really! I am a birth doula, so I have to plan way ahead to take time off. October is his favorite month of fall festivals and he likes to spend it doing things together. Since it is 9 months from now, I can plan to not take any clients who are due that month. I HATE to say no to potential business, but it is one of the lessons that I am learning for my marriage. So, thanks to your blog today, I marked off the month of October on my calendar. Thanks Jill and Mark!
Thank you for sharing a very practical example of putting this strategy into practice! You go, girl!
Great article, a wonderful reminder of the where our priorities should be!
We’ve recently started moving to a “cash budget” system and something that has been SO helpful for us is putting our “date money” in an envelope to use every pay check. Having the money already accounted for takes the guilt I always had about spending money on ourselves- and if we still have the cash at the next pay period we know that we need to catch up and reconnect because we put our marriage on the backburner, it’s a great reminder.
Great strategy, Brooke! Thank you for sharing!
My husband and I really agree it’s important to have a date night, yet we never have done it since after having our son. I’m due to have another in April which I fear is going to make it even harder. But I know, deep down, if we want to make it happen, we can.