Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Marriage Needs Refreshed Inhabitants

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Ed and Carol Nevenschwander (a pastor and his wife) write:

"Although the shell of a union may endure, the spirit of the marraige may disintegrate in time unless mates take periodic and shared reprieves from the pressures they live under.

The pressures we must often escape are not those we create for ourselves, but those brought into our lives from the outside. Nonetheless, they can wear our relationships thin.

The key to keeping a cherished friendship alive may be found in breaking away long enough and frequently enough to keep ourselves fresh and our love growing. And usually that involves childless weekends. Without such moments of focused attention, it's difficult to keep the kind of updated knowledge of one another that keeps two hearts in close proximity alive and growing together. A growing marriage needs refreshed inhabitants."

It goes on to say that you need to sit down and plan out these times with your mate. Write down some individual and family goals and be in agreement that these things are a high priority for you and your mate. Under each goal write down what you want to accomplish and plan a date that you expect to accomplish the goal. Don't let excuses such as "we don't have the money" stand in the way. People do what they want to do and if you want things badly enough you can find ways to cut corners to make it happen. You can even put your savings ina special account just for these special times with your spouse...after all he/she is your special friend.

There's more too, but these were the key points that I took from it.

Andy and I have gotten a lot better since moving down to Texas about taking the time for each other. It wasn't always easy when we didn't have sitters, however, we've always tried to make time for each other each day after we get Deidra to bed and now the foster children too. It may not always be a lot of time, but it's "our" time to connect again. It doesn't always help too that we never really do get a full day together unless one of us is on vacation, but I know that there's an end to that in sight. And we've made it work for the last 3 years. Even weekends like the one we just had work for some connection time and I know we need to do family things as well. We have a get away planned for our anniversary this year (Deidra will go with Grandma and the foster kids will go to respite with friends of ours)...we have a couple places tossed around for ideas...nothing set in stone yet...just that we know we're going. I think if we can just get away for some long weekends together once in awhile, we'll be fine.

Father God, may I learn to be still and know that You are God. I truly want to get off this hectic merry-go-round and be serene and hear the precious words that You gaive me each day. I want to be refreshed for myself and all those around me. Amen.

So the thoughts for action are:

Plan a special day and time for your mate. Leave your troubles behind and get away for at least one night (two or three if you can).

Set aside a fund for this adventure

Mail your mate a special letter of invitation

Keep a modest level of expectation for this time. Too many expectations lead to great dissapointments. Try to keep it in perspective. Just let it happen. (I know that I'm guilty of not doing this one at times...because we don't get a chance for these moments very often I've fell into the trap of wanting...wanting...wanting...and wanting the very best...wanting the romance galore and to be treated like a queen...yeah I know I'm awful).



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