Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Intentionally making time for your marriage

I'm such a slow learner.
My husband and I have been married for nearly 17 years, and it was only recently (last 5 years or so) that it clicked with me that to keep your marriage awesome, you have to nurture it.


Intentionally.

An amazing marriage doesn't just "happen."
Just because you got along great while you were dating/courting and the first years of your marriage were seamless and without conflict does not automatically mean that you'll be able to move through the years without a gap beginning to widen between the two of you.
A marriage is a living relationship and if not tended to WILL die.
Or become hollow and unfulfilling.....lonely.
You personally keep growing....in whatever direction.
And so does your spouse.
But you won't grow deeper and closer together if you never spend time together.
You'll just grow apart.
I've heard too many stories of couples who work tirelessly in ministry, their careers, raising several children.
And when it's just the two of them left in the house.....they are practically strangers.
They don't know what to talk about anymore and would rather not talk to each other.
My husband and I are determined not to let that happen.
It can be challenging at times, but we try very hard to jump on every opportunity we have to make time for just the two of us!
Last year, we could not make the couples retreat we attended two years ago.
So when we got word that this year's retreat was going to be on Valentine's weekend, we made it a priority to go.
My husband requested time off of work at the beginning of the year, and I made arrangements for the child care.
We had to be creative financially, but we felt it is an investment!
It was hard work to get everything organized.
But so what?
The pay-off was so worth it!

The camp staff where the retreat was held did such a great job of making our meals and accomodations
as lovely as possible.
I thought this was a fun twist on a drinking glass at our first evening meal.



One afternoon, we had hours of free time, so we climbed into the car and took off
on a little day trip to Natchitoches, LA.
Some of you may remember that this is the quaint little river town that the movie
"Steel Magnolias" was filmed in.







"Shelby's house" before she got married.


 This is the river front area where the final scene of the movie, during the Easter egg hunt,
was filmed.


We later learned that these beautiful trees flowering all over Natchitoches are called
"tulip magnolias."







We had such a fun afternoon just wandering around this little town,
and ended our evening with dinner out. 



I highly recommend any kind of getaway with your spouse.
Just the drive alone without kids is wonderful!
If your schedules have been hectic, and you haven't been able to really converse in a while,
it sometimes takes a couple of hours of simple surface conversation to reconnect on a deeper level.
Again, it takes time to nurture that relationship.
We particularly enjoy these casual retreats with a spiritual emphasis because there are sessions with a special speaker on topics important to a healthy marriage.
We always learn something new or are reminded to get back into healthy habits.
We always enjoy the fellowship with other couples we haven't seen since the last retreat!
How do you make time for your marriage?
Do you make it a point to get away together at least once a year?

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