This is a guest post by my friend Katie M. Reid, author of Made Like Martha: Good News For The Woman Who Gets Things Done.
We want to be faithful with what (and who) has been entrusted to us, but it’s difficult to connect with God, our spouse, and our kids in the craziness of life.
My husband and I recently celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. Five loud and wonderful children are a sweet by-product of our union (ranging from two to fourteen). As you can imagine our calendar is full and our days are busy. It’s tricky to have an uninterrupted conversation with each other during the day. But if we wait to connect at bedtime, we don’t often have much left to give.
Three years ago, Adam and I started doing something simple to help us connect in a meaningful way. We started climbing into our hammock together to talk for twenty minutes or so.
Once a week (on Wednesday nights) we sit close and talk about lessons we’ve learned, funny things we’ve experienced, times we’ve missed the mark, and things we want to improve.
We are often tired and sometimes annoyed with each other beforehand and it’s not often convenient. But when we take this weekly break from the busyness of life, and enjoy one another in the middle of the craziness, our outlook changes and our relationship is strengthened.
Connectivity is not often convenient, but it is a powerful tool, crucial to our well-being.
Even when we are frustrated, having the close proximity of sitting in the hammock helps soften our words and draws us closer together physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
We may not have big chunks of time to connect (although that is important as well) but we can connect in shorter amounts of time, on an on-going basis. When we do so, we communicate to our spouse that they are a priority in our hearts.
This short burst of connectivity as a couple has done wonders for our marriage.
Here are some simple ways to connect with your spouse during the week:
- Text your spouse at the same time each day with encouragement
- Rent a tandem bike and go for a ride together.
- Leave a journal in the bathroom and take turns writing a love note or what you’re learning from God’s Word in it.
- Schedule 20 minutes once a week to sit face to face (or snuggle in a hammock) and talk about what’s on your mind and heart.
- Take a shower together and catch up before or after the day starts
- Listen to a chapter of an audio book in the car or as you’re getting ready for the day and discuss what you think of it
- Laugh at a funny video together
- Ask each other a thought-provoking question, then reward yourselves with a long kiss after you answer
Dear God, Thank You for my spouse. Please help us make time to connect in the busyness of life. May we not be discouraged but move forward in hope—choosing to connect in ways that will strengthen our marriage. Thank You for the gift for one another. May Your Spirit show us little ways that we can communicate our love and devotion to each other. Help us to listen better and have courage to share our hearts too. Thank You for the gift of marriage. Thank You that You are never too busy for us. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Katie M. Reid encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life at katiemreid.com. She is a devoted wife, mom to five loud children, and a fan of cut-to-the-chase conversations over iced tea. She is also a national speaker, co-host of “Stop! Hammock Time” on Facebook Live, and author of Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done.
Find more encouragement for your marriage by accessing Katie’s free resources.
P.S. While it’s important to connect with your spouse alone, it also can be life-giving to spend time together with other couples too. Consider yourself invited to join Katie and her husband on Wednesday nights (9pm EST) for their “Stop! Hammock Time” live show on Facebook, as they encourage couples to get closer and grow deeper.
Aaron and I joined Katie and Adam on their show and shared practical tips to help you strengthen your marriage. View the interview here.