As a pastor, I really enjoy walking alongside couples as they transition from engagement to marriage. Recently, I shared something with a couple who is working through a few challenges. I thought I’d post it here in case it might encourage others too:
[Speaking to their issue] …marriage is full of junk like this. If it’s not quality time, it’s sexual frequency, differences on how to spend money, communication problems, or family issues. Having a great marriage is not the absence of problems. It’s having a rock solid commitment to work things out, even when you don’t want to.
Nothing profound here – just a good reminder. Everybody has problems, but in marriage, work, or any other thing we do, the process of working through these problems is what makes our relationships healthy.
As I’ve mentioned before, Keri and I don’t own a TV. It’s a decision that we made on purpose to help keep the lines of communication open in our home. But even without a television, there are still so many things that try to pull the two of us apart from one another. Whether it’s my wife’s desire to read her favorite blogs after an exhausting day with our kids or my efforts to manage freelance website & graphics projects, life has a way of trying to bring emotional distance between the two of us.
To combat this natural tendency in our relationship, we introduced a new nightly ritual into our schedule a couple of weeks ago. Once we get the kids in bed and the house set back in order, we’ve committed to spend at least 20 minutes sitting on the couch together without distractions – just talking about the day and snuggling. My personal goal is to begin our couch time with a few minutes of encouraging my wife and building her up – something that I’m ashamed to say I have neglected for the past ten years of marriage (more on this later).
In just these two weeks, I can already tell that God is helping us break down some barriers that were beginning to creep up between us.
(As an aside, I find it ironic that all the stock photography I looked at showed computers pulling families together for some fun family time. Really? I’m not saying that it’s not possible, but there’s no way that’s the norm.)