After reading a devotion this morning, I got to thinking, and that is what this blog is about, the musings of this pastor. The devotion asked the question, "Do you have to be told to spend time with the one you love?" It is a good question. I began to think about it from a variety of directions. Let me lead you into a few of them.
When you first started dating the person you felt attracted to, did you have to be told to spend time with him or her? I can remember in high school, when I first became attracted to a young gal, I began to try to figure out her schedule so that I could show up at the door of her next class so that I could see her and say "hi" to her. I wanted to be be around her. Most people, when they are attracted to someone, try to find time to spend together. What would you think of a couple that says, "We are in love but we don't want to be around each other"? Would you think of them as being "in love"? Probably not. It would be strange. Most of the time, a young couple will be told by their parents (this is when they are still at home, still in high school), "You need to not be with her or him so much. You are spending too much time together." And the reality is, they are spending a lot of time together. I can remember back to the dating phase of my relationship with that young gal in high school. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her. I would wait till the last possible minute to leave for work so that I would have just 5 more minutes with her.
In most marriages, the one thing that couples forget (this is one of my musings) is to spend time together. They get busy with the things of life - work, housework, yard work, extra curricular activities (such as golf, going out with the friends) - that they don't have time for one another. The very thing that made them a couple when they were dating is lost now that they are married. They have the pleasure of spending their free time together and they chose to spend it apart. This isn't good for a relationship. Instead of spending time apart, they need to realize that even as a married couple, they need to have that special time with one another, that which brought them together when they were dating. It is a worn out phrase, but I tell couples, "After you are married, be sure to date one another." You would think that would just be a given, but it isn't. I see too many married couples spending their time apart. They don't make time for one another. They don't spend time courting each other. They say they love one another but then they let other things get in the way of that love.
Yes, you need time to yourself and the things you like. But that is just the problem. When you make that commitment to one another at the time of your marriage, you are saying, "This person is now more important than baseball, than drinking with the buddies, than spending time shopping with the girls. He/she is now the 2nd most important thing in my life and nothing will take his/her place." And then to live in that way, spedning time with one another.
Often when a couple starts to have trouble, they will say something like, "I don't know what happened. We seem to have drawn apart." They then go on to say that they don't spend time together any more. One will say that the other won't talk to them. They complain that they don't seem to have the same interests. And the list goes on. I will encourage them to stop and think about the way it was when they were dating. They recall the joy of seeing each other, spending time with each, getting to know each other's likes/dislikes, and just plain, growing together in love. Yes, it was a special, magical time. Then why not return to that time? What? You mean date each other? You mean spend time together? But I have to...and then they go into all the reasons they can't spend time together. Is it any wonder that so many marriage end in divorce. They begin with love and spending time together, and end in loneliness and discouragement, having drawn apart by the personal desires and the things of the world around them.
Moral of the thought: Those of you that are married, ask yourself, "If I love this person, why don't I spend more time with him/her?" And then do it. Make time. Drop that golf game for one weekend and do something the wife wants to do. Stop fretting about picking the house up or going out with the girls, and spend some time with the hubby in the thing he enjoys doing. Make time to be in love with one another, and then act like a couple that does love each other.
Yes, I know that you have kids and they demand time. But remember, those kids wouldn't be here if you hadn't spent some intimate time with your husband/wife. You need that. You need time with one another. You were committed to one another at one time, it can be brought back. Those things that drew you together are the very things that will help you to come together once again.
Penny and I enjoy time together. We purposefully make time to be together. We know that it is important for our relationship. We enjoy one another's company. We like each other. That girl that I begin to see in high school, that I wanted to spend time with, is the same gal that I still want to spend time with. It frustrates me if I don't get to have some time with her. I need her. My life needs her. God gave her to me and me to her, and since that is a special gift from God, I want to spend as much time possible with her.
If you love your spouse, show it. Don't let your love for something else rob you of the gift of marriage that God has given you. And if you don't think of your spouse as a gift from God, then you really need to get back to the basics and return to that time when you began to fall in love with one another.
We spend time with the things we love. Time for reflection in your life.
All right, I will continue this musing another day. Blessings to you today.