I’ve come to the conclusion that more often than not, we find ourselves in a busy season of life. There is always a new assignment at work, another child’s dance recital to attend, another book to read, a new trip to take, another practice to drive the kids to, another meal to cook, another day of yard work, and now Christmas. The list goes on and on.
So how can our marriages not only survive but thrive in these seasons? Here are six ways your marriage can thrive even through the busiest times of life:
1. Set aside a little time throughout the day. Our days often have a couple minute-long breaks here and there. So instead of checking your Twitter feed, posting on Facebook or staring off into space, make those moments count. Send a quick email or text, or make a phone call to your spouse just to let them know you are thinking about them. It’s a simple way to interact frequently and consistently without taking too much time out of your schedule.
2. Be busy together. If you find that your wife has committed to serving at school next week, serve with her. If your husband is coaching your daughter’s soccer team, volunteer to help coach with him. You may not be able to get rid of the obligations in your life, but you can certainly thrive in the busyness if you go through it together. This may even turn out to be a sweet opportunity for you to grow as a couple as you learn to interact in a new way and in a new place.
3. Leave notes around the house. You may not have hours to spend with your spouse each day, but you can take a few minutes in the morning or at night to jot down a quick love note and stick it somewhere you know your spouse will see it—on the bathroom mirror, on the kitchen counter or even on the steering wheel in the car. This will be a creative reminder of your love in the midst of the craziness of life.
4. Plan dates in advance. Planning ahead will always help you spend time wisely in your marriage. If you know you have a date set for next Saturday, you each will work to get things done for that special night. So sit down with your spouse in advance and pick a night you know will work for both of you. Then calendar it as a very important appointment.
5. Say “no” more. It’s sometimes easier to say yes when someone asks you to do something with or for them than it is to say no. It’s OK to say no more often, even to good things, so that you can focus your energy and attention on your spouse.
6. Leave more margin on your calendar. If you don’t block out time on your calendar each day where you don’t schedule anything, it will fill up by default. Leave room for the unexpected—the child who needs to be picked up, the call to get the A/C repaired, the friend who needs help—so that your focus can be fully on your spouse when you’re together.
What are some ways in which you and your spouse have worked to keep your marriage thriving in the busy seasons of life? I’d love to hear your suggestions in a comment below.