Take T.I.M.E. for Love
by Pam Farrel
“For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight” (Eccl 8:6).
When surveyed, people will always say they don’t have enough time, but we are all given the same amount of time: 365 days a year, 28-31 days each month, 7 days a week, with 168 hours in that week. If you follow medical science and get the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night, you have used up 56, so you have 112 hours each week to fit in work, exercise, meals, socializing, family time and romance.
Here is God’s slant on time:
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:15-16).
We live in volatile times, so God wants us to prioritize well to fortify our marriages and families. God created marriage, way back in Genesis with Adam and Eve. Marriage was created before church, before community, before business. Marriage is on the heart of God, so you have permission to prioritize time for yours!
How much time does it take to stay in love for a lifetime? In our book, Red Hot Monogamy, we explain the minimum time commitment we have seen necessary to maintain the connectedness needed for a healthy strong marriage (and a sizzling intimacy). Schedule in some T.I.M.E. for love:
Ten – twenty minutes to talk together alone everyday. It is amazing how just making time to talk about things more important than who is going to pick up the milk will reconnect and rekindle your hearts. This is the reason that we place couple’s communication questions in all of the books we author. Many of the most happily married couples we know, those with a spark in their eyes even after 30, 40, 50 years together, have found the magic in the small things: a quick prayer walk in the morning or evening, a heart to heart on errands, a touch base time as you both reenter from work, or some couch cuddle time when the kids go down for bed. This daily reconnection is a pivotal time to talk through a few vital questions like:
- What from the COVID quarantine year (plus) do we want to keep?
- What experiences did we most miss that we want to reestablish?
- Where would we like to travel? Alone? With family?
- What are fun yet less expensive “staycation” ideas closer to home?
Invest in a weekly date night (or date breakfast or lunch) together for at least 4 hours. It takes a couple hours to emotionally reconnect, so romance is fostered. We believe in the weekly date time so much that we actually schedule two of these a week. One is for romance and a fun date. The other is our “Monday Marriage Meet Up” to handle the business side of life and love. For more than 40 years, we have kept our standing date to handle the details of life. During the pandemic, we created our Marriage Meet Up: 52-week Devotional Planner for Couples that Want More Passion, Purpose and Productivity, so other couples can enjoy the same strengthening activities in this weekly meeting. We believe that: Coffee + Conversation = Connection
Life interrupts the best laid plans, so having twice as much time as we actually feel we need each week for a date ensures that even on the busiest weeks we get at least the minimum.
Make a monthly day away policy. At least once a month spend 8-12 uninterrupted hours together. This can be anything you both enjoy. Sometimes parents of young children find it difficult to find overnight childcare, but if you will at least commit to leaving when the kids are asleep, and returning when they are already put to bed, you can turn your own home into a B&B and make it seem like you “got away” and were a couple again. By finding a new sport or hobby you both enjoy, you create some common bonds.
In addition, if you have not yet created a romantic oasis at home, this is a great time to put in the fire pit for s’more love around the glowing embers, a bistro table for two on the patio or tucked in a corner of the backyard, or an outdoor living space perfect for adult alone time while the kids play safely inside.
Escape quarterly (or at least biannually, or at minimum once a year) away for a 24-to-48-hour weekend. If possible, have one of the getaways to take in a conference and learn new tools to strengthen your marriage. You might also address issues that came to the surface in the past stressful season. Make a list of attitudes or actions that you each would like to see change to better your marital bond, or simply list areas you would like to improve or strengthen in your relationship or family. In Red Hot Monogamy, we look at eight key areas of intimacy like parenting, finances, developing a spiritual life, etc. Identify an area to nourish, then take a weekend and create your own personalized marriage getaway. With the other rendezvous, just rest, relax and rejuvenate together. This can be worked into a family vacation but be sure you get at least 24 hours of alone time if you mix it in with spending time with family. Nothing is as nice as unplugging from life, cuddling up ALONE to stir the embers of love. Enjoy your T.I.M.E.!
Lord, give us the wisdom to make T.I.M.E. for us. Amen
Pam Farrel and her husband Bill have celebrated 40+ years of marriage, are international speakers, and penned 54 books including several on romance and intimacy: Red Hot Monogamy; Red Hot Romance Tips for Wives, and 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband. Download 100’s of fun and freebie romance ideas or connect to the Farrels at www.Love-Wise.com
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