New Year’s Resolutions.
Have you made any this year? Most people do.
To lose weight… Eat right… Excercise… Give up Facebook…
…Something healthy, either mentally, or physically, for themselves.
But have you ever thought about making a resolution for your marriage?
As I think what my own marriage needs more of, and what most American marriages probably need more of, it’s margin. More white space on the calendar. More time to just be, instead of doing so much.
My husband and I are sometimes overextended and overscheduled, and what usually gets the short end of the stick is quality time together. We put date nights on the back burner. When a free Friday night rolls around, we usually order pizza, put the kids to bed and I usually fall asleep halfway through a Netflix movie. Weeknights aren’t much better: we plop down on the couch after 8, exhausted from the day, zone out on our smartphones for a while and watch something on the DVR.
Do you ever wonder how our lives get so busy that we neglect what matters? Do you wish that things can be different? God’s Word says that we can!
1 Corinthians 14:33 (NLT) says, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.”
To truly honor God with our lives and marriages, we have to prioritize a little more order and peace, and little less rushing chaos. Governing how you spend your time helps us avoid the rest of the world’s toxic velocity, and concentrate more on living according to God’s rhythm.
Less chaos. More peace.
How can we create more margin when our plates are already so full? Here are a few action steps to consider putting into action in 2015 that will benefit you, your marriage and your family:
Honor the Sabbath:
Clear your calendar and honor God’s commandment to spend one day resting. Relax with your spouse and your family. Take a nap. Read a book. Put the technology away. Relationships are the foundation of how we love people, so do some relationship building, and most of the time you can’t do that from your mobile device. This will refuel you in a tangible and meaningul way.
Eliminate Some Time Wasters:
Remove apps or games on your phone or tablet that take up a lot of your time. While it may not seem like a lot on the surface, those frequent five to fifteen minute social media or online news breaks can add up. Consider a period of fasting from these things that take up your time, but aren’t beneficial to you or your marriage.
Consider the Costs:
Ask yourself, “What suffers from my life being in the fast lane?”
Your marriage? Family life? Your health? Exercise? Diet? Constantly going-going-going means less time to prepare healthy meals, spending deep, meaningful time with your spouse and family, and more stress from the lack of down-time with which you cna recharge. When a new request comes along, realize that saying yes to one thing means saying no to another. When you say yes, what are you saying no to? Do you want that to change?
Learn the Art of Saying “No.” Cut back on appointments that aren’t productive. Activities that don’t contribute in a tangible way to your marriage should be fewer than those that do. Still, it can be hard to say no. The opportunity cost of your calendar should be something you and your spouse pray about your commitments.
Get Your Finances in Order:
Get some financial training together and get on the same page about budgeting, spending and saving. Consult with your counsellor or pastor and figure out the best method for you to handle the financial organization of your home. Each couple has different weaknesses that need to be addressed, along with strenghts that should be utlized; by aligning as a team with common goals, you can create more margin in your checkbook.