I’m happy and concerned all at the same time. I know that’s kind of confusing but then what’s new. Mark and I went to a marriage retreat Thursday evening and Friday. We were to arrive at 6:00 p.m. Thursday. We checked in to our rooms and met the group at 7:00. We were finished by 2:00 Friday afternoon. 20 hours – that’s all it was. 20 hours and our marriage is better for it.
20 hours – It really didn’t even take that long to make a difference. Just knowing that my spouse agreed to take the time to go and invest in our relationship was a huge mental boost for me.
20 hours – The first assignment was to pick 3 things you like about your spouse then tell them! (They even gave us a list of possibilities.) At the end of our time together we were asked if we would share something that was a “take-away”, something we believed would make a difference in our relationship. The most common thing shared was this assignment. Most people commented that they don’t usually take time to talk about their relationship, to really focus on each other. They said they talk about schedules, children/family and work but each other? Not so much. Just a few minutes thinking about what they like in their spouse and then telling them lifted their spirits and helped them feel much more connected.
20 hours – Time to hear from leaders who were honest that while they love each other deeply they struggle with their differences and finding time for themselves while parenting. Time to laugh with them over real life stories that made us relax and see that our life together is pretty common. Yes, everyone needs to continue to work on communication! 🙂
20 hours – to be reminded that relationships are “alive”. They are “birthed”, change, grow or die. That’s it’s normal to be “blind” in the attraction phase and mostly “blind” during the honeymoon phase. Then as reality/responsibility kick in that it takes more work, especially when you realize as much as you love them, your spouse isn’t perfect. But if you choose to accept them, cooperate by utilizing their strengths with yours, your relationship can and will grow. Conversely if you choose to resist and resent their differences from you growth will not happen and often this leads to death of a relationship.
In our day to day lives we often just don’t take the time for what is really important. We don’t intentionally neglect it. We just miss it. We are too busy getting to work on time, getting kids to school and getting everyone fed before the next activity. (not too mention the latest school fundraiser, church activities, exercise….) There just “aren’t enough hours in the day” to get it all done. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. We have a friend who is obsessed with this fact, there are 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week. Those numbers are the same for all of us. We have the power to choose how we will use them. This past week my husband and I made a positive difference in our life. We took 20 of our 168 hours and invested in our relationship. I know my mental perspective is improved in all areas, not just my marriage relationship. It was definitely worth it.
Valentines Day is approaching. This is a great season to invest in your relationship. What will you choose to do?