Is anyone else struggling to know how to build into your marriage while you’re stuck at home?!
I think ABBA said it best in their song, SOS:
“Where are those happy days, they seem so hard to find
I tried to reach for you, but you have closed your mind
Whatever happened to our love?
I wish I understood
It used to be so nice, it used to be so good…
So when you’re near me, darling can’t you hear me S.O.S…..”
One of the blessings our family is experiencing from all the changes in our world is white space. Our schedule is open and free. We no longer have a bunch of plans written down to clutter up the calendar. I love quiet and peace and being at home. I love not having to rush to get out the door on time, driving my kids here, there, and everywhere. I love having free time with my family.
Now that we finally have the time to deeply and intentionally invest in our marriages, our kids are stuck at home with us, which makes that husband-wife connecting time still feel impossible!
HOW do we build into our marriages when we can’t go out and we can’t get babysitters?
My husband and I have been through seasons where we learned to be creative with at-home date nights due to tight finances or lack of babysitters. Now we get to put these into practice again. So go put on a movie for your kids, maybe put them to bed a little earlier than normal, or give them some quiet activities to do in their bedrooms for a specified timeframe, and carve out some ‘alone time’ with your spouse.
Here are some ideas to build up your marriage in the comfort of your home:
1. Talk to Each Other
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are too many couples who have lost the art of talking. Use some of your free time to get to know one another again. Have intentional face-to-face conversations without screens or phones nearby. Encourage and support one another in your struggles and successes. Talk about your hopes and dreams, your fears, your passions and interests. It doesn’t have to be super deep in order to accomplish a bond or a closeness again.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”Hebrews 10:24-25
Here are some great conversation starters:
1) What’s something you’ve tried really hard to like, but just can’t?
2) If you dropped everything and went on a road trip, where would you go and why?
3) If money was no object, where would you live?
4) If you had $5000 you must spend, how would you spend it?
5) Have you ever dreamed about starting a business? What kind of business would it be?
6) What’s one dream you’ve tucked away for the moment?
7) What was the “best” mistake you’ve made that actually turned out really well?
8) What’s a favorite memory from when we were dating and what made it so fun?
2. Share Good Food
Order some of your favorite take-out food and enjoy it together at home. Or splurge a little on some of your favorite treats at the grocery store. Maybe you could even try cooking a new recipe together. Studies show that eating some of your favorite foods actually helps your emotional state to improve (that gives a new meaning to ‘emotional eating’, doesn’t it?) However you choose to do it, make the food aspect of your ‘dates’ special for both of you.)
Tackle a house project together! Paint a room, build a bookshelf, bake a cake, start some seeds in planters for the garden. Whatever floats your boat. There are so many ideas (try Pinterest) that could be fun projects to do together. Make sure that you pick something that appeals to both of you.
4. Enjoy a Story
Stories have an ability to draw people together. Read a book out loud to each other. Or listen to an audiobook together. If those aren’t your thing, maybe you could each read the same book but on your own time. Then discuss the chapters you’ve read and how the book is impacting you. You might be surprised how something so simple can make you feel more connected as a couple.
5. Laugh Together
Keep your home atmosphere and relationships in your home (especially your marriage) light and happy by laughing together!! The amount of anxiety people are living with these days is enough to crack even the strongest of relationships. Find moments to intentionally let go of your worry and just laugh at something silly. Share with your spouse the funny things your kids said or did that day, watch some America’s Funniest Videos, or find a good comedian on YouTube. Laughter truly is the best medicine in times like these.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”Proverbs 22:17
6. Give Grace Generously
God calls us to be humble and gentle with our spouse. He’s calling us to be patient, to allow for their faults and weaknesses because we love them so much (and because we have plenty of our own faults). God is asking us to be united in our marriages through the power of the Holy Spirit, not just through our own efforts. He calls us to rely on peace – HIS peace that He so graciously gives – to bind us together.
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”Ephesians 4:2-3
Conversations, food, projects, stories, and laughter are merely tools to bring two people closer together.
How’s that for an answer to our S.O.S?
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Becky has been married to her best friend, Chris, for 12 years. They raise their 4 rowdy kids on a spacious hobby farm along with a herd of cows and a flock of chickens. She is mainly a stay at home mom, but also works from her home as an esthetician. Becky is an ‘Old Soul’ and enjoys history, swing/jazz music and almost anything vintage or antique. If drinking coffee and eating pizza can be considered hobbies, they would be at the top of her list, along with spending time laughing and hanging out with family and friends, reading good books, and watching musicals. She is passionate about knowing and loving Jesus more, as well as becoming a better wife and mom. She finds great delight in encouraging and walking with other women as they strive to do the same.