The first week of October I focused generally on blending the areas of our lives, and the second week I focused on homeschooling. Last week, I focused on working from home. This week’s posts will deal with family life in general and how to keep marriage and children a priority in the blended household. Feel free to chime in with you own ideas!
In the midst of homeschooling, home work, cleaning the house and cooking the meals, it is easy to forget about my partner in this grand venture called life. Our love is stronger than it has ever been, but we both know that our relationship is only as strong as the time and effort we put into it.
Here are a few ways we work to keep marriage strong even in the busyness of the every day:
1. Treat each other with kindness.
It is very sad when we treat the grocery store clerk or the mailman better than we do our own spouses. The old saying, “Familiarity breeds content” need not be true in the Christian marriage. The Golden Rule of treating others as we would want to be treated is especially effective in the relationship of a husband and wife.
2. Talk every day.
I know it is difficult to get a word in edgewise without interruptions in a busy household. Children are constantly clamoring for our attention. It is important that we teach our children that Mommy and Daddy are not to be interrupted when they are talking. They must also learn to respect that Mommy and Daddy need time together.
Even if we are apart most of the day, my husband and I try to check in with each other and just talk sometime before we fall asleep. We also text often through the day. While this doesn’t replace face-to-face communication, it helps us keep connected through busy days away from one another.
3. Spend time together away from the children.
I really think dating is vital to a marriage. I didn’t say absolutely necessary but very important, nonetheless. Before you conjure up the image of fine dining and candlelight and a hefty bill to along with it, let me share a few ways you can do this.
Have a date at home after the kids go to bed with coffee, special treats, a board game or just talking together. I love this idea that Tsh suggested for a cheap babysitter at home: Date Nights and Tate Nights.
Implement a once-a-week or once-a-month date at a coffee shop, out to dinner, on a nature walk or shopping at the mall.
Once or twice a year, leave the kids at Grandma’s house and visit a bed and breakfast overnight. If finances are tight, create the bed and breakfast atmosphere at home and just come back to time alone together and a full night’s sleep. The kids will never know you were that close to them, and they’ll have fun being spoiled by grandparents.
4. Share common dreams.
What really bonds a marriage together is being one flesh. A team. A couple in every sense of the word. If both of you are Christians, you share a common faith. If you both are dedicated to working at home or homeschooling, you have common goals.
It is a good idea to check in with one another once in awhile and make sure you have common dreams. Are you both headed in the same direction? Do you have the same ideas for how to release your children into the world on their own? Does his picture of retirement and yours look the same? What kind of financial goals do you want to meet and when? Is there ministry in your future, and do you share the same passion for it?
Marriage is one of the first institutions God created and called “very good.” Make sure you guard yours carefully! It is a precious treasure.
P.S. Maybe a good marriage is “for the birds” after all! 🙂