“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:31-33
For a season, my husband had to travel quite a bit for work. Generally, the first night he was gone, I usually got through my to-do list and finished up projects I had been meaning to accomplish. By the second night, I would miss him and anticipate his return. Even though we made the effort to speak on the phone at least once a day while he was gone, it was never the same as being with him.
One night as we spoke on the phone, I suggested we try an exercise from Gary Chapman’s book, the Family You’ve Always Wanted. The husband and wife are supposed to share three things they had done that day and how they felt about each of them. Both my husband and I agreed that it sounded a little cheesy, but we thought we’d try. He proceeded to tell me about how he felt about three things he had done that day and I did the same.
This exercise helped us connect with each other emotionally in a way we oftentimes miss. It was common for us to share what we did, but that usually felt like checking off an item on a to-do list. This time, we purposely listened to how we each felt about our day. At the end of the conversation, both of us felt more connected than we had on any of his trips. In fact, we decided to keep doing this exercise each evening.
Marriage brings two people together in such a close way that it is impossible for one to experience something without the other being affected. While marriage is a wonderful gift from God, it is also filled with life’s challenges and distractions that take our eyes off of Jesus and off of each other. Sometimes, these distractions leave us feeling disconnected from our spouse.
Marriage calls us to love each other, understand each other’s needs, and help make the other person all he or she can be. This simple exercise reminds us to take time each day to connect with each other and hear about not just what we did, but how we felt about it.
• What effort can you make today with your spouse to emotionally connect with him or her?
• What life distractions move your eyes off of Jesus and off of your spouse?
• What steps can you take to foster daily connection with your spouse?
A STEP CLOSER:
Spend some time together discussing the issue of maintaining meaningful connection with your spouse. Design a plan of action for daily connection times that you feel will work for both of you.