If you’re looking for a doable New Year’s resolution that can make a big difference in your marriage, we have an idea for you: commit to spend 1% of each day with your spouse. One percent of your time each day is only fourteen minutes and forty seconds, so let’s round up and make it fifteen minutes. That’s fifteen minutes of face-to-face, knee-to-knee connection. This means turning off the television, shutting down the computer, and putting your phone in jail. These few minutes, set aside every day, will make a big difference over the course of weeks, months, years, and decades. Your marriage can become rock solid if you’d slow things down, block noise out, and commit to a daily time together. Most of us pack too much into the 1,440 minutes that make up each day, and it leaves us hurried, stressed, and lacking intimacy with our spouse. Let’s change that! fifteen minutes isn’t much, and we know you can do this!
Our dear friends Fadi and Kim actually give each other at least thirty minutes a day. Every morning before work, they sit down together with a cup of coffee and have an intentional time of connecting with one another. They’ll often end that morning time with a prayer, a hug, and a kiss. They go their separate ways and run a business, chauffer four kids, ride horses, work on their house, entertain friends, do homework with the kids … you get the drill. Then, when things begin to settle down at night, they sit for fifteen minutes and have a glass of wine together to close out the day. Fadi calls this routine their “beverage bookends” (coffee in the morning/wine in the evening). Do they share other times throughout the day? Sure, but their bookend moments are intentional and protected: the phone goes unanswered and their children know not to interrupt them. Fadi and Kim–and others with strong, healthy marriages–know the importance of these focused times together and make them happen so they don’t drift. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time for it to be powerful time.
There is a great story in the Bible where Jesus challenged a woman named Martha to slow down and focus on what matters most. He essentially told her that her busyness was quenching her chance at “abundance.” That’s our same message to you. If you want to win in marriage, you’re going to have to figure out how to slow down, pay attention to what’s in your heart that is causing you to hurry, and learn to say “no” to the intruding noises and priorities that are stealing some of those 1,440 precious minutes that you have to manage.
Busyness doesn’t have to define you or your marriage. In marriage you’re called to…
Love… not race.
Serve… not rush.
Care… not hurry.
True love requires time, and time is something busy people don’t have. Allow your love to stop… stroll… and even meander. That type of love will defeat busyness, win over stress, and keep you headed toward your intended destination.
(Excerpted from First Few Years of Marriage: 8 Ways to Strengthen Your “I Do” by Jim Burns and Doug Fields.)