Last month Taylor’s best friend got married and since he was in the wedding we spent the whole weekend at the hotel with the bridal party. It was so nice to just be away from the stresses of our everyday life; packing, moving, cleaning – the list goes on and on. Other than the usual obligatory events that went along with the wedding, we had the weekend completely to ourselves and it was incredible! I’m sure it had a lot to do with the fact that he had just received the job offer he’d been hoping to get for more than a year, but I also think that having a whole weekend to just focus on each other (and the bride and groom, of course) did wonders for our marriage. For the first time in more than two years, I felt like we were able to rediscover the honeymoon phase.
This week in Messy Beautiful Love, Darlene talks about being affectionate towards our spouses, and it made me think back to that wonderful weekend we spent together. We all go through phases in our lives when we get busier than we’d like and it can be easy to allow time with our spouse to fall down the list of priorities. We’ve been experiencing that recently with the craziness of selling one house, buying another, moving, and starting new jobs. After I read this chapter a couple weeks ago, I felt very convicted.
Darlene says something profound here that really stuck with me, “If you’re too busy to make love to your husband, you’re busier than God ever intended you to be.” I shared that with Taylor when he got home that night and we both agreed that we really need to make more of an effort to make time to focus on each other.
This isn’t just about the sex, it’s about making time to just be with your hubby. In the beginning of this chapter, she references the time when she and her husband were first together. I think that most of us can probably relate to what she says here. Didn’t we all do anything we could to spend time with our husbands when we first started dating? Didn’t we all have trouble focusing on anything other than them when we first fell in love? When we first moved in together, didn’t we do everything we could to get home early to them in the evening after work?
Obviously when you’ve been married for at least a few years – maybe even a few decades – and have a few kiddos running around, life changes and so does the dynamic of your marriage, but why does that have to mean that we don’t make spending time with our husbands a priority anymore?
I know that we’re all busy, and a lot of us probably feel overwhelmed with everything that we have going on in our lives right now. Darlene gives us another reason that we should have a snuggle session with our husbands – especially if we’re feeling overloaded. In a study by scientists at Berkeley, it was found that “the part of the brain that solves problems responds to touch, sending it a message of relaxation…in effect, the body interprets a supportive touch as ‘I’ll share the load.’” If that isn’t a reason to make affection in our marriage a priority, then I don’t know what is.
I’d like to challenge you all to take some time this week to rediscover the honeymoon phase of your own marriage – it may even help your stress level!
Consider ways to be affectionate with your husband that you might usually overlook. Don’t smother him, but seize opportunities as they arise. Hold hands while you’re shopping, sit beside him on the sofa at home, put a hand on his shoulder when you ask him a question, slip a love note into his lunch, hug him when he walks in the door, or rub his back at night.
Be creative. Every marriage is different; you’re the best judge when it comes to deciding when and what he might like.