This last Sunday evening my wife called me out to the patio to talk. Now, I knew what that meant - something was bothering her and it was probably something I had, or had not done that needed discussing.
We had just finished a busy weekend with my parents in town, a Little League baseball game and team pool party at our house, Sunday church responsibilities, and a soccer tournament that required an all afternoon trip down to Yucaipa. Needless to say it had been quite a busy weekend, but not exactly unusual for us, with three kids who each have their own activities they are involved in. I can’t imagine what we’d do if we didn’t have our synced family calendars!
What she wanted to talk about was our schedule. Not how much was on it, but rather what wasn’t - us. A quick look at our calendar last month showed only 3 days that didn’t have multiple events scheduled, and that’s because we were out of town for Memorial weekend! It’s not that the activities themselves are bad, we want our kids to be active, and we enjoy our commitments to church, but we hadn’t scheduled any time just for ourselves. We were neglecting the one thing that is most vital to the success of our family - each other. This was exactly the point Jeremy had made a few months ago during the Seasons series and his sermon on Raising Children. We are the primary example of a marriage relationship for our kids, and what are we teaching them if we’re constantly on the run, never making time for each other?
Matthew 7:26 says, “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who has built his house on the sand.” That was us! We knew what we needed to build a strong foundation, but we were letting everything else on our schedule take its place. On the outside, it might have looked as if everything was “perfect”, but the foundation was starting to crack. If we continued to neglect each other, the whole thing could come toppling down.
After some tense moments and some shed tears, we agreed that we needed to schedule time together, and not just say it, but actually make a plan and carry it out. We decided to meet every morning at seven to share a cup of coffee and do a devotional together. This way we could spend time together, and grow together spiritually. Often the conversation drifts from the devotional to other areas, and includes what’s happening later in the day, but that’s okay. It’s just been nice having that time to connect with each other and with God. When we’re done, we pray together, which is actually really cool. Awhile ago, in our small group, we talked about praying with our spouses and few of us actually did, even some commenting that it would feel “weird”. Sure, we prayed for dinner, with our kids, and individually, but not together. It’s really been encouraging to lift up each other and our family together in prayer.
This stage of life is hectic, and without scheduling time for each other, the schedule can take over our lives. I'd heard the phrase from divorcing couples, “we just grew apart” and I always wondered how that could happen, but with three kids and a crazy schedule, it’s easy to see how that can happen if we don’t plan to “grow together”. It may seem odd to have to schedule time with your spouse, but what we noticed is that if it’s not on the schedule, it doesn’t get done!
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