There’s no way I can write adequately about the overwhelming blessing our life together has been. It’s a primary example in my life of God’s grace. Totally undeserved. But as much as our marriage has been a gift, it was a precious gift that needed attention and nurture and commitment building up, getting help when needed, and saying “I’m sorry” one million times.
When we moved to Minneapolis our daughters were 18 months and 3-years-old. A wonderful older couple who became role models for us approached us and said, “You know your kids are hugely important. They need a lot of your time and guidance, but the most important thing to pay attention to is your marriage. It’s easy to lose sight of when the kids are little, but your marriage always needs to take priority. Your kids will grow up and move away, but you have each other for your whole life.”
They went on to say, “We have a home in Florida and we want you to use it every year for a getaway. The one condition is that you can’t bring your kids. It’s just a place for you to nurture your relationship with each other.”
Talk about a gift! Each year when we went, we’d fret for the first twelve hours about how the kids were getting along (and how my parents who were caring for them were surviving!) and then we’d settle down, look at each other, and say “Wow! I remember why I married you! You’re really fun!” Those times were exactly what our mentor couple hoped they’d be – nurturing, refreshing, building up times.
We’re very fortunate we had this resource, and other people in our life who have given us gift cards over the years so we could go out for a nice dinner every once in awhile. Now, with our kids grown and on their own we’re still crazy about each other and are loving this season!
You may be reading this thinking, “Fine for you, but I don’t have any resources like that! And I don’t have family members to watch my kids!”
I understand. You may have to get really creative and it may take more effort than it has for us. But,here are a few ideas:
- Ask. If you know someone with a lake cabin or vacation home, ask if you might be able to use it. The worst that can happen is they say “No”. You might offer a service (mowing, shoveling, dog-sitting, baby-sitting) in return.
- Trade.Offer to watch a friend’s kids while they go away on a date or overnight, and ask them to watch yours.
- Practice. Make nurturing your marriage and building each other up a daily discipline, not a yearly one. Carve out time for each other daily, even during the hard toddler years.
- Be Creative. Think outside the box. Seek out a mentor couple and brainstorm some daily, weekly, and yearly rhythms that can nurture and strengthen your marriage. Share Laura’s ideas with your Twitter friends!
What are some of your ideas? What have you done to nurture your marriage?
May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
By Laura Crosby
Wife to John, Mom of 2
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member, Pastor, and Blogger