Friday, February 13, 2015

Soaking up the good life with your spouse

(Timesnews Religion column 2/13/15)

Not everyone has to get married.  My point here isn’t to embarrass anyone for being single, not at all.  Some people are very happy and completely fulfilled being single.  However, for many people to have a satisfying life it requires having a soulmate.  Adam was alone working in the Garden of Eden when we read, “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18 ESV).  If you are the type of person who thrives better by being in a relationship than you do by being alone, then please consider making the most of life and invest more time into your relationship.  

Sadly, too many couples feel like they are drifting away from each other, or worse they feel like they are falling out of love.  More than likely the problem is rooted in giving up what brought them together in the first place.  While these principles aren’t restricted only to people once they are married (drifting apart can happen even when you are in the dating phase), ask yourself: What first drew you to your spouse?  My guess is, at first you spent a lot of time together.  Quality time together is more important than many couples realize.  

Finding time to be together with your loved one can be harder than locating your lost keys, especially with our culture’s hectic pace of life.  Somehow between work, kids, school, travel, and all that life throws at us, it isn’t easy to find a quiet moment to be with the one you love.  If we are only trying to “find” the time, life might be passing us by.  Instead of just trying to “find” the time, we need to “make” the time to be with our loved one.  

How can you carve out the time to be together now?  People don’t have to work too hard to make time for their best friends, it comes naturally to them.  The happiest couples are the ones who see their spouses as their best friend.  Make it a real priority to be together more often, and start with a few simple things.  

My wife and I enjoy eating lunch together.  Even though it’s not always easy to match up our schedules, one of our favorite lunch rituals is to bring a book along on our lunch date (you might be thinking I’m not the Casanova my wife deserves, but trust me -- reading together while you are waiting for your meal is wonderful).  Occasionally we like to hit up the food truck, Foodie Fiction, who sets up shop at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce most Wednesdays.  The experience is always really good and the the folks running the truck love what they do.  Before you accuse me of being a cheap date, the food probably isn’t what you think of when you think of a food truck. The owner is actually a professionally trained chef who studied culinary arts in New York -- some of the food he serves, you would expect to find in a gourmet restaurant.

If you are married, remember, you didn’t marry your job, your bank account, your house, or your hobbies -- you married a person.  You exchanged vows and committed to spend the rest of your lives together, through thick & thin.  Make your marriage the best it can be and enjoy life fully, don’t just coast along through life.  Time together isn’t just some additional way to strengthen your relationship, time together is essential to having a relationship.  Pull out the time factor and your relationship will unravel like an ugly old sweater.

They say the best things in life are free, let me add, the best way to enjoy life is to soak up the simple pleasures of life.  Prioritize your life around spending time with your lover and best friend, your God given spouse.  Fight the tide of the world that pulls us all in seperate directions.  Eating meals with your loved one, spending time together reading or just going on a walk, complimenting each other daily, and simply being nice to each other goes a long way towards nurturing healthy relationships.  Doing what you love with those you love, makes life better than good, that is the meaning of the truly good life.

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