I have set aside Fridays on the blog for posts dealing with family / relationships. I am excited about several upcoming posts I have been working on. I hope you will take time each Friday to join me as we focus on how to deepen family relationships.
For the first Family Friday blog post I want to focus on different ways to deepen your friendship with your husband. It seems to be that becoming friends is so easy when we are dating; but after marriage comes (and for sure after kids come) life gets crazy. It is easy to forget that this man that you fell in love with is not just your husband but your friend. When kids are asking: “What’s for dinner?”; and people in the grocery store are asking: “Are *all* of those kids yours?” it is easy for us to forget that the man whom we promised the rest of our lives needs our attention too. So what are some ways we can deepen our friendship with our husband?
1. TAKE TIME
Having kids means that life is crazy busy (and that is for whatever stage you are in with your kids)! Sometimes the only way for us to have time with our husbands is to actually make the time. Ladies, kids grow up - they won’t always be in our home forever; but our husband will be with us years after the kids are gone (Lord willing). Our marriages are worth investing in. Taking time to be able to be together is important in caring for the relationship you have with your husband. Here are some ways we have found to take the time to invest in one another:
* Weekly (or biweekly) date nights.
Having time out of the house just the two of you is important. For one thing, if your kids are anything like ours – it is hard to get a full conversation in without getting interrupted several times. We have one night out of the week that we set aside for date nights. (Future post coming on different date night ideas). I would encourage every married woman to try to work into her schedule a date night with her husband.
* Dad and Mom Time.
Rob and I try (and this is very hard sometimes with 5 kids in the house) to make the first 15 minutes or so “Dad and Mom” time. It’s good to reconnect when Rob gets home from work and be able to share about our day with each other. If there are issues with the kids I am able to talk with him about them then. Sometimes he comes into the kitchen and we chat while I am working on dinner. Other times we try to go in the front room, sit on the couch and just chat about our day. The problem we have with making this work is that we do have 5 kids; and two little ones who are *so* excited to see Daddy when he gets home from work. This makes there to be quite a bit of competition as to who gets to spend time with Dad first. J
*Take a walk together and talk.
In the summer and when the weather is nice we like to take a few minutes after dinner to go for a walk together. If the kids have won out and caught Dad when he got home from work – this is when we catch up about our day. Sometimes we just go out in the yard and walk around. (This is not our exercise time – it is a leisurely walk) We walk hand in hand and just talk. It is one of my favorite times of the day!
While this may seem so basic; I am amazed at how many married couples I see who never hold each others hands or whom I never see having any physical contact with each other. I remember when we were dating in Bible College and more than anything we just wanted to hold each others hand and just touch. It was against the rules – and I could not wait till we got married and could hold hands whenever we wanted! I think it is sad that so many times after a couple gets married they just stop holding hands. I would encourage you to look for opportunities to touch. Next time the two of you are walking into church together, hold each others hands. I love attending church together as a family; and I love when we are standing in church singing – when I feel my husband reach for my hand! I would encourage you to look for ways that you can connect with your husband through touch. Go ahead – reach out and touch someone - your husband!
3. Pass Notes to Each Other
Rob and I are old school when it comes to technology. If you don’t believe me ask our kids! They have horror stories about how old school we really are. One of the things that my husband cannot comprehend is how our kids can take what would have been a 5 minute conversation on the phone and turn it into a 20 minute texting “session”. Texting can be a bad thing; but when it can be a tool too! Rob and I have had so much fun using our phone to text messages back and forth to each other. I cannot tell you how encouraging it can be to hear my phone ‘ding’ and find a text from Rob telling me how much he appreciates me. When we were first married, we would leave notes for each other around the house. (What can I say, we were young and in love!) Texting can do the same thing – only faster! There are times when I know my husband is working and will not look at his phone right at that moment; I send him a text to get later on when he takes his break or when he is getting ready to head home. I would encourage you to use the texting feature on your phone to be an encouragement to your husband. (You can also flirt with him through texting but make sure that the kids aren’t borrowing Dad’s phone – unless you want to answer some uncomfortable questions or have the phone handed to you with your kid’s laughter in the background!)
While this can go hand in hand with touch (no pun intended there), I made it a category all it's own. Remember how much you loved kissing when you were first married? I know embarassing question! However, sometimes life can get so hectic that we forget that kissing can be an awesome way to stop the hectic world for a few seconds and have it be just the two of you. Rob almost always kisses me goodbye in the morning when he leaves for work and hello in the evening when he gets home from work. If I go to see him at work - I don't leave without kissing him goodbye. Just the other day I kissed him goodbye at work and an old lady looked at me and winked as I was leaving. At Zak's last doctor's visit he told his pediatrician, "My Dad kisses my Mom as soon as he gets home from work - and it makes me want to puke!" The doctor looked at me and smiled. I think it is interesting that the kids always make a big deal about it when Rob gives me a kiss - but they always keep looking to watch when he does. Kids need to see their Dad and Mom interacting together. Hollywood is out to portray love in a dirty connotation - what better way for kids to grow up with a correct view of love than to see Dad and Mom holding hands and kissing every day?
5. Share Interests
It is important for couples to have hobbies that they are able to share together as a couple. For some couples, their shared common interests are what brought them together. For other couples, some effort has to be made to find something they both enjoy doing together. When Rob and I got married, I did not realize how much he enjoyed sports. Through the years I have learned how to watch a football game and found that I can enjoy it! Rob did not have any sisters in his home – so he has had to work at sharing in some of my interests. (No matter how hard he tries – he *still* looks painfully bored when shopping with me in Hobby Lobby!) A lot of our lives have been doing ministry things together. We have so many memories of youth activities that we planned together in our front room; or even washing dishes together long after a missionary and his family have left our house after a wonderful evening of fellowship. As a wife, I would challenge you to look for things that interest your husband and try to get involved and be interested in what he enjoys. One of my friends even took up hunting so she could spend time with your husband! She commented to me that she realized she could complain about him being so wrapped up in hunting that she never saw him – or she could join him. He was thrilled to have her come along with him and they have hunted together for years.
6. Pray for your husband
This is the most important thing you can do to strengthen your relationship with your husband. A while back I started praying for my husband in regards to something I knew he was struggling with in his walk with God. During one of our date nights he shared with me some theological questions with which he was wrestling. After that date night, I started praying specifically for that need that he had talked to me about. A couple of weeks later, Rob and I were laying in bed talking and he started telling me how real and meaningful his devotions had been and how God had been showing him answers to things he and I had talked about a few weeks earlier. It was so exciting to hear how God was working in His life and how God had led me to pray specifically for that need I saw in my husband’s heart. I saw a poster sign on Facebook that asked “Are you praying about your husband or for your husband?” I loved that. I want my prayers for my husband to not be a list of complaints to God about everything I don’t like about Rob or how I want him to change. I want to be praying FOR him.
Since our marriages are a picture of Christ and the church it is so important that we have marriages that are strong and thriving! Looking for ways to deepen the friendship you share with your husband will help your marriage relationship. If your marriage is strong in the friendship area – this will help to strengthen it even more. If your marriage relationship with your husband is weak or struggling right now – this will help in opening doors that can start the strengthening process. I dare you to attempt every day this next week to do something each day to let your husband know, “You are my best friend – I am so glad I am married to you!”
Thanks so much for stopping by. I am so glad you did. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and will be able to join me on Monday for Devotional Monday.