As I'm sitting on an airplane flying over the what I think is probably Kansas, I'm realizing that I have never really understood or appreciated the saying "separation makes the heart grow fonder" I know this isn't one of the topics I said I was going to address but God has put it on my heart that I should not aim to write this blog so much like a book or like instructions but more like a journal or a God inspired diary and that he will use my daily life to speak through me and hopefully encourage others. This does not mean that I will just be talking about what I do everyday I just mean that not every post is going to address a lesson style format. Does that make sense? Anyway I am sitting on an airplane because one of my very best friends Sam, who lives in Minnesota, got very sick a few weeks ago, I won't go into details but basically she was in the hospital for almost 3 weeks. As soon as Taylor and I found out how bad it was we began to pray about what we could do. We made her a care package which consisted of magazines and Sam and my favorite candy, almond joys. But I just felt this wasn't sufficient, so Taylor and I began to pray about if i should fly out there to be with her. As I mentioned in the previous post we are a very busy newlywed couple on a tight budget, so we just gave the decision to God and if he wanted me to go he would make a way. So I just ran the idea by my parents and my boss. Both responses I know were God showing me I needed to fly out there to be with her. And thanks to my wonderful parents, who paid for half my flight which allowed me to go, I am now on a plane. But the inspiration for this post is the statement "separation makes the heart grow fonder" I have never agreed with this statement in fact I would normally probably argue against it. Anyone who knows Taylor and I know that we don't do anything apart. We both thrive when were together. Now every couple is different and I'm not going to say that in order to have a good marriage you need to be together every minute of everyday. In fact I know many couples who thrive and completely agree with the statement that separation make heart grow fonder. But Taylor and I have always been the kind of couple that love each others company and truly enjoy just being together. Many people I'm sure would say don't you get sick of each other and I can honestly say that I married a very patient wonderful easygoing man that I don't get sick of and I am very blessed that even all my annoying quirks that most people would get sick of in an hour he enjoys and loves about me. Ok I'm getting way side tracked here. What I'm trying to say is that this is the first time I will be away from Taylor since we got married and it has made me think about different types of marriages. Now God gives us plenty of wonderful verses and advice for marriage but he does not say "you must spend 14.5 hours a day together in order to be happy" and I have read different ideas of appropriate amounts of time in different marriage advice books.
So heres my top three ideas on this topic
1. I think its most important to pray about this with your husband and that if one person is feeling like you do not spend enough time together you must tell your spouse otherwise You may unintentionally build up resentment and that is never a good thing. This my stem from differing expectations and priorities, if this applies to you, my advice would be to sit down and talk to your spouse about your priorities and expectations, even write them down which will help you keep yourself accountable to stick to your priorities throughout the years. Do that instead of just saying "i don't think we spend enough time together" which probably wouldn't be as productive.
2. Dont compare your selves to other couples. There are couples that are long distance that see each other once a month but are completely happy and there are couples to spend all the free time together and even work together. You need to figure out what works best for you and your husband and not compare with anyone else. It is easy to see a really happy couple and say they must be happy because they only see each other 2 times a week. Or vice versa you may see a couple and say wow they must be so happy because they spend so much time together. So just make sure you don't compare your marriage to anyone else's that just asking to sin and be envious.
3. Quantity of time does not = quality of time... That sounds a little cliche but it's true. There was in semester in college that Taylor and I had every class together so we were together at least 6 hours a day but that time was not time we spent talking or enjoying each other. So if you looked at quantity you would say wow you guys spend a lot of time together. But then there was a time where Taylor was working 40 hours a week and taking 15 units and had fire academy on Thursday's and Saturday's. But we had Sunday's together to just enjoy each other and go to the beach and on dates ad watch movies and even though it was much less time we spent together I enjoyed it so much more. It seems like there are a lot of couples and we are even guilty of this at times, that come home from a long day at work and slouch on the couch and watch tv or go on the internet and don't take the time each night to connect with their spouse. Taylor and I try to make sure we eat breakfast and dinner together and read bible, pray, and talk about our days to really connect before just jumping into something else. Taylors grandma, who i also consider my grandma is a wonderful woman who had a wonderful loving marriage. She got married when she was about our age and told us that one thing she thought helped her marriage thrive the way it did was because every night for 50 years when grandpa came home from work she would make the kids go play ( and they had 8 kids) so she and grandpa could talk and connect for half an hour before family dinner. This seems like such a small thing but sometimes the daily grind gets us down and all we want to do is relax but I think it is so important to connect whether it's over dinner, or breakfast or lunch, or when going to bed, otherwise the daily life seems to distance spouses. I have read multiple times that isolation and distance starts with a loss of daily connection.
I didn't mean for this blog to go this long and honestly I just began to write because i miss my husband and i was not completely sure where it was going to go so I know this is God speaking through me.
So this week I challenge anyone reading this to try and devote 30 minutes a day to spend with just your husband no phones, no kids, no tv, no Internet, just husband and wife. Feel free to let me know how it goes.
"In the Lord neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman" 1 Col 11:11