When my father was a 20 year-old Bible major at Liberty University he learned a lesson that I have heard him retell numerous times. After hearing a particularly powerful sermon during chapel about truly dedicated ministers, my father approached his future bride (my mother) and informed her of the following: “Anna, you must understand, if we are to marry than you will not see me very often. I will be ministering to others. I will be dedicated to the Lord’s work and may not have much time for you and the children. You must understand and appreciate the importance of my calling.” My mother very wisely replied, “I completely understand. Thank you for sharing this with me. Here is you ring back, you will likely need to find someone else to give it to.” Then she continued, “David, I’m not marrying you so that I can be alone.”
Is your overcrowded schedule keeping you from enjoying your marriage? We fill our lives with good things while neglecting the best things! Many of us are just too busy for marriage!
Are you so very important that you must neglect your marriage partner? Is your job your mistress that keeps you away from your family night after night? Are you a workaholic? Some believe they must sacrifice so they can provide “things” that are necessary for the family. Yet, what does the Bible say?
Proverbs 15:17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
Here we see that a home that has love and a box of hamburger helper is better than a home that lacks love but has a feast. Dad, you kids may not need the new X-Box One or Play Station 4. They may just need you. Wife, your husband may not need a newer Lexus. He may just need you home with him.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re not working to provide for your family you are wrong (I Tim. 5:8). But be careful of being so busy that you neglect the number one person in your life.
Date your Mate! It’s incredibly important that you do not become so busy that you are no longer friends who like to hang out. In his wonderful book His Needs Her Needs, Willard F. Harley says, “Spending Recreational Time with his wife is second only to sex for the typical husband.” Every man needs a best friend and he shouldn’t have to settle for a dog named Spot or a guy named Buck. Every woman needs to be taken out and she shouldn’t have to settle for the McDonalds with the largest Play Place. For more on this topic: Date Your Mate Part 1
Don’t become so busy that you neglect taking care of yourself physically. They call it, “letting yourself go” and it’s not right. I am not speaking to the individual who has been diagnosed. I am not attempting to build insecurity in a world that is obsessed with the outward appearance. I am saying that it is right to take care of yourself and present yourself in a visually pleasing way. Physical exercise and proper dieting is important in the marriage relationship. You must take time to take care of yourself for two reasons: Health and Beauty. Physical health is important if you are to continue a healthy relationship. Sadly, illnesses come. Even worse, some illnesses are preventable through proper diet and exercise. Physical beauty is also a concern. I’m not talking about eternal youth and endless beauty. I am saying that a person should resemble the person they were on the wedding day. Our goal ought to be to age well through proper diet and exercise. Though some may disagree with my emphasis on physical beauty the writer of Song of Solomon agreed with me that physical beauty was important in the love relationship:
Song of Solomon 4:1-5 Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep…Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet…Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury…Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.
Don’t become too busy to clean your home. Domestic tranquility will never be achieved if your house is a mess. There are women who refuse to come home because they know their husband has done nothing to keep the home clean. There are men who stay longer at work because of the stress of a dirty home. Some let themselves go and their marriages are hurt. Some let their homes go and their marriages are hurt. A qualifier: the Bible does say, in Proverbs 14:4 “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean” This means a barn is easy to keep clean if there are no cows inside. The same is true for a home with children. It can be difficult to keep the home clean when there are little oxen cluttering up the crib. However, this should not be an excuse to keep your home in a perpetual state of clutter. Your home needs to be a Sanctuary that your spouse WANTS to come home to.
What are your thoughts? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed? Are there other areas that we seem to be too busy in that keeps us from strong marriages?