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Too Busy For Marriage

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!

Professionally
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.

Socially
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

Physically
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.

Domestically
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?

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  • Reply
    Jennifer Beeson
    May 31, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Feeling a little convicted about having a clean home! I often hear and have said myself that I don’t need to be a neat freak because if I’m constantly stressing out about the mess the kIds are making, then I won’t get to spend any time with them because all I’d be doing is cleaning up mess after mess after mess. But I think its often used as an excuse and we wil let the house get messier than we ever would be okay with. I know that when the house is clean and the laundry is done there is an happiness about our home. Even with the kids. So in saying that… gotta go fold some laundry! Great blog.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      May 31, 2013 at 11:48 am

      You have a really balanced approach to this thought! I appreciated reading it.

  • Reply
    Trevor
    May 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Great blog! When I remind myself I married a child of God (or God allowed me to marry one of his children), I know just how important she is and how my attention and love need to be directed. I hope for much in my children’s future spouses and my example to my family will help my children seek those qualities in their future. Agreed, we should never be too busy for our marriage and always growing in its pleasure.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      May 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      I love how you put that, “God allowed me to marry one of His children.” Well stated

  • Reply
    Zeb Greenfield
    May 31, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Wow! Thank you for writing. Extremely helpful.

  • Reply
    Matt Savage
    May 31, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Great stuff Pastor!!! I work way too much and love my job and friends but definitely need to be better about giving my family proper time. I have always had the goal of being the best in the world at my job but at what cost. Gotta go and put away the phone for a few hours!

    Matt

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      June 1, 2013 at 11:18 am

      A good man is not one who never stumbles but one who recognizes his weaknesses. Love your spirit of humility my friend!

  • Reply
    Alicia
    June 1, 2013 at 11:03 am

    As always, good blog. The fine art of balance. I know this is something we try to keep on our radar, but is so easy to get caught up in “good things”. All is fine if it is a temporary time of busy, but for any extended time we can see the results within our family and it is time to regroup and refocus. Taking time to enjoy the things/ people that God already blessed us with and focusing on those things are important not only to our relationships but to our happiness and contentment. We need to stop buying into the worlds view that more is better… some times it is just more.

    I love Proverbs 14:4 “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean… I can tend to get too caught up with trying to have the clean house that I can lose sight of the other things. In recent times I have done better in coming to grips that I have 6 kids and that I will probably not have the perfect house for many years, but that is fine… I am so very blessed to have the home I have, even if there are sometimes cheerios on the floor and most of my furniture has been drawn on at one time or another. But once again a balancing game. =)

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      June 1, 2013 at 11:20 am

      I love your emphasis on balance! You are a great mom and a loving wife to Ira. Thankful for your balanced approach to life and ministry and all you do for the people of southern hills.

  • Reply
    Mary
    June 2, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Pastor: Your mother is a gem! To have such wisdom, maturity and courage to speak this truth at such a young age is rare . The women at her church are indeed blessed to have her as an example and guide. Hope you give her a big hug every time you see her .

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