Monday, June 10, 2013

Them's the Breaks (or Take One)

Life is always crazy for parents with kids towards the end of the school year, and ours has been no exception. Recitals, rehearsals, end of year parties, and on and on and on. So last Saturday, despite having other things to do, we packed up the kids and headed to the beach. Sure, it was on our “to-do” list to buy our beach badges, so we crossed that off - and then stayed. For a few hours. As the kids jumped in and out of the ocean, my wife and I walked up and down the beach, skipping shells, finding sea glass and talking. The sounds of the surf and gulls were seriously relaxing. After walking we crashed on the blanket, and just lay there.

Sure, once we got home it was chaos again as we had to get everyone clean, prepare a dish and rush off to yet another gathering, but it was so worth it to have those few hours to do nothing but spend with each other.

Breaks are important. Of course that’s why God commands us to keep holy the Sabbath, but even our Sundays can tend to get away from us. My challenge to all you married folks this month is to look at your schedules, and cross something off. Say no to something so you can say yes to your spouse, whatever that might mean. In his book Love Does,  Bob Goff talks about a peculiar habit he has: every Thursday, he quits something. They might be good things, he explains, but he does this to make more time for God to work in his life in new ways. What can you quit to make room for God to work in your marriage? What you can say no to, or erase from your calendar to allow you and your spouse time together to reconnect and strengthen your bond? They might be good things, or even important things, but are they more important than your marriage? Is anything?

It is so easy to let your marriage fall to the bottom of your “to-do” list. We forget in the hustle and bustle that being married is not a state of being but it is something we must do every day. It is a choice we must make - to serve, to love - continuously, despite whatever else we have on our plate. Whatever that is for you, chances are it will still be there later. The house cleaning, the laundry... even if you did them, you’d just have to do them again. Those Facebook messages and emails will still be on your wall or in your in-box. Work will be an excuse that lots will use, but consider this verse from Ecclesiastes 5:12

The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much,
but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.

Is it the labor that is sweet? No, but the “rest of the laborer.” As for what you get if you choose to keep working? You may earn more, sure, but you wind up with less time with your wife and family, plus insomnia! Not a great deal, when you think about it in those terms.

So you may have noticed that there was no Marriage Moment article last month...

I was taking a break.