Work. Hardly anything in this life comes without it, including a good marriage. It takes both spouses giving, caring, respecting, sharing, planning and moving to action.
One important attribute to a healthy, growing marriage is time together without other distractions – children, work, pressures, responsibilities or cell phones buzzing. Some would shake their head and say, “There’s no way that could happen!” It will take work, but you can make it happen.
I’m so appreciative that over the 36 years of our marriage, my husband has always carved out time for us to share alone time. When our girls were home, it might only be an hour out for coffee, but it was time away that we needed. As they grew older, we went away for an overnight reprieve a couple times a year. Then we even began every other year going away for a week at the time of our anniversary. There was always lots of work on both our parts to make these times happen, but when we came home refreshed, more in love, and also ready to jump back into parenting and ministry obligations and pressures, we knew it was well worth it.
Now that we’re empty nesters, we continue to make time to go away. Oh, we have the house all to ourselves, and we’re alone, but the pressures and responsibilities are still around us at home. It takes leaving town to be able to focus and spend quality time together.
I’d love to encourage those of you who are married to work hard at planning get-away’s so you can talk uninterrupted, have fun, go places you’ve dreamed about, and strengthen your marriage in the process! Here are some suggestions, starting with short times away, leading to longer excursions.
Short times away:
- Drive-In to a place like Sonic. Order then sit in the car and enjoy some alone time.
- Take a game like Farkle or Tenzi (just learned about this game – lots of fun!) to Starbucks. Have coffee and play the game together.
- Go to the bookstore or library and look at books about a place you’d like to travel together.
- If you’re coffee lovers, try to hit all the coffee shops in your area over a period of six months, visiting a different one each time you date. Try different coffee drinks. If you’re not a coffee-lover, try out ice cream places!!
- Pack a picnic lunch and drive to a pretty spot and enjoy it in the car. Talk. Listen to music. Be still.
Little ones at home:
- Reserve a hotel at a town near you. Get a babysitter for the night. Spend overnight and grab breakfast before heading home. You’ll be close enough if you’re needed at a moment’s notice.
- Attend a family camp at a place like The Wilds. They have weekend retreats or week-long camps. Childcare is provided during preaching sessions. You can be refreshed and so will your children, in a safe environment that will build your marriage and your family!
Longer times away:
- Plan for a week away for a significant anniversary. The anticipation of that planned trip is half the fun! Make plans in advance so you can get things arranged at home, but also so you can look forward to that time away!
- Look during the off-season for places to stay that would normally be out of your price range. Booking time to stay there then not only reduces the cost, it also reduces the noise and distractions!
Last week was my husband’s birthday and we went away for a two-night excursion. My parents had told us for years about The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. We had looked into it before, but felt it was out of our price range. Around Christmastime my husband saw on the Internet that they were running some great deals in the wintertime. So, we decided then to book a room for his January birthday. Oh, my! The time there was so refreshing and wonderful! I’ll give you a little peek into our stay:
The historic inn is stunning from the first view!
The entrance of the hotel is breathtaking! Every day from 3:00 – 4:00 they serve Tea in this gorgeous lobby!
The first afternoon Cranberry Scones were served with each cup of tea. Yum!!
A second-floor view of the lobby.
The spa pool with mineral springs – This is an additional fee, so we opted out!
However, the outdoor pool and hot tub had water that was 85° and 105°. Spite the fact that is was 48° outside, we decided to go for it, and we had a lovely soak in the hot water! We also made a special memory swimming outside on such a cool day!!
God is so good to allow us time away at such a lovely place at such a great reduced price!
Keep your eyes open for great deals on special places during their slow season. Then make plans and look forward to a special get-away!
Whether it’s a Coke at Sonic or a night at a resort, the best part is spending time with your spouse! Every marriage needs it!
What will you plan in the near future?