This week during our Valentine’s dinner, I pulled out a dating journal that my husband and I kept for quite a few years. We recorded lunch dates, overnighter’s, and weeks away that we were blessed to share during the years our girls were home. Wow! It was filled with special memories we had forgotten. But one thing rang true – we missed our girls while we were away, but those times alone helped shape our relationship. It made us better parents, and it made our marriage stronger.
We literally had to scrape together every dime to go on these outings, but it was so well worth it! I’m thankful we have that journal to remind us of the joy those times away were for us. Some dates were simply a shared ice cream cone, or a picnic lunch at a nearby park. As a matter of fact, most outings were minimized in extravagance, but maximized in enjoyment AND effectiveness! It was always profitable for our relationship.
For any married couple to spend time away together so they might invest in their relationship, will require an investment. That simply means it is costly.
- It could require a financial investment. There are lots of things to do that don’t cost, but most overnighters aren’t free.
- It will require time – time away from family, away from work and away from all other distractions.
- It will require a willingness to get honest with one another so you both can make changes that are necessary.
- The sacrifice of your pride is crucial so you can listen to your spouse without thinking about what you want to say.
After 36+ years of marriage, I would have to say that time away from pressures and demands – even for an hour – is time that helped build our marriage. It’s so easy to get on two separate tracks when things are so busy.
May I ask you – are you making a true effort to spend time with your spouse – just the two of you so you might talk in depth, pray together, have times of rest, laugh, strengthen one another in the daily grind, and pour into your marriage so you can both be ready to move forward?
Let me encourage you, if you’re wanting to share these times but your husband is reluctant, plan a short outing. Do something you know HE would love. Keep it lighthearted and encouraging. Pour into him. Bless him with what he needs. Pray about it, asking the Lord to make your time special. Keep doing these little outings and work your way into a weekend away. Allow the Lord to move in his heart.
God has a plan for your marriage and you can trust Him to make it what it needs to be. But again, time with just the two of your is one important ingredient. Even though there are no longer children in our home, my husband and I have to get away to really have time to talk and share uninterrupted. We still need it. We still love it!
Let me end by sharing some photos of the weekend Sweetheart Retreat my husband spoke at last weekend at The Wilds. It was a wonderful blessing to our hearts to gather with 80 couples and pour into their lives for two days! If you’ve never experienced a couples’ retreat at The Wilds, you don’t know what you’re missing! These pictures will give you an idea of the fun we shared!
Valentine’s day is behind us, but you live in your marriage every single day. Make the most of it by making investments that will benefit your relationship for years to come!
Refresh your marriage – Why not start planning now for an outing?
Who attends couples’ retreats? Where do you go?
4 thoughts on “Family Friday – Invest in Time Away”
Dear Mrs. Denise! Your couples’ retreat looks like it was so much fun and at a super nice place as well!! There is something so very wonderful when married couples get together. It is a time of refreshing whether you are newly marrieds or have been together for 50 years. Each can serve the other in awesome ways. Those who have stuck together for years are a true testament to love in cruciform action. And those who are newlyweds can be a reminder of the excitement that marriage holds. So lovely! Every year, my church has a marriage treat. It is the number one event on my calendar that I look forward to every year. It is held at Salvatore’s Grand Hotel (http://salvatoresgrand.com/salvatores-grand-hotel/) in Buffalo, NY. This place takes excellence and exceeds even that. We eat at Russell’s Steakhouse right in the hotel and oh my. It is the best food I’ve ever eaten. I am always so grateful for the time I get to spend with my husband at this retreat as well as the fellowship of other married couples. It’s an overnight getaway but each year, we have the option of making it two nights. One of these years, I will be successful at convincing my husband to stay that “optional second night”. lol Thanks for a “loving” post about marriage! 🙂
Wow, your retreat sounds wonderful! I’m sure a second night would be icing on the cake! It’s true that the second night away really allows you to enjoy the that second day to the fullest! Go for it! =)
We have attended the couples’ retreats at The Wilds of New England ever since they began offering them there. What a blessing! After the first one, my husband decided this would be a yearly priority for us.
Also — wanted to tell you that I recently used a Shutterfly offer for a free photo book to make up a book of our getaways, both large and small. Coffee or ice cream dates or overnights, I included all the photos I could find. That book has already been such a good reminder for us!
Oh, what a sweet idea to make a photo book with all those dates! I may have to try to do the same! Thanks for sharing.