My husband intensely dislikes social settings. We go to parties, and he smiles and tells jokes. You would never know that inside he is a big ball of nerves. His idea of fun is going out into the yard alone and getting his hands dirty—he works hard and crashes into bed exhausted at the end of a long day. In contrast, I linger long in the pew after church, chatting with friends about everything and nothing. A great day for me is going to the beach and lounging leisurely in the sun as I read a frivolous novel. He and I are opposite sides of the coin.
During our first year of marriage, I wondered why he had married me. He is an intense brooder, and I am a joyful sprite. Yet, the Lord says we are one flesh. How do two very different people meld into one? How do you develop rhythms where dark and light find a place to rest?
Because my man is such a work horse, once a month we sit down and intentionally carve space into our routine that helps us connect. We plan activities like:
- Weekly Date Nights: Getting out of the house for a couple of hours on Tuesdays helps us to unplug and enjoy each other.
- Monthly Road Trips: Driving gives my husband something to do, and I can serenade him with karaoke. There need not be a destination—we just drive and get silly with each other.
- Yearly Vacation: Planning a trip gives us something to look forward to—it’s great fun to explore a new city together.
Besides using the calendar to purposefully “keep company” with each other, my man and I know that connecting with Christ individually and as a couple helps our marriage to thrive. Worshiping together re-aligns our hearts and restores our souls when we are weary. Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG) captures Christ’s heart for us:
Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Sometimes, this crazy life crashes unmercifully down on your marriage. So, investing in time away with your spouse and connecting with Christ provides the margin of grace you need to stay grounded.