Daily, Weekly, Monthly…
By Daniel & Bonnie Hoover
Several years ago, I (Daniel) received a phone call from one of my best friends. At the time, he was single and was on a business trip to Colorado. While there, he took a trip to the top of the Rocky Mountains. As I picked up the phone, he said, “Hey man, sorry to bother you guys, but I’m standing on top of the Rockies by myself, and I just had to call someone!” He described the incredible mountainous view that was unlike any other he had ever seen. As I got off the phone, my heart broke thinking of him having to experience this by himself.
Can you imagine with us for a moment what the very first man’s view must have been like? God created Adam and placed him in a perfect garden on a brand new, unspoiled earth! He was the first and only one to experience God’s creation in unbroken fellowship with the Creator of all. But even in the midst of perfection, God knew there was a part of man that was missing. It is not good that the man should be alone (Gen. 2:18a). So God gave Adam human companionship in the form of a woman.
This great desire to share and enjoy life with someone was a gift from the Creator. Friendship in marriage leads to greater satisfaction in the overall relationship because it fosters emotional and physical intimacy. Having fun with our spouse, enjoying common interests, laughing, and sharing dreams for the future keeps the foundation of the relationship strong and our emotional attachment to each other fresh.
C.S. Lewis said of friendship: It is when we are doing things together that friendship springs up — painting, sailing ships, praying, philosophizing, and fighting shoulder to shoulder. Friends look in the same direction.
The problem is our pursuit of the American dream often keeps us looking in opposite directions. We push ourselves to work overtime at the office to attain all the “stuff” we think everyone else has. Or we stumble through the “divide and conquer” years, involving our kids in all the activities required to ensure they are “well rounded” or that they won’t be left out. With a very real enemy scheming behind the scenes manipulating the evolution of culture to destroy families, we’ve become so laden with activities that we’ve become separated from our families. Society is built for the individual to excel but the family to fail.
So what do we do about it? We fight culture to invest in our friendship with our spouse! We steal pockets of time every day to check in with each other over text or a phone call at lunch. Or we go to bed at the same time at night so we can spend the last few moments of the day keeping each other in the loop of our lives.
We can schedule a weekly date night and hold it sacred. Even if it has to shift to a different day week by week, we carve out time and calendar it. When our resources are thin, we use our money to pay for a sitter and just take a walk together or make coffee and drive to a nearby park and sit and talk. Date nights don’t have to be fancy; they just have to be intentional! We’ve even come up with a list of over 100 ideas that you can download for free when you join The Marriage Adventure Challenge. Picking one big fun idea a month will keep you from getting stuck in the rut of going through the motions of dinner dates just to say you did it.
Another way we fight for our friendship is by running away together a couple of times a year to devote our undivided attention to each other. A quarterly or twice-a-year vacation or weekend allows us to build lasting memories that carry us through the dips and troughs of our relationship. And finally, we find something to do yearly to enrich our marriage, like reading a book together, going through a Bible study, or attending a marriage retreat. All of these investments keep our friendship a priority.
Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly intentionality in marriage can seem overwhelming. But small investments in our friendship over time keep us connected and enjoying each other for the long haul. Remember, this is your Marriage Adventure. The Journey is the destination!
Enjoying the Journey,
Daniel & Bonnie