Tweaking the Recipe

A couple of weeks ago, our twelve-year-old daughter had a friend over to hang out on New Year’s Eve. We usually do something fun as a family on the final night of the year. But this year, three of the four of us had plans to sit and yell at our TV, watching football playoff games for most of the afternoon until almost midnight. Not fun for Josie. But time with one of her best buds was!

Somewhere late in the second quarter, I pulled out ingredients for the girls to make a dessert and “supervised” with glances over my shoulder from time to time. By halftime, I visited the kitchen to see how their concoction was coming along. They had the ingredients right, but the amounts and order they added them in weren’t even close. Having spent thousands of hours making my own mistakes in the kitchen, I noticed the batter wasn’t right. But, determined to make their recipe work, unwilling to admit their way had failed, into the oven it went anyway. 

Needless to say, twenty minutes later, the soggy batter went into the trash, and I helped them start over. With a few tweaks, at the cost of wasting an entire batch of ingredients, and by taking a lot more time than they had planned, the girls finally enjoyed a delicious treat… the following day.

Have you ever been there in your marriage? Maybe you’re there now. We have all the ingredients to have a wonderful marriage relationship. We know what we need to do to stay healthy. But somewhere along the way, we’ve added too many extracurricular activities, spent too little time communicating, too much time at the office, had too few date nights, gotten more wrapped up in the kids’ lives, and spent less time growing spiritually, or investing in each other. Our marriage has sat in the oven too long with the recipe all wrong, and now it’s a soggy mess. Before long, we start to wonder if we just need to throw out the whole relationship and start from scratch. 

Maybe in 2022, all our relationship with our spouse needs is for us to pay attention to what we’re putting in the recipe and make a few tweaks. The new year tends to be a time for hope, with new beginnings. We may sit down with our finances and plan to spend less in one area and put more in savings. Or we finally get on a scale and make the changes needed to make us more healthy in the months to come. We tend to set goals that will make us better or move us forward. What a great time to dream and plan for making investments in your spouse!

What if we started our year with a date night conversation about how our marriage can be stronger a year from now? Here are a few questions you may consider as you sit down over some fancy dinner.

-Do we love each other more and serve each other more sacrificially because of it? Or are we barely hanging on?
-Are we busier but less connected?
-Are we managing life together but no longer intimate friends?
-Do we still have fun together?
-Do we still dream together?
-What are our plans for the future?
-If we have kids, are we spending quality time with them?
-What do we plan to invest in them this year?

Setting personal goals for self-improvement is valid, sometimes necessary. But what good will that do if you aren’t getting better together? Make sure that you are spending your 2022 investing in not just a preferred future, but more importantly, in the person you hope will still be beside you when you reach it.

 So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16

Investing in the Adventure,
Bonnie Hoover

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