Keeping communication lines open when life gets crazy
With work, family, church, and the occasional nap competing for space in your life, it can be hard for you and your spouse to stay connected. With all the directions you find yourself pulled, the two of you may feel like two ships passing in the night.
It’s evident that a busy schedule can cause problems in your marriage. However, a little planning can go a long way toward improving communication in your marriage during these times.
If most problems in any relationship come because those involved aren’t on the same page, you need a strategy to see eye to eye on things—even if you can’t always be in the same room. We know it’s tough to stay on track, but try this plan to stay connected and keep communication flowing.
Six Practices That Will Bolster Your Communication
PRACTICE A DAILY OVERVIEW (FIVE MINUTES, EVERY DAY)
– Before you go to bed, review your calendar and to-do list for the next day with your spouse. It will help you both to know what’s going on, and you may be able to help each other out in specific ways. End the overview with a simple prayer for the things that will take place in the next 24 hours.
REGULAR FAMILY DEVO (20 MINUTES, THREE TIMES WEEKLY)
– Stay connected spiritually by making family devotional time part of your routine. In today’s day and age, it may seem almost impossible to make this happen every day. That’s preferable, but if not, try doing something together as a family a few times during the week. Find a spiritual book. Read a chapter of the Bible. Watch a sermon. Staying anchored among the storms of life is a must, and if you want your family tethered down, you need to look out for everyone.
DETERMINE WEEKLY TASKS (30 MINUTES, ONCE PER WEEK)
– There are basics every family has to accomplish like changing air filters, keeping up with laundry, doing taxes, planning meals, and hundreds of other things. If you’re able to set aside a brief time each week to review what needs doing, work together, and make some assignments, you’ll be able to avoid spending all your free time getting caught up.
EVALUATE GOALS MONTHLY (30 MINUTES, ONCE PER MONTH)
– Do you have goals for your marriage? If not, see the next couple of items on our list. But if you do, it’s wise to check in and see how things are going—what’s working and what’s not. If you and your spouse figure out you need to make adjustments to the trajectory of your relationship, take action. This refocusing time best takes place during a quiet evening that also includes something fun, like a trip to the movies or your favorite dessert spot.
SCHEDULE A REGULAR GETAWAY (TWO OR THREE DAYS, THREE TIMES A YEAR)
– This type of rendezvous works best without phones or tablets in tow. Use the break from the madness to get to know each other again. Decompress and talk to each other about what is happening and what’s coming up. Breath in and out and recharge for the next stint. Focus on where you are as a couple and what you can do to fortify your relationship, and identify any areas that need repair. Even though it may seem hard to escape every now and then, it is well worth it for the long-term health of your marriage.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW—AND HAVE FUN (ONE WEEK, ANNUALLY)
– One of your quarterly getaways might be extended to add some training or enrichment. Go to a marriage retreat. Attend a leadership seminar. Then, hit the beach or the trail—whatever you like to do to bond. If you’re always running from here to there without hitting “pause” once in a while, things will get complicated very quickly. Take time to enjoy a little space between your marriage and the demands of the world.
Too Much to Do?
Well, you may say, this just seems too hard to put together. You’re right; it may be difficult to set this up and keep up with it. But what’s the alternative? Will you let the busy tide of life carry you out into a troubled sea? That’s our best guess of what will happen.
Don’t give in to the pressure to stay so busy that you can’t even talk to your spouse. It’s worth a little time and planning if it helps you to stay connected. Amid the hustle and bustle of life, you need a structured, intentional plan of attack against the enemy who, as a society, we’ve named the Tyranny of the Urgent.
Try implementing these six routines, and win the war against a busy life.
Posted on Mon, August 13, 2018
by Kevin Woods