One of the dragons, or enemies of a healthy marriage is busyness. Life can sometimes just sweep us away. There are times when it is obvious we are booked and scheduled up to our necks for the next X weeks. However, sometimes the busyness is subtle. Here’s another way of putting it:
Sometimes busyness marches down the street like an army on parade. And sometimes it crawls on its belly like a guerrilla.
I am not talking about something that is to be winked at, acknowledged and accepted. Busyness is a poison that can suck the very life out of many marriages. I know. I have counseled numerous ones with so much distance. Day by day, life and its busyness has eroded the fabric of their relationship. This enemy is more dangerous as a guerrilla because, like termites, it does a number on the foundation without you ever realizing it.
How to combat it?
1. Recognize the busyness in your life. Get it out of guerrilla mode. We all live in a busy world with busy schedules and little time for anything but what’s on the calendar. You do not have a bad marriage because you have a busy one. It’s how you handle the stuff in your life that determines the health of your marriage, your family and you.
2. Respond with an action plan. Here comes the C-word: yes, communication is essential here. Both of you simply sit down, calendar on the table, and choose when you will have your date, have that over-nighter, etc. Time together doesn’t just happen. Time for everything else seems to be that way, but not in marriage. This needs to be a joint effort. Both have to have buy-in because if you proactively set any time for your marriage, each of you will probably need to give up something. Decide together how you will address the busyness issue in your lives.
3. Revel in your progress in controlling the busyness in your life. Celebrate when you are winning the busyness battle! I have a fellow staff member that talks a lot about the weekly lunch date he and his wife have. How cool is that! When he talks about his dates he is celebrating their progress of managing their busy lives while working on their marriage.
Busyness is powerful but not insurmountable. Perhaps it cannot be eliminated (I don’t recommend becoming a hermit) but it can be managed with some advance planning as a team.
So get to it. Your marriage team is a gift! Protect that gift by working to manage your activities rather than your activities managing you and your marriage.
“So they are no longer two, but one.” Matthew 19:6a
Post from Rodney Wilson, LifePoint Marriages Pastor. Rodney has a passion for encouraging, counseling, and teaching men and women how to have great marriages that make Jesus famous. Rodney, and his wife Selma, have authored Extraordinary Marriage and The Parent Adventure. Rodney and Selma have two adult daughters, two son-in-laws, and in Rodney’s opinion the greatest grandson in the universe. You can connect with Rodney on Twitter and Facebook.