Twenty minutes isn’t really a very long time to spend doing something you know is important. This is especially true when you realize that we have 1,440 minutes given to us each day. So, what about investing 20 minutes or so a day of your 1,440 minutes in doing something for your marriage?
I’m thinking you married each other expecting to invest more than 20 minutes a day together to grow your relationship! How did your love grow in the first place, if you didn’t give each other at least that amount of time?
Anyway, that’s the challenge that Dennis Rainey from the ministry of Family Life Today made. He gave this challenge in an article appropriately titled, TWENTY MINUTES A DAY.
The following quote is part of what he wrote that got me to thinking. He was writing about the moments spent here and there doing other things that aren’t as important as growing a good marriage.
Then he wrote:
“What if we invested just a few of those moments —20 minutes, say —spending concentrated time and effort on our most important earthly relationship, our marriage?
“What if, instead of using our free time to get better at golf or photography or Cajun cooking, we used it to become a godly wife or husband? How about if we used that same amount of time to take a walk together? What if we used it just to deliberately think about how to invest in our spouse? What if we used it to brainstorm our next gift idea, to plan a romantic evening, or to choose a certain chore we could take off our spouse’s hands?”
Again, what if we used 20 minutes of our day, or even every other day to grow our marriage? Is that asking too much? It’s important to consider the sacredness of the vow we made on our wedding day. We promised to, “Have and to hold, love and to honor, in sickness and in health, till death do we part.” It’s difficult to “have and to hold” onto that, which you don’t spend much time with so you can grow your love together.
I agree with Charlie Shedd when he said:
“Marriage may be ‘made in heaven’ in the original. But the whole deal is more like one of those kits, which come knocked down for putting together. It will take some gluing here, sanding rough spots there, and hammering a bit now. It will take filing down the scratches on this side, and planning a bit on that side. Additionally, it will take carving a piece, bending this section slightly, varnishing, backing off for a frequent look, dusting, waxing, and polishing. Then at last what you have is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.”
Last night, my husband and I just sat on our back porch for a little more than 20 minutes as the sun was going down. A gentle breeze was blowing, and we simply talked to each other. It was a great time of connection in a wonderful, relaxing way. We had such a pleasant, heart-warming time. I asked him the question, “What was the highlight of your day?” That in itself started a great time of sharing that cascaded into other “highlights.”
Other Times of Investing 20 Minutes, More or Less
Sometimes we need to work through things, read things, watch things that help us grow our marriage relationship. Even at this stage of marriage —being married over 45 years, we still attend marriage seminars. We also read marriage books. This not only to helps us in the ministry of Marriage Missions, but it also helps us in our own relationship. We know God cares about the health of our marriage. This is because it is a living picture of Christ’s love for His church. So we figure we should care too.
I’m reminded of the scripture God give us in Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Gaining knowledge in how to help your marriage certainly does seem like a wise thing to do. The following is a song that emphasizes that point:
So here’s the challenge: Can you invest 20 minutes a day? Can you put that amount of time into growing your marriage to be healthier and more satisfying for both of you?
A Few Tips:
• In your devotional time, as you read your Bible, ask God to show you principles for living, which will help you to better love your spouse and honor your commitment to him or her. We are not just supposed to be Bible-believing and Bible-living followers of Jesus Christ. God, whose very name means love, can teach you how to better live with and love your spouse.
“If you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:1-22 ESV)
Did you see that? “Seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures.”
Here are a few more tips:
• Spend 20 minutes a day or so reading something about marriage on this web site. You can read quotes, articles, and testimonies. Also, you can visit recommended web sites, which might help you in your marriage. But first pray, asking the Holy Spirit, our “Wonderful Counselor” to guide you.
• Obtain a marriage book to read here and there. We recommend many of them throughout this web site. Continuing educations is a good thing. Get a MASTERS DEGREE as you study marriage.
“Honor each other with the attentive openness of the student.” (Toni Sciarra Poynter)
• Grow together through 22 minute date times you spend with your spouse: 22 MINUTES TO A BETTER MARRIAGE.
• Attend marriage seminars, retreats and such. We do. We have a list of some that are available in the “Links” part of the GROW YOUR MARRIAGE topic.
• A great book we love to recommend: Sacred Marriage written by Gary Thomas. And if you want something to read together as a couple, Devotions for a Sacred Marriage: A Year of Weekly Devotions for Couples also written by Gary Thomas. There are more listed in the links part of the SPIRITUAL MATTERS topic of this web site.
“Ask and it will be given to you seek and you will find.” That’s what we’re told in God’s word, the Bible. Ask God to show you how to grow your knowledge of how to be a better spouse and grow your marriage. He is faithful.
This blog was written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.
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