Are you looking for things to do together as a married couple this summer? Why not try walking together? You may not think that sounds like much fun; but try it anyway. You may find that you enjoy it more than you initially think you would. We have. It’s a good way to connect.
Now, some couples power walk together where they walk fast to maximize the exercise part of their walk. And that’s fine. It is good exercise. But we’re trying to encourage you here to consider casually walking together. If your neighborhood isn’t a good one to walk through, then make your way to a different location and walk from there. Or it may be that you are tired as the evening draws to an end. As a result, taking a walk together is the last thing you want to do. And that’s fine too. Look for other times you can walk together. Even if you’re only able to do so once a week, then make that your goal.
We’ve heard of couples that meet each other for lunch and then go out for a quick walk before or after eating and then scooting back to work. Just be creative. Pray about it and see if you can’t figure out some times that you can spend this activity together.
The Importance of Walking Together
Ron Edmondson talks, in one of his blogs, about the importance of the walks he and his wife take together. He says, “As we walk we talk about our day. We debrief our life.” And that can be especially important because it keeps them emotionally connected to each other. Ron continues:
“Cheryl and I walk together almost every day. I’m typing this after we returned home from an evening walk. When weather and time permits, we walk hours and miles together. We’ve now become ‘mall walkers’ when weather isn’t conducive to being outside.
“As an introvert, I talk more—and am more comfortable doing so—when I am being physically active at the same time. Our communication is strengthened when we have an activity we do together regularly. To protect your marriage, take a walk together.” (From Ron’s article, “7 Words to Protect Your Marriage”)
The important thing is that you walk with a purpose. You want to enjoy the exercise and the weather, but it’s also important to make sure you connect together emotionally too. Even if you just walk quietly together hand-in-hand—that’s okay too. Just make sure you schedule some “talking” connection times, at other times, as well. (This can include walking, or not.) The important thing is that you both enjoy your time with one another.
Finding the Best Time
Now for us, summer isn’t always the best season for us to walk together. We live in the desert southwest part of the country. It can get pretty hot here in the summertime. (Actually, you can just about fry an egg on the sidewalk in mid-afternoon.) But many times in the early morning or later evening times (especially after a monsoon rain) it’s a bit cooler to walk. And then there are the other 8-9 months of the year where the weather is very comfortable for walking together.
However, for many of you, summertime is the best time of the year for walking. So, take advantage of it. Look for windows of opportunities to spend some time walking together. And even though there isn’t much left of the summer season, it’s still a good time to start (if you haven’t been doing this already).
Our dear friend, Debi Walter, from The Romantic Vineyard wrote a while ago about their summertime walks. She gives a challenge that we want to share with you. We believe it’s something that can be good for your relationship. And we hope the following will inspire you and your spouse to take some good walks (as we are doing). Debi writes:
Intentionally Walking Together
When was the last time you and your spouse took a walk together? What about taking the time to hold hands and breathe in the beauty? Walking provides a rhythm for the doldrums. It can awaken long forgotten dreams. Plus, it can stimulate conversations you didn’t know you wanted or needed to have.
Walking is how most of the world in generations past spent much of their time because it was the only option available. In this day of driving in our own cars, listening to our own music and filling every minute with texts, emails, to-do lists and the next video game challenge, it’s no wonder we’ve forgotten how to just go for a walk.
What if we make the time to take a walk together? Not to see how many steps we can add to our Fitbit or to get to where we’re going, but to walk just for the sake of being together. As you do, purpose to stop and talk to a neighbor. Pick a wild flower or two, skip a rock on the pond or feed the ducks. Make it a leisurely time to relax and unwind together. Oh, and leave your electronic devices at home. You might miss a beautiful sunset.
Join Us in Walking Together
In support of this particular type of “together time” Paul Byerly (of The Generous Husband ministry) says:
“Taking a walk together is a great way to nurture your marriage. Walking hand in hand is romantic and provides non-sexual touch. You have time for good conversation, and many men find it easier to talk when they’re moving and not getting constant eye contact. [Hey, that’s also what Ron Edmondson said! There must be a pattern there.] Why not start doing an evening walk as often as you can? Try tapping into the power of ritual by doing your walk the same time each day, such as after dinner or just before dark.”
So, why not? We can’t think of a good reason. As a matter of fact, here’s another reason why walking together has its benefits for you and for your marriage. It’s one of 7 that Mark Merrill gives. (You can read the other 6 by going into the linked title.):
“It’s a good thing for you (and for your kids to see) to make time alone for each other a priority. But time can be hard to come by. A short walk at least clears the decks for a little while, and shows your kids where your priorities are.” (Mark Merrill, from the article, 7 Benefits to Taking a Walk with your Spouse)
We totally agree. Of course, for some of you, that will involve a babysitter or a family member helping you to get away for a short time. Or maybe you can trade babysitting favors with a neighbor. You watch their kids while they walk. And they watch your kids while you walk. Those are at least a few options. We hope you can because it sure is worth it! We can testify to that.
Below is a link to an additional idea that my husband and I have done together. It includes taking a different type of walk around the neighborhood.
The most important part in all of this is that we spend this time together with our spouse. Walking, prayer walking together, and spending the time together in these ways give us great opportunities to casually connect.
On this matter, here’s something to seriously consider:
“Why is it that when we were dating, we focused so much time and attention on each other? But after a few years of marriage, we focus on everything else. The fact is, we desperately need each other. The Bible calls us not only to love each other but to take delight in it!” (Gary Chapman)
So enjoy walking together; take delight in loving and being with each other in this simple way! We will; and we hope you will too.
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
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