Quality time with your spouse, EVERY DAY

One of the biggest 'to-dos' in a marriage is often the hardest thing to find time for.  Maybe it's because you have children or because you both have demanding jobs -- or even both! -- there are always daily activities that take time away from spending personal one on one time with your spouse.  Believe it or not, spending quality time with your husband or wife is one of the things you should definitely try to put on the top of your list during the day.  Talking to your spouse while they are working or cooking dinner doesn't count.  Trust me.

Quality time might, in the long run, mean more to women than it does men.  We (women) are often more emotionally attached or emotionally drained at the end of the day.  We enjoy looking into our lover's eyes and knowing that everything is ok.  However, quality time is something the men need as well.  It makes us feel more connected to one another and creates the closeness we long for.  It's a great time to talk about your day, or just lay together in silence while watching a movie or listening to the radio. 

It's best to try to spend time with your spouse every day, for at least an hour.  I can hear some of you now saying "an hour!?  That's a long time!"...but it is completely worth in.  In fact, I listened to a Podcast last night from Bill & Pam Farrel that said 90 mins every day is the ideal time for couples to spend time together, and I totally agree.  Then once a week (or for some of us, just once a month) it is best to have a 'date night' -- even if it's at home.  For some, it's very hard to have routine date nights with a tight budget.    But what I've found is that even sitting at home, drinking some coffee together or snacking on popcorn while watching a movie....it's just as great as going out and spending money.  Mark and I spend time together every night after our little guy goes to bed.  Even if it means we have to stay up until 11 pm.  I imagine that it will get harder once we start having more children.  But you should always make that time, no matter what. 

Here's a few ways to make sure you get that quality time with your spouse:

1.Begin or end the day with a daily devotional for couples, or just by simply sitting down and having a mini bible study with your spouse. 

2. You don't always have to make it a special time with you, your spouse and God.  Take an hour or so and lay on the couch with your spouse while watching a movie or tv show.

3. Make your spouses favorite meal for them one night a week.  If you have children, wait until they go to bed and then share a nice dessert with your spouse.

4. Or, suggest (or surprise with!) a mid week dinner out one night instead of the same spouse always making dinner.  Whether you are a couple or a family, who doesn't enjoy a relaxing dinner out.

5. I heard this one from Bill & Pam Farrel:  If you have children, you know how hard it is to get quality time with your spouse (including intimate moments!).  For children old enough to count change, fill up a small jar with loose change.  Count it before hand so that you know the amount.  Dump it in the top soil of a house plant and tell your kids that if they find every single piece of change that there is (give them the proper amount) then they can have the money.  Then, stick a couple nickels in your pocket ;).  It will keep them busy for at least 30 mins and will give you time with your spouse locked in the bedroom!

6.  I heard this one from Bill & Pam Farrel as well:  If you have older children (teenagers), offer them movie tickets once a month to go hang out at the movies with friends.  This gives you a night to yourself with your spouse for at least 3-4 hours.  You also know where your teens are.

7.  Have a monthly day trip with your spouse.  You can go to a different state or just around town.  Either way, make time to spend with them for an entire day, even if it's just the weekend.

8.  Hobbies: if you and your spouse share a hobby, take advantage of it!  If you both enjoy reading, then cuddle together in the evening while you read.  If you both like photography, make one of those your day trips, or sit and reminisce while looking at old pictures.

There are so many other ways that you can take time to spend with your spouse, but the bottom line is that you need to MAKE that time.  You have to remember that before your children came along, or before you got so completely wrapped up in that job...your spouse was there in the very beginning.  Make time for them so that you keep their love flame burning.  Once you start making it a routine for a couple of weeks, it will become natural and normal to you.  And you and your spouse will have that personal time to talk about or talk through anything that you need to -- life, work, each other, the kids, your spiritual walk with Christ...anything.  The funny thing is, that you don't even have to talk if you don't want to.  Some of the best times I have are laying on the couch watching TV or a movie with my husband.  Just being close to him and feeling him next to me for more than 30 mins completely makes my day.  Sometimes it's not even laying on the couch, it's just his foot touching me or him rubbing my back.  You'll be amazed by the connection you have with your spouse when you start making quality time for them....emotionally, physically and spiritually.

How do you make time for your spouse?  What do you guys do together?  Please feel free to share.

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