Below is a guest post from my Mom!
My mother is a Mentor Mom for a MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) group at church and they asked her to give her insights on the question of how to keep spouses from growing apart. I thought I’d post what she wrote.
I know what you’re thinking – “Wait a minute – this has nothing to do finances!”
Maybe so, but it has everything to do with ROI! Investing in your marriage is one of the greatest investments you could ever make!
Let’s give Mom a warm Redeeming Riches welcome!!
Hey Ma – take it away!
So, how do spouses keep from growing apart?
This is a great question with very difficult answers.
But how you view the suggestions to this question will be a deciding factor to a happy and successful marriage and the difference in raising well-adjusted children.
Intentionality and Commitment.
The first suggestion is to be intentional and committed.
Both spouses must view their marriage and their time together as a priority.
Remember that your spouse was your “best friend” when you were dating, so they should remain your “best friend” after you’re married. This requires hard work and effort.
So, how can you be intentional?
Schedule date nights and keep them!
I know it’s not always easy to get a baby sitter when you want one, but try “networking” with other couples who will be available to sit for you and you in turn will be available for them.
Side note from Jason: My wife and I have done this with other couples in a similar stage of life (2 young kids at home) and it’s great! It’s nice to go out for dinner with Jen and not worry about who else we have to feed.
Keep the Right Perspective.
Perspective is easy to lose when you’re in the midst of chaotic schedules and crying children.
However, when you invest in each other, you are investing in a long term commitment.
Remember that your children will not always be with you. They grow up, move away and start their own lives.
After years of marriage - and when the kids are gone from the nest – you don’t want to look at your spouse as a stranger.
Through the years you need to create a closeness, a bonding and a togetherness between you both.
Keeping the right perspective through forgiveness will be key.
Forgiveness is a key that needs to be applied generously to each other while remembering that the Lord has forgiven us and extends His grace to each one of us.
Lastly, security is a huge key to keep your togetherness.
The world is a crazy place to live in. Make your home a “Shelter from Life’s Storms”.
Say things to each other that are uplifting and encouraging. Be there for one another when life throws the hard punches that tend to knock us off our feet.
Your home should be a place where all members can find security and a safe place to be themselves, without the knit picking and constant criticism.
Remember the old saying “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy?” Well, I would change that to say:
When Mom and Dad are happy with each other, the whole family is the happiest.
A loving relationship between Mom and Dad is the greatest security blanket that children could ever ask for!