We’ve all heard it said over and over again that the biggest gift that you can give someone is your time, and for some reason, mostly by default, we have our spouse on a rationing program. We seem to have time for work, kids, chores, volunteer programs at church and school, and we rarely miss out on watching that baseball or football game. We have time for so many things and for many of us the day ends with us crawling in to bed at night exhausted, having spent precious few minutes with the most important person in our life. When we consider a weekly date night with our spouse we lament there is no time left for that. How does that happen?
Remember in an earlier blog on Common Sense I spoke about the couple that had enough money to buy two packs of cigarettes a day and then complained that they didn’t have enough money to buy milk for the kids? In reality, they had more than enough money; they were just smoking the milk money. In relation to time available each day, there is no rich or poor. No one has more or less time per day. Much like the cigarette smoker, you already have the time. The question is better put, “What are we doing with the time that we have?”
How is it then that as we look back over the day or the past week, we have spent so few of those hours in meaningful relating with our spouse?
As with finances, we need to make choices. And right choices follow right priorities. The first thing that you need to do is determine what your priorities are. For example, a financial planner will tell you that savings should be a priority in your monthly budget. So they recommend taking 10% right off the top and put it into a saving program. They don’t say to wait until the end of the month and see what’s left over. That would be foolish. You take your savings off the top and then live on what’s left. Why? Because you predetermined that saving was a priority.
And isn’t that what we need to do with our most important relationship? Why give your time and energy to everything else and then give your spouse the leftovers? Doesn’t make sense, does it?
Here’s a challenge: Do you want to have your relationship with your spouse be the number one priority? Great! Commit to this: Set aside two evenings per week – two to three uninterrupted hours, for “special time” with each other. No phone calls, no emails, no TV, no ball games (you can record them!), no Face Book, no blogging, just time for each other. Later in the evening is fine, especially if you have kids. And at home is fine too. Remember: water often. Trust me. Your spouse will love you for making them your number one priority.