He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31
Through our work with people praying for healing in their marriage with Rejoice Marriage Ministries, we hear stories of what transpired in a marriage that led to separation or divorce. Often, a person will say, “I had no idea there was a problem. We just drifted apart.”
It can be so easy to get busy with daily life that our marriage takes a backseat to other priorities. One of the positive things that came out of 2020 was seeing people spend more time at home, outside walking or even just talking with each other.
Busyness seems to be something we look to achieve rather than something we want to avoid.
It is okay to press pause on the busyness of life and shift your focus. It is not only okay but also necessary. Jesus took time to be alone and recharge, so why do we think it isn’t essential for us?
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone. Matthew 14:22-23
You may recognize that your marriage needs a reset right now. That is going to look different for each couple. We must be aware of our schedules and the subtle things that can fill our time. Is meaningful time with your spouse secondary to many other things? How can you press pause on less important things and focus on your marriage?
The things filling your schedule may be good. They may be holy things. But if they are contributing to a life of hustle and detracting from the time you can spend rebuilding your marriage, it may be something that needs to be put on pause.
A couple of years ago, we left a church we had been in for over 20 years. My husband and I were very involved in several ministries. We loved serving together. When we changed churches, we were in the midst of several important things that needed our attention. My desire would have been to jump in at our new church and get involved. Instead, we purposefully took a break from serving to keep our focus where it needed to be for that short season.
Pressing pause doesn’t mean you stop serving, working, or gathering with other people. It isn’t a permission slip to become isolated. Instead, it is permission to simply press pause and refocus for a short time.
What are some things you and your spouse can do in a season of pause?
Go outside – Nothing refreshes me like being outdoors. I’m not talking camping; that would do anything but refresh me! I am talking about leaving my phone inside and sitting in the backyard listening to the birds. Take a walk. Look at nature around you.
We took my mom to a restaurant on the beach near our house. She had not been down to the pier in quite a while. It was as if she was seeing the ocean and the sand for the first time. Her surroundings energized her.
Connect – Don’t press pause on one thing and allow something else to creep in and fill that space subtly. Pressing pause and then spending the weekend binge-watching Netflix may not be fulfilling. When you enter a season of pause, be purposeful about connecting with your spouse. You two can decide what that looks like. It may look like taking a bike ride together or having overdue deep, meaningful conversations.
Prayer and Bible Study – The most important thing you can do during a season of pressing pause is dive into more profound prayer and Bible study. It seems like when we are in a season of busyness, one of the first things to go is spending time with the Lord. Time with the Lord is where we need to be in every season of life.
Ask the Lord to show you ways you can refocus so proper attention is given to your marriage.