I’ve had a lot of roommates. But that may be the understatement of the year. Yes, I’ve had close to 30 different roommates in my lifetime (not including my family). Some of them have been wonderful people whom I will be friends with for the rest of my life and others made me oh so happy when it was time to move! I’ve learned to live with almost anyone and I can get by just fine. That doesn’t mean I actually enjoy living with just anyone. But I can get along under the same roof with a lot of different kinds of people.
But when I chose Nate to be my husband, I didn’t see him as just another roommate opportunity. Believe me, as far as roommates go, he’s a great one! But obviously, he’s much more than that! The problem is that although it seems obvious when you say it like that, in reality, so many husbands and wives end up in a relationship that isn’t much more than roommate status. Because I know that is a very common tendency, I wanted to learn how to avoid becoming roommates instead of lovers.
I’m currently reading Kiss Me Like You Mean It by Dr. David Clarke. It’s about having passion in your marriage like the passion between Solomon and his beloved expressed in Song of Solomon in the Bible. There is a lot of great stuff in this book that I will probably share in future blogs. For today, I’ll stick with one idea from the book and that is to make time and talk to each other. Seems like a simple concept. But even after only 6 weeks of marriage, I can see how if you don’t schedule alone time to together the bulk of your conversations will be more informative and purposeful than deep and intimate. It’s easy enough to squeeze in some time to get a run down of the schedule for the week or a list of what you need at the grocery store or maybe, if you have some extra time, you can even squeek in some time to talk about what color you should paint the walls. But the conversations are usually held while you are also doing the dishes and cooking dinner at the same time and your husband is practicing guitar or watering the plants. No eye contact. No connection.
Dr. Clarke suggests scheduling time to just sit and talk for 30 minutes at least 4 times a week. They should be spent in a quiet place without distractions (no kids, phones, magazines, etc). And he recommends following his 5 steps to good talk time. I thought they were great steps to follow so I wanted to share them with you!
Step 1: Start with a brief prayer. Thank God for each other and invite him to be with you as you spend time together.
Step 2: Read your couple’s devotional. Answer the questions at the end. It’s a great conversation starter.
Step 3: What’s on your mind? Talk about daily living topics like work, family, and friends. Catch up on life. Look for a topic that might have potential for more intimacy.
Step 4: Pray together. Make a list of prayer requests and pray for 5-10 minutes. Hold hands while you pray.
Step 5. Move from prayer to conversation. Talk about some of the things that you just lifted up in prayer. These are the concerns of the heart and the things you care about the most.
Nate and I have been pretty good about having scheduled alone time most days of the week (it’s a lot easier for us than those with kiddos) but we really want to start praying at the beginning of our alone time. We think that would make our time more meaningful. Try it out! I’d love to know how it goes for you!
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