Grace and Space, Day 14
On our honeymoon, Adam brought his computer tower and computer games and I brought books to read. People thought this was strange, but in all honesty, after coming out of a hectic season in our lives, it was incredibly refreshing to relax alone. We got plenty of time together, but Adam and I craved our “personal time” too, even on our honeymoon. I think this is perfectly healthy.
Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time for everything, including a time to refrain from embracing. I think of this as giving your spouse much-needed space, because sometimes we can “Squeeze” a little too hard.
Personal time and space is important in a marriage. It’s important to cultivate healthy interests separate from your spouse. Sometimes you both will genuinely need space.
If we look at the life of Jesus, we see He spent times teaching and preaching in the crowds, walking, talking, and eating with his close friends, and He prioritized time alone. Jesus practiced self-care, or what I like to call spirit-care.
In his book, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, Quaker Parker J. Palmer writes, “Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on the earth to offer to others.”
I call this “spirit care.” When you allow each other a “time out” from the busyness of life, you give each other permission to take care of a precious gift – your life. Without spirit care, you cannot
- serve joyfully
- truly bless your husband
- seek the grace you so desperately need
You are unable to be fully healed, fully present, fully restored, and fully loving and respectful when you don’t take the time to seek God in solitude and tend to your spirit. You can’t be effective if you aren’t stewarding your own body, heart, and spirit.
It is important to allow your husband time to pursue his interests, and also to spend time alone with God. You two can grow together in the Lord and cultivate joint interests, but you also need to remember your first love – God. Allow each other the time to care for yourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually.
It is in my alone time with God that I truly feel refreshed and restored, humbled in His presence, fulfilled by His Word and goodness, and blessed by my prayer time. It allows me to return to my husband, not only with a renewed sense of faith and a restored mind and heart, but also gives me something to talk about and share with him.
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 11:28-30 that He is the only place our souls can find rest
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Allow each other the time to seek God alone, to spend time in His restorative presence, to seek forgiveness, and to experience wholeness in Christ. Encourage one another to pursue separate interests that draw you toward God, and into a position of remembering His great love and care for you.
This is Day 14 of the 30 Dates in November Challenge 2016. Sign up here. Join us on the forums for the challenge of the day and participate in a supportive community.