Not sure about your life, but ours seems to be busier and more hectic in the summer than at any other time. Our family motto could never be “Lazy days of summer.” We do, however, want to incorporate some “Summer Lovin'” into our marriage and family. With summer right around the corner we wanted to take the opportunity to share some simple ideas about how to increase the lovin’ in your marriage. Not just sexual steaminess but the all around fun you can have together. It’s important to keep in mind that friendship is one of the most important components of a great marriage so here are a few ideas to get you thinking about how to become better friends.
1. Create a summer bucket list.
Our family is joining up with the people over at The Happy Family Movement for their summer bucket list challenge. We’ve got our list ready, and busy or not, we are determined to have fun together, laugh together and enjoy one another. Time passes quickly and although we have lots of important things clambering for our attention, we know that our marriages and families deserve the best we have to offer. So, go ahead, come up with as many summer fun ideas you can and get crackin’ on some summer entertainment.
2. Refuse to over-schedule.
As we wrote above, our summer months are often more hectic and schedule filled than the typical school year. This year is no exception. Justin is participating in a 3-hour credit class toward his master’s degree and Megan has a plethora of people to see and places to go throughout the summer. Figuring how to fit it all in is never an easy task. What do we do? We ensure not to over-extend ourselves too much by ensuing there isn’t too many things to do in one week or weekend. Overall, we do our best to practice the two evening a week principle: Don’t be away from the spouse/family any more than 2 evenings a week. In the end, this means we have to say “no” to a lot of people looking for our time. It’s not always easy to say no, but we do what’s best for our own personal family relationships first. All other relationships – as important as they are to us! – always come second.
3. Minimize screen time and maximize conversation time.
It used to be that there was never anything good on TV during the summer. Networks finally caught onto that and have started airing new shows that are only found in the summer. Well, we’ve placed just enough things on our bucket list (see #1) that will help keep us away from too much tv time. Not only that, but we’ve also committed to taking opportunities to read/discuss specific books through the summer instead of mindless television entertainment. Books on marriage, friendship, etc. will be more fruitful, and they’ll also help us with the 8-10 week Marriage Small Group we’re planning to host this Fall! This will be very helpful for us to…
4. Set aside time to work on your marriage.
Marriage is hard. Writing about marriage isn’t easy either. And as much as we love talking with others about marriage face to face, we want to be sure we have actual wisdom and practical advice we can share with others at any and every opportunity. So this summer we’re spending a great deal of time reading marriage books, listening to messages on marriage, talking through “hot topic” questions, and figuring out how to best apply the same advice we willingly give others within our own marriage. It’s never easy. It always takes more energy than we think it does. But no matter how great our marriage is, it’s always better after a season of intense marriage-focused attention.
Does your summer often look as busy as ours? What do you do to help keep your attention on your marriage and family instead of other relationships? And if you have a specific marriage book (or message series) you’d like to recommend, feel free to let us know below.