Sometimes connection is found in running errands, doing chores, and sitting on the couch catching up after a long day. Focus on the Family’s Dr. Greg Smalley believes that the trait of a healthy and thriving marriage is quality time.
Greg cautions men especially to watch the work-life balance. “We need to recognize that part of our value is to provide for our family. We always have to be asking ‘Is this in balance?'”
Greg says a strong marriage takes commitment and sacrifice – your relationship with God is number one, but your spouse needs to come second. “Kids can’t be number two, friendships can’t be number two, work can’t be number two. That’s always hard because there’s always more work to do, but the message I want my wife to hear from me is that we matter. I want her to know that she’s a big deal to me, more than anything else on this earth besides my relationship with Christ.”
Greg offers these suggestions:
• Get your own heart right before approaching your spouse with a concern.
• Look for what your spouse is truly saying and wanting.
• Be open to accepting your spouse’s influence – God may be using them to establish healthy boundaries and balance in your life.
• Recognize that intimacy takes quality time, and that means saying no to other things in order to cultivate that.
• The process of understanding each other matters more than the end result. Greg shares that when his wife Erin feels heard and validated by him, the connection is established and becomes more important than the short-term decision that needs to be made.
• Have a daily connection, a weekly date night, and an annual getaway.