Take time to focus on your spouse

Published 6:51 pm Friday, February 27, 2015

Gale and I are about to celebrate a most wonderful time in our lives—our thirty-seventh wedding anniversary!  As I hear about the recent snow and ice in north Georgia, it brings to mind that cold Friday morning in 1978, with ice hanging from the pines in Statham, Georgia, when we promised our devotion to each other for life.  We were both teenagers at the time and neither of us probably knew nearly as much about life as we thought we did, but we knew enough to be determined to stick together no matter what life might present to us.

When I look back at the small salary that I made—even when both of my jobs were considered—it seems impossible that we could keep the lights burning and food on the table, yet with God’s blessings, we did.

Hand-me-downs were popular items in our home and coordinating colors was a foreign concept to us, but we were not bothered by such things.

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I recall buying bath towels from a mail order company and making payments on them until they were paid for (I’m not really sure why we did that.  I think it was an impulse purchase from an advertisement that we saw).  Nevertheless, we always knew the importance of living within our means, and we still abide by that principle after all those years—and it still works.

Even with the passing of several decades together and an abundance of various experiences endured as a couple, we still have not completed the journey of getting to know each other.

During our current phase of life as we grow older, there is still more to be learned about our relationship, about love, and about growing as a couple.  And many of those lessons can only be mastered by taking time to cease from other distractions long enough to focus on each other.  Some of the most important things that we need to hear from each other are the things that are never said; important things that too often get drowned out and ignored because of the whirlwind lifestyles that we live.

Oftentimes simple things carry much more value than they appear to on the surface.

This past Valentine’s Day was a bit different for Gale and me.  All the children were out of town, so it was unusually quiet at our house.  Instead of going to a restaurant for the special occasion, we chose to fix something simple at home.  I did the outside cooking and she did the rest; she even topped it off with candle light to add an extra spark to our meal.  Over supper we had opportunity to focus on each other—to talk about whatever we wanted to without interruption.  Those special times in which a couple can focus exclusively on each other build strength in marital relationships; it can make strong relationships stronger and begin to bring healing to those that are bruised.

If you are trying to grow your marriage by only pumping more money and things into it, you are barking up the wrong tree.  Instead, focus more on your spouse.  It might bring a positive change to your life and a smile to your face.  Proverbs 5 offers these words of wisdom:  “May you rejoice in the wife of your youth” and “May you ever be captivated by her love” (verses 18 and 19, New International Version).