We all have the same 24 hours in a day and how we choose to spend that time is for the most part, up to us. We all have things that have to be done, like work, sleep and eating, but how we spend the rest of the day is our own choice. I see people filling their time with a lot of projects and activities then saying that they don't have a single minute to sit down or spend time with their kids and their spouse. They say that if something is a priority to you, you will make it happen, and I believe that to be true. With a little rearranging and sacrificing, you can make time for the people and things in your life that matter most.
I recently had a friend and marriage counselor share with me that she challenges couples to spend 15 minutes of uninterrupted time together daily. This time should be distraction free meaning no phones, TV, or other electronics and no personal or house projects. 15 minutes is totally doable and most days you could probably give your spouse more of your day than that. Today I'm only asking you to commit to five minutes a day, with the challenge to go above and beyond that time if you can.
For seven consecutive days, I'm challenging you and your spouse to spend five minutes (or more) connecting with each other. This challenge is for every couple, whether you spend a lot of time together already or feel like you never get a minute to talk. No matter what stage of life or situation you find yourself in, the goal is to take those five minutes and connect more intentionally with each other. My hope is that by taking this challenge and consciously seeking out a few minutes of time to spend together, you will discover pockets of time in your life that you could be giving to each other on a more regular basis or recognize things that are taking up your time but don't matter as much to you as your marriage does and can be eliminated. Five minutes, seven days, that's just over half an hour out of your entire week, you can do it!
After the seven day challenge is over, I would love to hear that you continue to set aside time for your marriage each day. Don't limit yourself to just five minutes each day! On those days when life is chaotic, five minutes can make a world of difference. And on days when you have more time to give, give it, even if that means setting aside other things that you wanted to get done and taking the opportunity to connect with your spouse instead.
I asked Elise of Elise Creates to put together a fun printable you can use to kick off the challenge, you'll find the link to download it at the end of the post. Simply cut it out, fold it and attach it to a Take 5 candy bar and leave it somewhere for your spouse to find. Then follow up to make sure they're on board and if they haven't already eaten the treat, maybe they'll share it with you during your first five minutes of time together.
Ideas for Finding More Time in Your Day for Your Marriage
Wake up earlier - Start your day off with some quiet time together. Waking up early, even just by a few minutes, can be a sacrifice but it's one that will be worth it. Sit down and enjoy your favorite drink together before your day gets started, enjoy breakfast at the kitchen table if you have extra time, or even just cuddle in bed and talk until your real alarm goes off.
Stay up later - This is usually my preference, but my husband falls asleep really early, so it's not always the best option for us. If you are night owls, it might be the ideal time to spend together, especially during these summer months when the weather is so nice. Sit outside on your deck or on the roof, lay out a blanket under the stars or go for a late summer night walk.
Grab lunch - I really love lunch dates. When I was still working full time, Joe would often come home for lunch on my days off. His lunch break was always right after I put the kids down for a nap, so I'd make us something to eat as soon as they were in bed and we'd eat together before he had to go back to work. By the time he drove home and back, he only had about 20 minutes to spend with me, and using nap time for something other than work isn't something I tried to do often, but it was worth it. On days when my mom has the kids, I'll take advantage of the opportunity to meet Joe somewhere closer to work to eat lunch.
Let the kids play - Kids are one of the greatest blessings and can bring a lot more joy and laughter to your home and your family. But if you focus all of your attention on your kids and forget to make time for each other and your marriage relationship, the entire family could suffer the consequences. Let the kids play in the yard or at the park, and sit off to the side talking to each other. You'll obviously still keep an eye on them while you do.
Go for a walk - We love going on walks together, preferably late at night. We'll add a quick walk to the end of our date nights, or put the kids in the stroller and talk while we push them on our favorite trail.
Share dessert - We love making a treat together after the kids are in bed and talking in the kitchen while we enjoy it. These Cookie Skillets are our very favorite and are fun to cook on the grill during the summer or a cozy treat for the oven during the colder months.
I will be hosting the official Take 5 Challenge on Instagram next week, June 18-24. I plan to host more challenges in the future and will update this portion of the post when those happen so you can join in if you stumble upon the post at a later date than it is posted. Feel free to take the challenge any time you feel your marriage needs it, and share your experience with me here in the comments of the post or in a message to me via e-mail or social media.
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography