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Just Do It

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

It was around the 20-year mark and our marriage was in trouble. We had young kids, I had two jobs and I’d recently gone through burnout and our communication was not good. At the time, my husband was not keen on the idea of a marriage course but I kept running into a couple who were friends of friends and very experienced marriage course trainers in Victoria and Tasmania.

One day at a birthday party they sat opposite us and encouraged us to do one of their courses. I told them that we were both so busy it was very unlikely that would happen. We eventually did one of their courses which was great and helped us a lot—it’s beneficial to find out how our other half thinks (more on that next time). However, at that time, faced with little communication or hope, I asked them from their wealth of experience in their own marriage and hundreds of others, what the one thing they would recommend as key for a couple to stay together. It took only a moment and the wife told us the importance of ‘a weekly date’.

I wondered how on earth with our busy schedule and with young kids at home, how that would be possible. The advice they gave us, which we eventually put in place, was probably a major key for what kept us together during that difficult time.

I had a chat with the kids (they were about eight and four years old at that time), to tell them that Saturday mornings would now be Mummy and Daddy’s time and that they would have lots of snacks and a lovely movie to watch on the TV. The instructions continued that only if there was a fire or a flood or some other emergency, could they disturb us but other than that they were not to come and visit Mummy and Daddy. It took a little while but eventually the kids got it and hubby came to the party. We still have our Saturday morning date ritual and I’ve noticed that my daughter, now married 3 ½ years with a toddler and another on the way, creates weekly date times for her and her husband. Modelling something like this for our children is very healthy.

Think back to the days before your wedding day, to the exciting fun times you had when you were dating. You only had eyes for each other but then after the wedding, the kids, the never-ending bills and stresses, somewhere you lost each other. Perhaps it’s time to once again spend some time together. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (paraphrased) tells us that two are better than one, for they get a good reward for their toil. A man and a woman are a complete package as a married couple—the male with a logical brain getting the job done added to the intuitive brain of the female, seeing the unseen. If those two opposites work together, then it can be pretty powerful.

In James 4:8 (paraphrased), we know that as we draw near to God, He in return draws close to us. So here we have a blueprint for time with those that matter to us. You and I need to do the drawing near, or going towards, or taking the first step. In other words make a move towards your spouse, friend, neighbour, parent or anyone that you care about. Don’t wait for them, you might be waiting a long time!

You might be saying ‘Who’s got time to do that? My life is too pressured!’ Let me say to you start small – try a bite-size goal. Think about the time you make for others in your life. Your friends, your kids. Isn’t your spouse worth a little chunk of your busy life?

Perhaps some of you are thinking how does a person do that through the emotional pain? Let me say to you that avoiding the situation is making things much worse. For me, things were going into a deep pit so someone had to make a move and that someone had to be me (it might just have to be you too).

That small change we made to commit to a weekly Saturday morning date eventually led to us reconnecting, doing some marriage courses, reading books that explained our very different love languages and here we are in our 36th year of wedded bliss. (Not perfect and there are still things that from time to time need to be worked through but we are both committed to do that now, whereas at that time it could have very well ended).

It’s time for you to do something. Focus on the Family Australia have a great online workshop I would recommend to you. I’m running an online group coaching called Marvellous Marriages starting soon.*

Do something. Just take a bite-size step of a small goal.

As Nike says: Just Do It!

God bless, Peta

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*Marvellous Marriages is an online group coaching event

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