I did something the other day that I never should have done. I took my eyes off the road for one second…well maybe more than one…to grab my purse that had fallen off the seat. In that one split second I ran my car up the sidewalk and hit a tree! The good news is I was uninjured, as evident by the fact that I am able to form words on a page. My car was not so fortunate, and neither was that poor tree (my apologies to tree huggers everywhere).
Obviously taking our eyes off the road while behind the wheel can put us as well as others in danger. It’s important to keep our focus while driving for the safety of everyone. The same can be said in our marriage relationships. Quite often we unintentionally allow the daily distractions of life to steal away our focus and the damage that results can be seen in our marriages.
When I think about the times that I have been testy and argumentative towards my spouse, I have discovered that my poor attitude typically followed a prolonged period of busyness. If my husband and I neglect to connect with one another on a regular basis, we become unbalanced and unfocused. Sooner or later, one or both of us is bound to lose control of our emotions and crash.
Most couples today are far too busy. In fact, our very culture esteems busy people. It can become a badge of honor to work long hours, serve in several ministries, or have your kids involved in multiple sports. Our weekends and evenings are no longer a time to rest and reconnect; instead we tend to fill up every waking moment. It’s so easy to become distracted by everything on our plate that we lose focus of our priorities.
My husband and I are no different. Though we are now empty-nesters, we have a full and busy life serving at our church and playing with our grandchildren. Please don’t get me wrong…it‘s all good stuff. It is important to be an involved parent and to serve your neighbor. We just need to intentionally slow down and keep it all in balance.
If you spend less and less time invested in your marriage because of life’s demands and distractions, you may need to examine where you are over-extended and make the necessary changes to re-prioritize your relationship. You may also need to consider if you are simply avoiding time with your spouse due to unresolved issues. If so, I recommend that you have an honest dialog with your spouse to clear the air. Often a qualified life coach or counselor can help you repair unresolved issues. The Marriage Resource (themarriageresource.org) exists for the specific purpose of helping couples flourish in their marriage relationships. So don’t hesitate to take advantage of the amazing resources available to you and reach out for assistance.
Another important resource for success in marriage is the Word of God. If you are anything like me, your spiritual life could benefit from some quality time spent reading God’s Word. This is a central point of focus for the Christian marriage. The scripture provides the roadmap to follow in marriage and without it we can easily get lost. I truly believe a marriage without God at the center is a marriage without focus. And we all know where a lack of focus leads us. My advice: Keep your eyes on Jesus, your marriage, and the road. You will be blessed, and you probably won’t run into any trees!
“So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything that God has for us.” Philippians 3:15