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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Do You Have Time To Be Married?

This is the last chapter in our take on James MacDonald's "Five Logs on the Negativity Fire", applying each one specifically to marriage.

We've been through the Critical Eye, Wrong Expectations, Negative Friends, and Unhealed Hurts over the last four Wednesdays.

Now...let's talk about Bad Time Management.

Marriage is all about time. It's about building and nurturing a relationship with that one special person while we're trying to make a living, maintain a household, and grow a family.

It was so much easier during courtship! We pushed everything else aside. Well, I did.

But while an employer may put up for a while with an inefficient and starry-eyed worker who's deeply in love, that forbearance usually starts to dry up after you get back from the honeymoon.

Likewise, creditors, unreasonably, still want to be paid.

So married life takes its place in the conga line. You do what you can together when you can...oh, wait, it's Super Bowl Weekend...we'll do some stuff together next weekend, right?

Oh, you're going to the antique fair?

Well, another time.

And I haven't even mentioned kids. Or in-laws.

Fortunately, time management in marriage is pretty straightforward.

Your spouse comes first. period. Full stop.

That means that unless you're bleeding out, if your husband needs to talk to you about a bad day, you can't defer him. Not even to watch Downton Abbey.

And if your wife really wants to clean the gutters before the autumn rains come, that's where you're obligated to be. Even if the World Series is on.

Our society idolizes children, and they are certainly important, but they will not be there for you forever. Your spouse will.

Cleave unto him (or her),

Your in-laws may say the blood comes first.  Well, sure. "One flesh" includes veins, rights? And there's blood in veins, eh?

Your spouse comes first. That is the essential time management of marriage.

You've got to give that time with a generous heart, not begrudging the TV shows you missed. You have to trust your mate not to deliberately try to interfere with something you enjoy.

If he or she needs you...you're needed. And you promised.

Easy to say...but how do you live it?

There's no simple, bulleted list to follow here. There's no set of exercises.

This is something that has to be a gift. It's a gift that you promised in the months leading up to the wedding, and you formalized it before God, community, family, and your spouse.

The one thing you can do is hand on the time, with a smile. Liten with your whole heart, and help with a committed soul.

You promised.

This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday, a compendium of really cool posts on marriage. If you click on the logo below, you'll be taken to www.messymarriage.com, which is the springboard to a wealth of information.


  1. Hey Andrew ... isn't it amazing how slowly but surely, everyone and everything begins to come before this most sacred earthly relationship. What ARE we thinking?

    Time to do a bit of an about face, yes? Especially with our time online ...

    1. Absolutely, Linda. I wonder how many husbands or wives come home, give a perfunctory kiss or not even that...and dive into Facebook?

      We need to foster a spirit of situational awareness in marriage, because the days we have are numbered...and once lost cannot be called back.

  2. Andrew, This just made me smile. I love the humor you use, but also your straight-forward, no nonsense directive. Because it is truth. Your spouse comes first. Great advice for married couples.

    1. Kim, thank you so much. I have seen so many couples make time for everything else, taking the attitude that "well, he/she is here, after all, so it's got to be OK".

      They don;t realize that they inflict the death of a thousand cuts with each moment stolen from the person at one's side, the person to whom those moment rightfully belong.

  3. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, Andrew. I even planned to do a short video spot on the topic, but couldn't get all my ducks in a row! (Crazy, renegade ducks!) Anyway, I'm intrigued by the series you've been doing. I like James MacDonald, but wondered, is this from a book he wrote or an article or something else? Thanks for always providing thought-provoking and compelling subjects on marriage, my friend. Sorry that it took me over a week to swing by. I've been having computer shoulder and wrist issues, so I've had to limit my time at the keyboard. Not an easy thing for me! How are you doing physically, by the way? Still amazing your doctors?

    1. It's good to see you back here, Beth - dastardly ducks and all!

      This series was inspired by five minutes of his TV show that I caught one morning. I wrote down the "five logs of negativity" on a handy piece of cardboard.

      And it will continue, with five positive ways to light and warm the marriage.

      Sorry about the computer shoulder/wrist stuff. I had carpal tunnel once, and it was sheer misery. I hope you're doing well in all respects - you have been in my prayers.

      As for me, yeah, the docs are puzzled, and one wants to write a paper on me. That's an honor...I think. It has been rough, and has been getting rougher, so I'm pushing myself harder. If I can survive my own regime of self-discipline, so malignancy is going to take me.