Just 5 minutes.
Life gets difficult. Marriage can be rough at times. Put those together…
life + marriage = difficult and rough times
Life isn’t always a big mess and marriage definitely is fun…there are lots of awesome perks (wink, wink).
However, there are days when the dishwasher breaks, your two year old decides that poop makes great finger paint, every child has resorted to drama to get their point across, and you’re just trying to hold it together and keep from yelling, “Serenity now!”
Occasionally, life throws a curve ball. Something you weren’t expecting in a million years. Your spouse has cancer, your dad dies, you lose a baby, you get fired from your job, your house goes into foreclosure…
As if things weren’t spiraling downward already. Adding insult to injury, you wonder how you’ll ever make it through the onslaught of craziness that keeps coming your way.
Gerald Lund tells this story:
A Christian missionary couple were called to Africa to serve deep in the heart of the continent. When they got to the coast, they were told that they would be taking machinery to a missionary center at their outpost in Zaire.
They had a whole truckload of heavy machinery. When they got the truck completely loaded, it weighed about eight tons.
That was a problem. The road that led to where they were going passed over many rivers and many streams, and over deep ravines. The bridges were crude, they were made of logs tied together with vines.
Some of the bridges had 3T on the sign next to them meaning the limit was 3 tons. Some had 6T. None of them had 8T beside them. The truck was too heavy.
The missionary was deeply concerned, and his wife said, “What are we going to do about all that weight on those bridges? We will have to leave some stuff behind.”
The missionary said, “There isn’t anything I can do to lighten the load. I’ll just have to reinforce the bridges.” So that is what they did.
They started out, and at each bridge they would stop and, with considerable work, sometimes dangerous work because the rivers were infested with crocodiles and poisonous snakes, they would cut down trees, strengthen the bridge, and rebuild it to the point where it could carry the eight tons.
And thus they delivered the supplies.
Our lives and marriages are similar to the load of machinery these missionaries had to carry. There was no way to lighten their burden. It had to go with them. We can’t leave behind a spouse with cancer or debt or crying children filled with drama of all sorts. They have to come with us.
And so we strengthen our bridges as we go. In marriage that means we increase our spirituality. We make room for it in our lives. We lean into it so that our burdens will be eased. We draw on the spiritual reserves we’ve had with us the whole time. We use the reserves and lean even more into God, A Supreme Being, The Universe, to build up and strengthen us in the extra demanding times of our relationships.
Leaning in can sometimes feel time consuming when you have a child hanging onto your leg while you empty the broken dishwasher. Sometimes you’ve only got 5 minutes. And that’s way better than nothing….
Four 5-minute ideas to increase Spirituality in Your Marriage:
1. See the holiness in each other. Recognize how the other person is acting as Christ (or someone you admire) would. Say to yourself, “My spouse is being holy. I’m so grateful they are in my life.”
- *when they stop at the grocery store for you on the way home
- *reading stories to your children
- *making dinner
- *changing a dirty diaper
- *putting a sick child to bed
- *running carpool
- *going to work all day
- *cleaning the toilet
- *showering after being thrown up all over by your youngest child
2. Through out the day, ask yourself, “How can I be spiritual with my spouse, right now?”
The answer might be:
- Text her a scripture or inspiring quote
- Offer a prayer for him
3. For 5 minutes when you wake up or just before you go to bed, read scripture or pray together.
4. Forgive freely. Before you reunite, ask yourself, “How can I be forgiving?”
I know this isn’t a complete list, I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments:
- What are some 5-minute ways you like to bring spirituality into your home and marriage?
- When you are feeling discouraged with your spouse, how do you draw on spiritual things to help you?
- What are some things you pray for your spouse?