Marketers and advertising executives from the very inception of the television knew when the best time to reach the masses. Thats why they tagged the time from the end of dinner until bedtime as prime time. They realized right away that this was the magical time to communicate their money-making messages. During this time people would be relaxing and trying to escape from their jobs. (Those were those precious days before prime time telemarketers.)
How about you? When is the best time to communicate with your marriage partner? Not the small talk like passing someone in the office hallway. Or, like my wife and I, talking from one car to another headed in different directions from the side of the road.
When you want to truly communicate and actively listen on the feeling level, when is the best time for you and your spouse? Have you ever thought about it?
Ask any marriage therapist and they will stress how important communication is on the feeling level. The feeling level is listening to your spouses feelings and sharing your own in a comfortable environment. You remember, its what you did when you were dating.
Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.|
Ephesians 5:15-16 (NRSV)
One of my favorite verses in the Bible has to do with communication. It is in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. So how do you encourage and build others up? How do you encourage and build up your spouse?
Encouraging and building up another person is complimenting the good traits, cheering that person on, revitalizing that special someones spirit. How can we do this unless we know the struggles, the ups and downs, the victories and defeats of another person? This means we will need to find the time and the place for some one-on-one with that special one! A time to find out things like what has been one victory and one setback in your spouses life this week?
Ill give you a couple of ideas of what I believe are some prime time slots for growing more intimate as a couple.
My wife, children and I just got back from our vacation in the mountains. We stayed in a cabin in the woods six miles out of town with no phone, no television, and no computers. We all got a lot more acquainted with each other. My family will tell you that we not only survived it, but it was a stepping stone for all of us. (NOTE: This choice may be a little radical but has been known to actually bring some families closer together.)
Another prime time slot can be when you and your spouse exercise together. Please understand that by exercise I mean walking or riding a bicycle together. Walking together with my wife has always been an enjoyable time together. When we have been able to take this time together, we get to talk about problems and work off the stress from a busy day all at the same time.
Here is another radical idea! How about you and your spouse actually going to bed together at the same time? This sure seems to be tough in our house, but when I make the effort, it is always worth it. This is a great chance to talk if you havent totally exhausted yourself waiting too long or too late. My wife and I can finally talk in a relaxed and comfortable environment. (Did I mention that you should turn on the answering machine first?) After we have talked about struggles, plans and victories together, then it is the perfect time to give our thanks and our petitions to God.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
I cannot think of a better use of prime time than this: Spending more intimate time with each other, more intimate time with God, and unloading our burdens at the Masters feet.
Communication with God and our loved ones reminds me of one of the beautiful sights on our vacation in the mountains, a beautiful pond with all kinds of lifebeaver, trout, birds, and insects. If the stream that feeds this pond dries up or turns in another direction, the pond will stagnate and die. If our communication with God or our life partner stops, or if it tuns in another direction, the relationship begins to stagnate and die. The stream must take time to feed the pond, or the pond will die.
Time is precious, so dont let your prime time for intimacy dry up!