This is not the "couch time" I had in mind, but it is a nice picture of our family. I'll refer to it as (CT) from here on out.
Early in our marriage, when we had a couple of children, we learned this concept of having a daily CT. It entails sitting down together as husband and wife and just talking and the recommended time is 15 minutes. Sounds doable, right? That's not a lot of time, but it isn't always easy to attain. Here's the thing, though. When you have toddlers toddling, and children that want to show you their latest trick or want you to play with them, it's easy to get distracted. Or if you practice "child-centered" parenting, this whole CT thing is not going to work because you'll turn your attention to your children at their every whim. Now, hear me out on this, children certainly need attention, but our marriages vitally need for us to be intentional.
When we first learned about this, we would take the time and sit down and talk about our day. Believe me, it was difficult to pull off the 15 minutes because children want your focus. With work and effort, we were successful, but it wasn't always easy.
Now we have 5 children, and they surely keep us busy. I think there were chunks of time several years back that we didn't do our daily CT, because we got busy, or distracted, or just plain forgot. We would talk together at the kitchen sink, or when they went to bed, but our desire was to model to the children how important it is to nurture our marriage. They couldn't see that if they were sleeping. I'm thankful that we learned this principle. It has helped to knit us together as husband and wife.
Couch time has morphed into what I would call "Table Talk". We tend to sit together after a meal, grab a good cup of coffee, and connect in that way. Another thing we do is clean the kitchen together after supper and talk then. Shawn's parents are famous for this and I think it's a great way to connect.
Around the same time we learned the first principle, we also heard how important it is to go on regular date nights; to keep the romance alive and to have that much-needed alone time. It seems that on this one we are not always consistent. We are happy being with the children and sharing lots and lots of family time together. We have just about every meal together with the exception of when Shawn is at work, of course. On the weekend, you can be sure we are seated at our table breaking bread 3 times a day. That is an entirely different topic, and I know there are seasons when it can't always happen, but I'm truly thankful that we are able to do it as much as we do.
Moving to England has had a profound effect on our date nights. Afterall, who would watch the kids? We had to get creative on occasion and go on a date in our home when the kids went to bed. We would watch a movie or have a special dinner. I think the move has made us even closer as a family because of all the time that is spent together.
I realized that we have to get back to basics, though, and be intentional about going on a weekly date. I talked to my DH, and he wholeheartedly agrees.
So we picked THURSDAYS. Yay!
How about you? What do you do to be intentional about your marriage?