A few days ago, I shared about the importance of intentionally pursuing your spouse and infusing fun into your relationship. I challenged you to think through barriers to fun in your relationship.
What did you come up with? What are some of the obstacles, and why is it such a challenge for us?
What does the fox say?
In Song of Solomon 2:15, the writer says, “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom,” (ESV). Foxes are pests that wreak havoc in vineyards – they eat grapes, dig holes and trample vines in search of their prey. They have no regard for the vulnerability of the vines and grapes, only for their selfish appetites. Seemingly harmless and typically only 15 inches tall, they dig holes and passages that loosen the soil around vines, preventing a stable root system.
The foxes represent some deterrents that threaten to spoil their relationship between the man and woman from the Song of Solomon; the small problems that gnaw at the roots of love. If we desire to have fun and pursue each other well in marriage, we need to catch the foxes that spoil the vineyards.
In the previous post, I referenced boredom and its effect on relationships. Below are two more foxes/obstacles that often prevent us from having fun in our relationship (I will share two other foxes in another post).
1. Social Media/Technology
We live in a 24/7, information/social media/technology-obsessed culture. If we are not careful, we find ourselves sucked into the virtual world, and neglect face-to-face relationships. I know I am not alone, but I really struggle with this one. The constant barrage of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blog posts (Yikes – sorry!) become obsessions to us.
We get caught up in online relationships, status updates and photo opportunities. Our jobs are increasingly around the clock with tasks and email that can be completed from pretty much anywhere at any time. We compare ourselves with others and fall in love with our iPhones. (Check out this article by Watermark’s lead pastor Todd Wagner on our iPhone obsessions).
A few suggestions to help prevent the “fox” of social media from keeping you from investing in the fun and romance in your relationship:
- Place some restrictions on when and where you engage with technology. For example, don’t bring your phones to the dinner table and don’t bring your laptop with you to bed. In addition, make sure you pay attention to how much time you spend watching television.
- Ask for some accountability from your spouse and community.
- Ask your spouse how they think you’re doing in creating space and time for personal connections – ask them how you can improve in keeping channels open for communication. (See Proverbs 18:2)
2. Other people, including children.
If you have children, we know you love them (most of the time). If you are in community, we know you love your community (most of the time). And if you enjoy serving in your church or community, again, we know you love serving others (most of the time). Others become a fox or obstacle that can hurt our relationship when we allow them to dictate our schedule and priorities. For example, this happens when our children are younger and require lots of physical demands and time, not to mention sitters. Give yourselves some grace, but make sure you find time to prioritize your relationship even when you have young children.
Friendships and community can also keep us from prioritizing our marriage. Don’t neglect involving others in your life, but make sure you don’t allow other relationships to distract you from prioritizing date nights and fun in your marriage.
A few suggestions to help prevent the “fox” of other people from keeping you from investing in the fun and romance in your relationship:
- Ask your significant other how you are doing in this area. Honestly discuss how you are doing in prioritizing your marriage over your kids and other relationships.
- If you are lacking the funds to get a sitter, find some friends you know and trust and do a babysitting swap. This is how we do most of our date nights – Kristen watches their kids and then they watch our kids. We save $30 every date night by doing a babysitting swap with our friends.
Final thought – when you do go out on a date night and have a sitter for your children, try not to discuss your children the whole time you are out on your date night!
Discuss with your significant other the “foxes” of social media/technology and other people/children. How are you doing in prioritizing your relationship over these specific obstacles? Stay tuned: next time I will share two more “foxes” that keep us from pursuing our significant other.
Fox Picture Credit: Flickr, Ralph.Emerson1