There are TV shows, websites and dating services that encourage married people to find companionship. Their mates are too busy or uninterested to spend time with them, so they seek attention elsewhere.
Like most men, when my former husband had time off, he spent it in his chair - reading, watching TV, surfing the internet and playing electronic games.
I would sit with him to watch TV shows that he was interested in and which did not bore me to death or inflict my soul with grief. However, I actually felt unappreciated, taken for granted and neglected.
I was reduced to cook, housekeeper and a roommate. We had rare times of companionship, but no real relationship. I thanked my husband for every moment he did spend talking to me.
However, I eventually started to seriously communicate that I needed more of his time and attention, especially as our children left home for college. He called me demanding and resented me for wanting him to spend quality time with me.
He ended up divorcing me and relishing his time alone, free from marital expectations and relationship. A few years later, God brought a new man into my life.
He too was preoccupied with work and hobbies; although he obviously cherished and appreciated me. I often felt lonely in this relationship too and wondered if all couples experienced this drought of affection and attention.
I started making specific requests for his undivided attention and gave him ideas on how I would like to spend that time. He made sporadic attempts to give me a few moments of time in his busy schedule.
It took about 5 years for him to realize that he enjoyed our times together as much as I did. He started to schedule time for me into his calendar without me having to ask, and he kept those appointments.
We took strolls in nature, sat on the porch rockers, did chores around the house together, snuggled in his chair or stretched out on the couch or bed to talk for a few minutes now and then throughout the week.
We went on dates to local restaurants, attended city functions together, sat together at extra-curricular church events, started regular devotions together, read the same books and conversed about them, spontaneously discussed current events, and shared what we were learning in our daily quiet times.
Nothing extravagant or expensive, just frequent little moments of togetherness every day that meant so much to both of us. He stopped taking me for granted and noticed when I needed help.
Over the years, he increased these little thoughtful, nurturing gestures that I cherish. He opened car doors, carried heavy boxes, engaged me in conversations throughout the day, told me frequently that he loved me, and complimented me on my outfits and hair.
Whenever he went to the refrigerator for a snack or drink, he offered to get me something too. When he had time, he often asked if I needed help with a chore or fixing a meal.
He carried in the groceries and took them out of the bags to make it easier for me to put them away. He even started writing me love notes when he sent me his Bible verses to make slides for his Sunday sermon.
Our love flourishes under this constant state of blessing one another with thoughtful gestures of kindness and concern. We grow more in love with the Lord and one another each and every day.
Father God, thank You for a husband who dwells with me with understanding and does not view my requests for attention as demands and unrealistic expectations - a husband who learned to appreciate and cherish me and our times together.
Thank You for using us as an example to younger couples and engaged couples; so they too can learn to cherish each other and not to take one another for granted. Make us a light in the world of darkness and use us to do Your will with every moment of our life.
Thought for the Day:
Taking each other for granted is never acceptable behavior; instead, constantly appreciate one another and share acts of love and kindness at every opportunity.