While there I was impressed with Tommy and LaDel’s marriage. The culture actually helped them build some healthy rhythms into their marriage.
They lived in Eldoret, Kenya which is just above the equator. Sunrise and sunset are about the same time year around, 7am and 7pm.
A typical day included Tommy and me getting up around 5am, having our quiet time and then he attempting to teach me Swahili.
After breakfast we headed out to either frame up church buildings or hold various meetings. Then we would call it a day and have dinner. After dinner that was it. I mean there were no distractions. No TV (this was the early 80’s in a third world country), no outdoor activities (not the safest thing to do) and nowhere to go. When the sun went down everything was locked up. They had iron gates to get onto their property and another iron gate at the front door.
But this allowed them to build in some deliberate practices into their marriage. For instance, after dinner they would typically sit on the couch and talk. Also, there was some minimal British TV (definitely not my style of humor) which they had adapted to. When there is none, even bad TV is watchable, I guess.
They also planned 2-3 day getaways. Once again, even in a culture with almost zero distractions, they were deliberate.
For the rest of us, you would think that all the deliberation that was evident during our dating time would carry over. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.
Think of all the distractions we have here in the States. We have hundreds of TV channels, Gold’s Gym, Starbucks, Sunday afternoon football, sporting events for our kids, cleaning house, and yard work.
These distractions lead to drift. The only way to overcome the drift is to be aware of the distractions and be more deliberate in your marriage.
Every marriage is different. Some have little kids, some have grown kids. Sometimes both spouses work. Schedules get complicated. Priorities shift. And drift happens.
Today is Valentine’s Day. Today you are deliberate. That’s the scary part. Too many are ready to pat themselves on the back for thinking ahead and planning a great evening. But this is just one day.
Tomorrow and every day after that the distractions will once again begin to pile up. Marriages will drift.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Are Aware of Distractions
Do Deliberate Things
You can be deliberate. The question is… Are you?