Friday, January 12, 2007

First Year Off

I was pointed to this article by this fellow.

It made sense to me.

In a day and age where divorce rates are phenomenal, deliberately planning time, especially in the first year of marriage, to spend time with your new spouse, seems like an amazing thing to do. But if people would do it, I think it would sow good seeds for the future of the marriage.

Some quotes
It should go without saying that the command in Deut. 24:5 is no longer binding for new covenant Christians; we are neither under the Law, nor obligated for war. However, the wisdom of a husband taking a year off of what would otherwise occupy most of his time, in order to devote it to the happiness of his wife, seems undeniable.
Cutting back during the first year shouldn't be reduced to legalism or license, but should serve as a unique contribution to the happiness of your spouse. In Deuteronomy, the word for happiness means "to cause to rejoice or to gladden." The idea is that we commit ourselves to the deepest joy of our spouse. This might include such things as making a special effort to give gifts, go on dates, enjoy romantic nights and take regular afternoon walks.
This one made me think of my brother-in-law Paul, sending my sister home for a couple weeks this fall.
Pursuing your spouse's greatest joy will also include silent sacrifice, putting their needs before your own. Paying for a plane ticket to let your wife go home to see her family or giving your husband a weekend to go to a conference with the guys are ways of serving each another by inconveniencing yourself.
Doing this doesn't always make sense from a responsibility point of view but... it is worth it.
Time isn't money and efficiency isn't the highest virtue — love is — and love can be very inefficient. A few weeks ago we got a babysitter and took an entire weekend to ourselves. This weekend occurred just before I left for an overseas trip on Sunday night. I returned on Friday to preach my first Easter sermon. Over the next two weeks I had to finalize a master's thesis, fly to Texas for an interview, defend my thesis and prepare another sermon. Oh, and there was my other part-time job.

I could have really used that weekend away to work on my thesis or sermon. From a productive standpoint it was a pretty inefficient weekend. But efficiency isn't my highest virtue. Well, at least I strive for it not to be.

In choosing to take that time off, my wife and I had one of the most intimate, fun, and insightful times we've had in a while. By taking a step back from vocational and social responsibilities at work, church, and/or school, we were able to spend more time knowing and loving one another. In turn, that led to a greater relational intimacy and understanding, which fueled our marriage for the future.
Anyways, go read the article yourself and let me know what you think. :)

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