Who's ready for Spring? After weeks of endless snow and temperatures below freezing, I'm ready to see some beautiful green grass and flowers. As the temperatures start to rise, I know it won't be long before Spring arrives. Spring also makes me think of cleaning. What projects need finished and what projects I want to start.
But there's one area I want to concentrate on “cleaning up” this year – my marriage. I don't know about you, but my marriage goes through stagnate times. Times that I feel like we're at a standstill and just need a jump start to get things going again.
Spring brings renewal.
Spring brings refreshment.
Spring brings new life.
So while I'm cleaning our house and getting ready for Spring, I'm going to do some “Spring Cleaning” in our marriage too. Will you join me? Here are some practical ways we can spruce up our marriages.
- Pick-up the clutter. What are you tripping over in your marriage? Is it too much time on the internet? Too much time playing a game on your phone? What about too much cleaning? I know I'm guilty of cleaning to the point that I miss the after dinner conversations and play time. Whatever it is that's taking your time away from your husband – get rid of it!! Get rid of all the things that are distracting you. Don't just pile it over in the corner, hoping no one will see it. It's still there. And your spouse can see it. Pick it up and put it away properly – by changing your actions.
- Sweep away the dirt and cobwebs. This is strictly superficial. What has come between you? Are there things in your life that keep you from growing closer to each other? Just like the dust on our shelves, there are things in our marriages that get neglected. What area have you been neglecting that you need to dust off? Don't sweep it under the rug either!! That only moves the issue, it doesn't deal with it. Sweep it up and throw it out!!
- Deep clean each room. Now that you've picked up the clutter and dusted off some of the superficial areas in your marriage, it's time to start deep cleaning. This time we're going to take it room-by-room and really dig deep. Take some time to really dive into those areas that need more than sprucing up. This will include serious heart-to-hearts with lots of talking from both of you. This will not take a few minutes or even a few hours. In fact, it may take days or even weeks. These are areas where the issues have been building and building for years sometimes. Just as when you deep clean a room, you will have to take these issues in small chunks – chipping away at the dirt, clutter and grime that has grown here. Don't get frustrated. This is the longest process – especially if the issue goes deep, which they usually are. How can you do this? Prayer – lots of it – will help you remain focused during this step. I know how easily I get distracted when I have to clean a room that seems like it will take hours to clean. I'd rather give up and move on to something easier. Don't get distracted or move on until the issues in that room are resolved. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it!
- Open the windows. Now that you have cleaned up your marriage it's time to “air it out.” I love being able to open the windows in the house and have a nice spring breeze blow through. It makes the house so fresh and pleasant – almost peaceful. That's what open communication can do for your marriage. Open Communication is important in a marriage, especially after you have worked through those deep issues that festered over the winter months (or years). Making a point to talk openly with your spouse about your feelings and the issues that will continue arise is so important. Don't bottle things up. Pick a time each day or week that you can spend talking with each other about issues that have come up. It will keep your marriage fresh and peaceful.
- Enjoy the sunshine. Just like anyone, sunshine does my heart and emotions good. I seem more down during the dreary months of winter, so I gladly welcome the sunshine when it comes. I enjoy going for walks with my family, watching them ride their bikes and just soaking up the sun rays in hopes that they will carry me through the dreary ones. Now that you've done the spring cleaning in your marriage, it's time to enjoy each other again. If you've created a distance between each other in the winter months (aka the difficult and dreary times), it may take some time until you become comfortable with each other again. Learn ways you enjoy each others company. Learn how you can make your spouse happy. And simply enjoy each other again – like you did when you were first dating! Take walks holding hands. Make a point to kiss each other whenever you go into the same room. Whatever it is…enjoy each other!!
Spring Cleaning your marriage can be fun and enjoyable. But, much like cleaning your home, it can also drudge up dirt and grime that you'd rather overlook. DON'T!! Keep at it. Cleaning isn't always neat and pretty. In fact, most times I come out covered in dirt and sweat. It takes days – even weeks sometimes – to see the full effect of your efforts. But don't give in. Don't stop halfway either. If you start this process, you owe it to yourself – your marriage – to finish.
It's not neat and it often smells.
But, it's worth it.
So worth it.
What areas of your marriage need some Spring Cleaning?