"Forced" to Enjoy One Another

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What could you do today to more deeply enjoy your spouse's company?

A cheerful heart has a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15, NASB

We recently completed what many thought could never be done: a nine-month-long home remodeling, with us living in the house. The contractor encouraged us to move out of the house, but we decided to stick it out and hide away in one of the rooms not affected by the remodeling.

Others had told us to expect this situation to bring the worst out in both of us. But the remodeling was a happy time because we concentrated on our relationship. Most of our belongings were in storage and not available to us, including our modes of "escape"—such as television, radio, books, and computer. It simplified our life, but it also made us concentrate on one another.

We spent lots of the remodeling time renewing common interests, having quiet talks, and enjoying breakfast out. We committed ourselves to time together, to avoiding being sucked under by over-scheduling. I planned my workload around spending a morning a week with Teresa, just having fun. We also planned a date night out every couple of weeks, along with movies together and frequent bed-and-breakfast getaways.

Teresa and I learned numerous lessons from this journey. We found out that we can converse better than we had thought. Teresa didn't get bored talking to me, and I survived having my library of books packed away. We enjoyed socializing with other couples more, which Teresa loves, and I grew to like being with people as much as being with my books. The frequent bed-and-breakfast getaways didn't turn me into a sex maniac, as Teresa had feared, and I actually came to enjoy being outside with her.

Living with your spouse in joy and cheer usually doesn't just hap­pen. It demands time and energy, and sometimes it also takes some kind of catalyst to make it happen.

What could you do today to more deeply enjoy your spouse's company?

Lord, help my spouse and me to create an atmosphere of joy and cheer.

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