Unhindered Attention for Your Spouse
Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of Him? Psalm 144:3
Our son, Eric, was irritable and restless. He complained that he was bored, and he picked on his sister more than usual. After a little probing, we discovered that all Eric really wanted was more attention from Mom and Dad. He needed some uninterrupted time with us, time when our eyes and ears were only for him. Helping him to recognize his needs that day helped us to encourage him to ask directly for our attention rather than act out to get it.
We need and want our spouse's attention, too, but sometimes we're no better at communicating that need than our son was that day. Instead of asking directly for attention, we start picking on each other like children—eliciting negative attention rather than the more productive kind.
It's easy for couples to fall into a pattern of not giving each other enough attention. There's always a list of events and errands that seems to expand rather than reduce: The kids demand attention, the boss demands attention, and even the church demands a great deal from families these days.
In order to prevent some of the "childish" behavior, David and I have learned to set aside some time just for us each week. We make sure that the time is quiet and unhurried, so that we can catch up with each other's lives. It's a time when we can talk, share, and listen to one another.
We both look forward to giving each other our full attention during this time, and we end up understanding each other better because of that time.
When would be a good time -- and where would be a good place -- for you to spend uninterrupted, unencumbered, one-on-one time with your spouse?
Lord, remind me to take the time—no matter how busy life gets—to give my spouse my undivided attention.
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