Written by Aaron & April Jacob
Lean in close and listen up, because we'd like to have a little heart-to-heart with you about an issue that may be somewhat sensitive for some of you (We'll try and tread lightly!).
While we hope that this article will be encouraging and uplifting, we feel the need to be a little bold in sharing some personal thoughts about an issue that may be causing more harm to your marriage than you may realize.
What is it?
We want to talk about Girls’ Nights out and Guys’ Nights out. Or Girls’ trips and Guys’ trips.
You know what we're talking about.
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These kinds of activities - though seemingly harmless - may be hurting your marriage.
You heard us right - these kinds of activities may be hurting your marriage.
And for that reason, we kind of have a problem with them. It’s true.
Why, you ask?
Well, let us explain.
You are all ears, right, because you have at least a dozen reasons why all of the above activities are perfectly acceptable and should be encouraged? We get you! (We like friends, too!)
So, here is our explanation and the caveat behind this very personal pet peeve of ours -
When people are intentional about girls' and guys' nights out while forgetting to be intentional about date night, romantic getaways, and time spent with their better half (aka, their spouse!), then those activities become harmful to their marriage.
Yes, Girls' and Guys' nights out can harm your marriage when they take priority over time spent with your spouse - your #1.
Simply stated, it isn't good for marriages when friends take priority over spouses.
Catch our drift?
So, let's be clear here - we're not talking about Girls’ Nights Out or Guys’ Trips being inherently bad (because they aren't), we're talking about priorities.
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Yes, our message is all about priorities.
If you look at your schedule and know that next month you have a big trip with your friend, awesome, but please, please, please, make sure you ALSO have a trip scheduled with your spouse in the near future.
If you want to do lunch with your girlfriend, great, but please, please, please, make sure you ALSO have a lunch date scheduled with your spouse this week.
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Your priorities are obvious in the way you spend your time and with who(m) you spend your time.
You may have the best intentions at heart, but your calendar shares obvious clues about who matters most to you and who you are intentional about giving your time to.
We are all busy. We have a lot of demands on our time. So when people spend time, thought, planning, and money on girls’ nights out and guys’ weekends away, all while letting their marriages wilt and die from a lack of intentionality, you had better bet we're going to speak up.
(***Now, if you ARE intentional about prioritizing your marriage above your friends - which you probably are - then just ignore this article and give yourself a pat on the back! Also, you are right - anything could replace GNO’s here - running, video games, work, shopping, etc. This is a message about prioritizing your spouse, not about why GNO’s are bad, because they aren’t.)
So, please note that we are not against time spent with the gals or guys. At all. We just want to encourage you to be intentional about the following two priorities FIRST (deal?):
Yes, we are encouraging - even inviting - you to prioritize your spouse this week. Give him or her your very best time, and your very best self.
We're confident that if you give your spouse your best time, that there will be plenty of time left over for a few much-needed outings with friends. And you will find that in prioritizing your spouse and nurturing your marriage, that your marriage will be stronger, you will feel a closer connection to your spouse, and you will find that happily ever after is yours for the choosing.
Photo Credit: Jason Corey Photography
"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly."
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