My husband and I got married after knowing each other for a year. We could have waited until we had our finances in order, but we decided that we’d rather work together to make money than establish our own separate budgets only to combine them in the future. Two and a half years later, we’re debt free, in a decent apartment situation, and we’re putting money away for a down payment for our house. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
But sometimes, it’s easy to put our goals in place of the motivation behind our goals.
What do we need for a house? Money. And what do we need to get money? A job. In order to get what we want, we need to make time to work. We love our jobs, and we’re both doing what we love, but at the end of the day, our most important priority is to have a safe place for us to call home. We work so we can afford our apartment and so we can put money away for our future. We started this marriage on the same page, and the excellence we perform at work is motivated by the fact that we have the same goals.
But when my head hits the pillow at night, I forget that the reason I put in so many crazy hours at work is because of the person sleeping next to me.
People tell me that living on Long Island is crazy, but I believe it’s crazy to live anywhere in the world. Everyone I talk to seems to be busy. Our schedules are packed. But why?
As I’ve been talking about on Wednesdays, I’ve abandoned my to-do list. I did this because God wants me to choose what is better (see Luke 10:37-42). What is better: checking items off my to-do list, or loving my husband? I know the answer is my husband, but sometimes my actions don’t reflect that answer.
In our busy (ugh, I hate that word!) lives, what can we do to find that perfect work-life balance?
- Remember your why. Life coaches and goal-setters talk a lot about our “why.” It’s our motivation for doing what we do. Before knowing what our goals are, we need to know what our ultimate desires are. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” In our marriage, we want to use our money, our resources, and our talent to give glory to God. That is our primary goal. Since God commands us to love our spouses sacrificially, our secondary goal is to be united as husband and wife, to become one. Whatever we do flows from our desire to be united and to glorify God.
- Make time for each other. I’ve always said that if you don’t have time, you make time. In a way I can’t explain, when I give God my day and seek Him first, like Jesus tells us to do in Matthew 6:33, I discover I have more time. The things that are on my to-do list suddenly don’t matter anymore. When I take on a biblical perspective of my life, I realize my husband is important! Therefore, I start to make time for him. Put a date night on the calendar. Do something that involves talking or creating, not just watching TV or a movie.
- Use visuals.
- Pray with and for each other.