This week (Aug 5 - 9) is the Penultimate Week of the "first semester" of Keeping it Real! We hope that The Lord has impacted your marriage, family, personal walk, and more during these weeks together!
This week's topic is something that we think affects a greater number of couples than anything else we have discussed so far during our time together.
We believe that the busy, hectic, full-scheduled lifestyle that is commonplace in our culture plays a huge role in the disfunction that so many marriages experience. We call it the busyness bug because not only is busyness annoying like a small insect, it also can cause great sickness - which in the south we call "catching the _____ bug" - in your relationship.
If you think back to going to get your school supplies as a child, you probably remember the transition from wide-ruled notepaper all the way to thin college-ruled notepaper. One thing both wide and college-ruled notepaper have in common is they both have margins on the sides. Margins are there for the extras that might come along.
You fill in all of your notebook page, but then some new information, a clue to the final exam, or even a doodle needs to be added and where do you turn? The Margins
We have seen that we have so filled our proverbial life-pages that we don't really have margins left anymore. When we don't have margins for these things that come up, that is when the relationship begins to suffer. So many times when we give a call or text to check in with our friends with a simple "how are you?" the response is "I am so busy" or "I'm burning the candle at both ends" or something similar.
It's almost like we take pride in being over-worked and super busy!
Busyness can be a trap not only for you, but also for your relationship. Whether it's you feeling good about how much you're getting done, things that someone else has placed on your plate, or even just the natural (unintentional) flow of life and responsibilities the busyness bug comes with a cost - either personally or relationally, but oftentimes both!
So while we are all busy, our question for us all is this -
How productive are you actually being in that busyness?
Just like the seed that is thrown into the various soils in Matthew 13, is your life so busy that the seeds are being choked out by the weeds of life? Or is your soil still healthy and fertile even with your busyness?
We think there are a few red-flags so to speak that should alert us that there is an unhealthy level of busyness in our lives.
1. Lack of engagement with your spouse
If you feel like you "cannot give anymore" when your spouse wants to spend time with you, discuss something with you, or just do life together - you are probably too busy.
2. All you do is talk shop
Who's going where, what time do we need to be there, etc. If your only conversation with your spouse is logistical and calendar based - you are probably too busy
3. You feel fatigued
A great football coach once said that "Fatigue will make cowards of us all". Being overworked and getting fatigued leads us to stay away from the tough stuff that our marriages require of us. If you are "too tired" to fight for your marriage - you are probably too busy.
Several years ago we came up with the plan to Evaluate and Eliminate. For us, we try to meet on Monday mornings and walk through our weeks - that helps us know why one of us might be more irritated or short-tempted. It helps us Evaluate what is ahead of us in the coming days, which then helps us Eliminate the schemes of the enemy to cause division between us! You'll be surprised how much lighter you feel when you just know what is on each others plates!
Remember, like the infamous line from the Star Wars trilogy. When you think about how busy you're going to be, being to feel busy, or get caught up in overwhelming busyness. IT'S A TRAP!