I read an article a few years ago that looked at time management. The authors had calculated the amount of time it would take to complete everything we are told to do. They determined it would take someone over 30 hours to complete all the important daily tasks (sleep, work, brushing teeth, exercise, devotions, etc.).
My “take away” from this article was that we are all choosing to fail. I can’t do 30 hours worth of responsibilities in 24 hours. I can’t be teaching in another state, counseling a couple in Atlanta, and sitting at my son’s soccer game at the same time. So, sometimes I turn down a teaching assignment and fail in that part of my career to spend time with my family. Sometimes I walk away from family dinner to provide an emergency call to a client. While I’m generally proud of the choice I make, I am still choosing to fail in another area of my life. It’s just not possible to always succeed everywhere.
The problem I regularly see in my office is that some couples consistently choose to fail in their marriage. Before the wedding, they made each other, and growing their relationship, a high enough priority that they rarely failed in nurturing their relationship. After the wedding, however, they cared for their marriage by focusing on other things: career, setting up the home, having kids, completing education, etc. All are valid and worth pursuing. Like any other organism, if we choose not to feed our marriage for a long enough span of time, it will eventually starve. Tossing crumbs of time and energy to it occasionally will help, but anemia will still set in eventually.
It’s ok to choose our children, church, and career. It’s just that we need to regularly choose to NOT fail in our marriage. This will mean choosing to fail in another important area of life for a time.
So. Where can you choose to fail this week so your marriage can be the focus of energy and attention?