Dear Aquila & Priscilla (Relevant Marital Advice)

Dear Aquila and Priscilla:

Our together time in our home has been replaced with my wife spending all her leisure time on her cellphone. She is consumed with playing games, texting, and using Facebook that absorbs several hours of her time.

I miss spending time with my wife and participating in activities together as we did earlier in our marriage.  I am feeling neglected. When I try to ask a question or make a comment, she answers, but we sit mostly in silence and ignore each other.  Must I accept this as the new norm that seems to have swept over our society and wait for her to tire of this activity? I have gently mentioned my dismay, but when I do she becomes defensive and says it is her time. Do you have any advice on how to cope with this? – Neglected

Dear Neglected:

Facebook, texting, and gaming can be so absorbing that when people sign on for “just a minute,” the next thing they know, two hours have flown by. It is especially discerning when spouses spend Facebook time with the opposite sex.  This can lead to an emotional attachment and then perhaps to a physical one, especially if done with people from previous relationships.

Discuss this again with your wife, and this time tell her you miss the closeness you had when the two of you shared activities and that you are lonely. You might suggest having a date night once a week to rekindle the mutual attraction you experienced early in your relationship.  Spending time with each other apart from everyone and everything else is no less important after you’ve been married for many years than it was in the beginning.  No matter how long you’ve been married, you’re still a couple, so it’s important to get involved in activities specifically suited to couples. If this step is eliminated, the couple connection begins to loosen and becomes progressively less important.

Also, look for projects or hobbies you can share with each other and with people with similar interests.  You can sign up for a Life Group at your local church; take classes at a Community College, Local Library, or City Parks and Recreation; or take walks (with higher temperatures a shopping mall is a great place to stay cool).  Kidnap her for a romantic weekend, without electronics and set short and long-term goals during this time to rekindle your relationship.  Continue to visit our BCC Marriage Ministry Website to learn of other ideas to enrich your marriage.

Aquila and Priscilla

Dear Aquila and Priscilla:

I feel that my husband is not fulfilling his role as the spiritual leader of our family.  I have mentioned my concern to him on numerous occasions and keep telling him to please take the initiative to lead us in our mealtime prayers and in beginning a family Bible time.  Each time he says he is not interested in doing either and that if I want to incorporate these activities in our daily routine, for me to go ahead and implement.  He is a believer and attends church every Sunday with me and the children. –Frustrated

Dear Frustrated:

A wife cannot change her husband, only God can.  Nagging or taking over the leadership role will only make him feel more inept.  Pray for your husband daily to allow God to give him wisdom and direction for being the leader that God desires.  A wife needs to understand that it may take years for a man to grow spiritually so that he can lead his wife and family in this area. We guess that most men did not have a good model of spiritual leadership in their homes as they grew up.

One way to encourage your husband is to pray and read scripture regularly together.  Discussing the scriptures as a couple is a great way to complete the oneness that God wants us to enjoy.  Sometimes in households it is difficult to lead devotions with children before they head off to school or at bedtime because of time constraints and because of extra-curricular activities after school. Families have a rushed dinner time and then it is time for homework or bed.  Diversity of age and needs of children can be very challenging.

A husband can give spiritual leadership in all kinds of other ways just by the interaction he has with his children. If he is pointing his children to Christ, and to the Scripture, then he is giving spiritual leadership. It doesn’t have to just be in a formal Bible study.  It is important for your children to see how God has blessed you as a couple, how you express love to each other and to your children, and how you allow God to be at the center of your relationship especially in our challenging society today.  Children learn by example.  Seeing their mother and father relying on God is the best way to show leadership in a family

Promise Keepers is a men’s organization that gives guidance to men to be the spiritual leaders of their families.  Their website is promisekeepers.orgOne promotion among several on this site is a 30-day study called The First Hour for Men by Mark W. Koch.  This would be an excellent resource.

Aquila and Priscilla

Dear Aquila and Priscilla:

We have been married for 10 years and have two children, one girl and one boy.  All we do when we are together is argue.  It is like we are two different people living together.  We do not have anything in common and squabble at each other over irrelevant matters.  We try not to argue in front of the children, age 6 and 8, but we do sometimes snap at each other.  We both work and come home exhausted every night.  Even the weekends are not fun anymore because of having to complete chores.  Our children are begging us to take them to church, but we are too tired after working all day to attend on Saturday night and we sleep in on Sunday mornings.  We stay away from our friends and family because we do not want them to see us arguing.   What should we do? –Going Crazy

Dear Going Crazy:

Wow!  Several problems are going on for the two of you.  First, you as a couple should hold hands and bow down to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to give you wisdom and guidance to change the things in your life that are causing you so much strife.   Ask God to forgive you for your sinful ways.  Second, ask for forgiveness and forgive each other for the way you have been treating each other.  Third, discuss what are your priorities in your life, marriage, and family.  Fourth, develop your personal strategy to help you achieve your priorities.  Schedule regular couple time to regularly discuss your progress.  Remember, you will not be able to change everything at once.

Some of your strategies might include:  returning to church, couple devotions (many books have short 10-15-minute topics), hiring a cleaning lady, cooking meals on the weekend for evening meals during the week, assigning simple chores for children, and showing more affection toward one another.  If you would like to have assistance in enriching your marriage by following God’s plan, contact the marriage mentors at BCC.

Aquila and Priscilla