A few years ago, my son bought me a cool desktop hourglass. Instead of sand, this particular hourglass is filled with iron shavings. When turned over, the shavings land on a magnet hidden under the wooden base and instantly magnetize. As they fall, the shavings form miniature iron towers, repeatedly growing and collapsing under the onslaught of new material streaming through the neck. It’s mesmerizing.
But there’s only so much material inside. Eventually, all of the shavings come to rest, and time runs out.
When I find myself with too little time, my usual response is to try to be more efficient and multitask. Just the other evening, I caught myself monitoring the weather on my tablet, checking email on my phone, and watching TV, all while supposedly spending time with my family.
My body was there. My mind was all over the place.
When Paul said we are to make the best use of our time (Ephesians 5:16), did he really have multitasking in mind? Is it possible all my goals keep me from true presence with my spouse, from being wholly there?
Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all.” When we honor something, we elevate it above other things. The hourglass my son gave me stands out. It has its own spot on a shelf in my office, lifted up above the clutter of my desk.
One thing we’ve done in our house to help our marriage rise above the clutter is to share a coffee together each day. It’s a simple thing, but it forces us to put electronic devices away, look into each other’s eyes, and talk. While our conversations aren’t always profound, our dedication to that time is. Through the years, our kids have learned not to bother us while we’re having coffee unless someone is bleeding.
What can you do to lift your marriage above the clutter?
For more help, check out "A Prescription for Busyness."
THE GOOD STUFF: Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17)
ACTION POINTS: When you next catch yourself multitasking while you’re with those you love, consider taking a moment to put down what you’re doing … and truly listen instead. Give your spouse the gift of presence. What’s one amount of time you could regularly set aside to give your marriage top priority?
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