This article addresses the importance of quality time in marriages, but many of the principles apply to courtships and romantic relationships with marital objectives as well.
Spending time together, and consciously making time to interact or assist your partner is very important in every relationship or marriage.
When you realize that you are habitually spending less time with your husband, wife, or fiancée (as required), then you must quickly see it as a sign that warns you of diminishing love, weakening intimacy, and poor commitment to your partner and to the relationship.
Some actions regarding how you spend your time, can testify of your genuine commitment, and can clearly show that your mind and heart are either willing or unwilling to spend time with your spouse.
For example, if you find yourself spending more time (or too much time):
1) On your phone or social media.
2) Watching television or movies at home.
3) Listening to music or playing music alone.
4) Going out frequently to spend long hours with friends or relatives.
5) Going out to the movies or theatres and amusement or sport centers.
6) Shopping by yourself alone.
7) Travelling to places alone, and not giving enough information to your spouse.
8) Engaging in church or ministry activities alone for long periods of time.
9) Doing your work, projects, or business with no company all the time.
10) On the computer or tablet for hours day after day.
11) Having a business at home or away from home, and spending long hours at the location, all by yourself or with your workers.
12) Always accepting contracts that take you away from home for a long time without considering the negative impacts on your spouse or family, and habitually changing the time of your return home to your spouse and family.
13) Frequently reading the Bible and praying alone (or going away on retreats) with no mindset or provision to do it with your mate --- even several men of God do that! God will never be pleased with such a lifestyle!
14) Habitually sleeping alone in a room at home without your spouse by your side. That is self-centeredness or strong suggestion of hiding something from your spouse!
15) Always keeping your body at a distance from your partner and facing away from your husband or wife (although you sleep on the same bed).
16) Eating your meals alone or isolated and sitting somewhere sipping your drink while your partner is around; or habitually getting away to do eat or drink alone.
17) Going out of the house without telling your mate exactly where you are going.
18) Frequently texting each other at home instead of direct verbal communication.
19) Always hurrying up to satisfy only yourself and your feelings during love-making, without taking your time to satisfy your wife with good foreplay and romantic utterances plus words of admiration.
You will need to wake up to the realization of the danger that you are mentally and emotionally drifting apart from each other. You must act very fast to MAKE TIME and restore your desire and commitment to your spouse. Consciously spend more time with your mate to establish mutual satisfaction and mutual success in all areas of your marriage.
Companionship is one of the major reasons why God created a woman for a man, and put them together in marriage for a permanent bod of love.
Companionship is the foundation for real intimacy (closeness in a relationship).
True companionship is what provides the fellowship that underlines the major reason why God made a woman as a Helper for a man in marriage (Genesis 2:18).
I often define FELLOWSHIP as FELLOWS-ON-ONE-SHIP. The husband and his wife sink or float together in one boat. Understanding that principle of “travelling together in one ship” will always make us ensure that our ship is kept strong, safe, secure, clean, healthy, and adequately supplied with all that is needed for survival, nourishment, protection, happiness, and a smooth ride.
Continual interaction is therefore necessary to make companionship meaningful for all forms of relationships.
MAKE TIME FOR YOUR PARTNER
You cannot love and enjoy your partner, and cannot become committed to him or her, if you don’t PUT IN TIME TO TALK AND INTERACT extensively with him or her.
As I always say, you CAN always make time and pay attention to anything in this world, when that particular thing is genuinely important to you.
All of us agree that you don’t have to be unduly attached to your partner for every minute day and night. But you should desire to spend your free time, as well as designated time, with one another, and enjoy being with your beloved partner and friend more than anyone else.
As much as it is perfectly fine sometimes to watch a television show by yourself, surf the Internet on your computer or phone, get lost in the details of a book, work late while your mate is sleeping, or occasionally socialize without your spouse being present, this should never become a habit.
You must honestly and consciously watch out and consider if you are not using these activities as a distraction, to the point that it feels like a relief for you and an excuse not to be together, especially if you are being tempted to use the activities to dodge realities and avoid dealing with any issues in your marriage.
Creating and managing regular times to be together as a couple and doing things that are interesting, for fun, or for education, is very critical for a lasting, enduring, and successful marriage.
Even when you are away from home or away from your husband or wife (short or long term separation), you must find creative ways to continually stay connected.
In my opinion, you must make time to do the following with your mate:
1) Communicate and listen attentively to each other, and GIVE APPROPRIATE RESPONSES (not just reactions). Anyone who is a poor listener, is also a bad communicator.
2) Engage in common lively chats.
3) Explore the activities and lifestyle of each other with questions and conversation, in order to know yourselves as much as possible.
4) Seek to understand each other. Remember that there are stark and natural differences between men and women. If you don’t take time to understand each other, you will find it difficult to meet your needs and satisfy each other.
5) Develop mutual verbal appreciation.
6) Learn to gently and lovingly settle issues and disagreements when they crop up.
7) Take practical steps to pray, speak, act, and behave in ways that will help to heal hurts and establish trust.
8) Discuss plans together. Don’t control your partner with your assertive and dominating decisions and choices.
9) Take time to engage in dialogue till you agree on matters of importance.
10) Deepen your mutual practical love and romance. HUG EACH OTHER SPONTANEOUSLY AND FREQUENTLY. Don’t passively be at the receiving end day after day, and heap on your mate all the “I love you” utterances, kisses, hugs, patting, holding, rubbing, giving of gifts, and love-making initiatives.
WOMEN IN PARTICULAT LOVE NON-SEXUAL TOUCH. THEY CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH OF THAT IN A MARRIAGE!
11) Improve upon your sex life with genuine satisfying sexual skills and expressions as you grow in the marriage relationship.
12) Seek to meet essential needs of each other and the rest of the family.
13) Introduce and know your friends and family members, and entertain them together as much as necessary and practicable. If you hide your friends and relatives or interactions with them from your mate, you open huge doors for suspicion of evil motives, selfishness, and lack of trust.
14) Meditate on scriptures and pray together for spiritual power from God to run your life and the relationship. This should be in addition to your personal Bible and prayer time with God.
15) Work together for all tasks till you finish and obtain satisfying results for both of you.
SOME EXAMPLES OF PRACTICAL COMPANIONSHIP
As you make time for your husband or wife, here are a few practical things you can do to enhance, promote, and achieve the intended results of your time together:
1) Deliberately take a short break from whatever you are doing; then go and sit or lie by the side of your mate to show interest in what he or she is doing at a particular time.
Discipline yourself to stop being “addicted” to your routines and what you consider as important, at the expense of your marriage relationship.
2) Spontaneously pick up random topics to engage in mutual conversation anywhere in the house. This could be when one partner is doing some work or chores at home, such as: cooking, washing, ironing, bathing, cleaning, weeding, gardening, shopping, riding in a vehicle together, eating a meal at table, on the phone, lying together in bed, even when making love etc.
3) Stay by the side of your mate when he or she is indisposed (sick, ill, hospitalized). Make sure you engage him or her in encouraging verbal exchange as appropriate.
4) Make time to suggest specific passages of the Bible to study, and specific topics to pray on with your mate.
5) Play interesting games together, watch television or movies together, or listen to a good radio program together. Avoid being “the remote controller” whose channel your partner and the children must always watch. Learn to watch their favorite channels too --- do not walk away to do something else.
Over the years I have had to discipline myself (painfully!) to let my wife also watch the cooking procedures on the Food Channel while I sit by.
6) Take your time to be by the side of your mate to comfort him or her when he or she is sad, sorrowful, or distressed under any circumstances.
7) Patiently sit with your partner to guide, lead, or direct him or her regarding anything that some instructions and guidance are needed to complete an application, fix a machine, do emails, learn something on Facebook or on the computer, prepare a particular dish etc.
8) Sit by your mate to help or teach and explain a topic or subject that is difficult to comprehend or quite complex to grasp.
9) Make time to accompany (or give a ride to) your partner to an appointment or attend to an emergency such as: job interview, going to school, exams, trip to the market or store, the gym, program in church or other location, ministry activity, assistance to a friend or family member, hospital, visitation to the sick, funeral etc.
10) Keep your partner company by Social Media and electronically, through regular short or long phone calls, and engaging in social media chats. Send messages through trustworthy people as well.
Exchange frequent meaningful and interesting photos. Ask each other’s opinion very frequently about simple as well as important matters.
Deal with any disagreement wisely, patiently, gently, and lovingly, especially when you know that you are not directly seeing each other’s face as you talk!!
WHEN YOU HAPPEN TO BE SEPARATED, AVOID IMPURE, PORNOGRAPHIC, AND INDECENT OR UNGODLY WORDS AND ACTS TO SATISFY YOUR LUST, AND THEREBY SIN AGAINST GOD AND LOSE HIS BLESSINGS! ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR PARTNER DISAGREES WITH WHAT YOU ARE FORCING HIM OR HER TO SAY OR PERFORM BY SKYPE, PHONE, WEBCAM, OR WHATSAPP ETC.!
GOD IS ABLE TO GIVE YOU GRACE AND STRENGTH TO BE SELF-CONTROLLED, AND OVERCOME ALL TEMPTATIONS THAT CAN RUIN THE LOVE, RESPECT, TRUST, HOLINESS, CONFIDENCE BETWEEN YOU, AND ROB YOU OF BLESSINGS THAT GOD HAS PLANNED FOR YOUR FUTURE.
This is important especially when one has travelled, or conditions create a long-distance relationship for you.
11) Mutually agree to take some walks in the neighborhood (especially in the evenings), or do some sightseeing and window shopping.
12) Make time to accompany your mate, and cause it to become a romantic time, to mutually engage in physical exercises, shopping, cooking, washing, cleaning, planning for an occasion or celebration, and fixing a car or appliance etc. together.
COMPANIONSHIP NEEDS SUPPORT STRUCTURES
In all marriages and relationships, emotional and material support, plus spiritual and social support, are all necessary for proper companionship to be established. One of the primary purposes why God made a woman was to help solve man’s original major problem of loneliness (his need of emotional and physical support, and lack of fellowship).
EACH PARTNER MUST CREATE THE ATMOSPHERE THAT WILL PROMOTE COMPANIONSHIP.
For example, try to communicate adequately for me to know where you go and when you are returning. Call home to let me know where you are if I am expecting you at home. Do not lie to me or get angry when I ask you why you are coming home so late. Come home on time after work or church, or when you make trips to the market, hairdresser, project site, your family home or visit to parents, attendance to parties and other meetings etc.
A man lacked the ability to achieve complete success without a fitting Helper --- someone of the opposite sex with special qualities who would supplement, motivate, empower, glorify, and enrich the man with essential ingredients he cannot find anywhere else except in a befitting woman. The woman derives similar reciprocal benefits in return.
Companionship is therefore indispensable for any man or woman.
A wife strongly needs the emotional and material support along with satisfaction from her husband, in order for her to feel content and be able to adequately perform her role in that man’s life as his special companion and helper. The man must team up with his wife for them to happily care for their children and be able to train and discipline them properly, for them to become completely happy in their home.
ANY MAN WHO WILL NOT OR CANNOT PLAN AND GIVE QUALITY TIME AND GOOD COMPANIONSHIP PLUS EMOTIONAL SATISFACTION TO THE WOMAN IN HIS LIFE, WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO FULLY SATISFY HER BY SIMPLY GIVING HER ONLY MONEY OR MATERIAL THINGS.
MEN ARE REQUIRED TO BE LEADERS IN COMPANIONSHIP
Many men tend to think that the passion and desire for marriage is stronger in women than men, especially because women long to have children and be cared for by men, and therefore the need for companionship is greater for women than for men. It may be true in some cases, but I have carefully considered this notion for some time and have concluded that it is not absolutely right across the board. Both men and women need companionship for their common as well as their different needs. However, it is a common idea that it is the woman who rather comes into the life of a man to become his companion and make him complete. It is the man who normally searches for a companion, and makes the move to propose and ask a woman to become his special companion because he cannot do it all by himself and accomplish his destiny.
THE MAN MUST THEREFORE BE THE LEADER OF COMPANIONSHIP IN THE MARRIAGE, HOME, AND FAMILY.
You will notice that when marital separation or divorce (and even death) occurs, many women can remain single for a very long time, and go on with their lives. But, it is very hard for many divorced men or widowers to live alone for a long time after divorce or death of the wife, without any woman in his life as a companion.
Mutual companionship must be built for the two of them as they interact together.
Spouses must learn to be true and good companions to each other in order to transfer the spirit and values of genuine companionship to their children, and as exemplary witness to all the household inhabitants and close friends who closely observe them. Their children will in turn begin to acquire the experience of being true friends and helpers by learning to become true companions to their parents, siblings, other family members, and friends.
(Obtain more information from Dr. Kisseadoo’s new book: “The 20 Major Signs Of A Failing Marriage” from Challenge Bookstores in Ghana or Baptist Bookstore at Amakom, Kumasi etc. or call +233-208126533 in Ghana or contact Dr. Kisseadoo on 1-917-7410643 – Identifying the problem, suggested solutions, and prevention).
By Rev. Dr. Kisseadoo. Professor of Biology. International Evangelist. Bible Teacher. Author. Conference Speaker. Relationships, Marriage, and Family Counselor. Founder and President, Fruitful Ministries International Incorporated (An Evangelistic and Teaching Christian Organization).
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