May 20, 2010

3 tips for becoming a Wisdom Hunter ’till death do you part

Written by Boyd Bailey

Rita and I just returned from a restful few days in Kiawah Island (off the coast of Charleston) celebrating 31 years of marriage.  You learn a lot of comical, painful and wisdom building life lessons when you begin marriage at the age of 19, becoming a father at 22 and have your 4th child at 30!

One of this biggest lessons we’ve learned over the years is that a husband and wife must be committed to being wisdom hunters ’till death do you part or it is not going to work. Especially when a demanding career(s) and a house full of kids is involved.   However, one of the secrets we’ve found over the years is that wise planning is key for the health of your relationship.

Here are three wisdom tips Rita and I have discovered over the years that have helped prioritize wise planning:

1.  A weekly calendar ‘huddle’ is essential – It can take on a form of its own and dictate you and your spouse if you are not careful. A calendar is a powerful being and can easily create a deep chasm if you don’t ‘plan’ to ‘plan’.  For a few years we had 4 girls in 3 different schools, with differing athletic practices, games, music lessons and work commitments.  It was enough to make your head swim and to ensure chaotic communications.  However, we decided early on to set a few minutes at the beginning of the week (we met for 15 minutes on Sunday afternoon) to talk through and about our calendar game plan for the week.  It did wonders for team work and communication.

2. Schedule your date night in stone –  It’s the first thing to go from your weekly schedule – no sitter, no money, no time – a date night might seem impossible but it can be done and its essential!  Early on in ministry, I had a 45 minute commute to work, and a 3 week-night work commitments.  Some weeks Rita and felt like we were ships passing in the night,  miscommunication and frustration began to seep its way into every conversation.  We finally decided that we had to make time for just the two of us, to be away from the mayhem of the house and just have time to talk face to face. It does take effort and creativity but it can be done!  If money’s tight, try eating at home then going out for ice cream and a walk in the park. If you can’t afford a sitter, make it a lunch date or set the timer on your coffee maker for a fresh brew to be ready for an early morning coffee date before the kids get up.   Dates don’t have to be fancy, some times simple is best.

3. Annual budget planning retreat- The “m” word can be a sore subject and the focus of conflict. We learned over the years that talking about money and how to spend it is essential.  Rita and I go on an annual ‘budge retreat’ every January where we literally spend a weekend away from home to plan our year’s budget and calendar. It’s nothing fancy –  we actually use to find a cheap in-town hotel deal and save  a restaurant gift certificate received over the holidays for a nice dinner out, it makes for a wonderfully fun and inexpensive way to plan the budget.

Want to read more on how to be  wisdom hunters ‘till death do you part’? Check out these Wisdom Hunters devotionals:  Honor Marriage, A Sensitive Husband, Marriage Conflict.

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