As many of you, my family traveled out of town to visit family for Christmas. For us, it was our last trip to Amanda’s family in New Hampshire before we move to TN in the near future. It also means that it was the last time we needed our EZ Pass, so we can finally turn that thing back in and be done with it.
Generally it takes us close to 9 hours to make the trip. Going up was pretty smooth for the most part, and it was a great opportunity for some marriage building. I had already finished reading our latest marriage book, but Amanda is still trying to creep her way thru it, so we used some of the time to read the book out loud and discuss it and lots of other things. When things are as crazy as they sometimes can be, a long trip on the road can be the means to some much needed time of openness. It’s hard to find time each day to just sit and talk about things, so this was the perfect opportunity.
I’m sure marriage growing is not the first thing you’d probably think of when planning a family road trip, but it’s the most productive use of the time you can do. Sure, we also spend time listening to music, eating, napping (not the driver obviously), and playing with the kiddo a bit. But we also really try to use the time to talk about things we hadn’t really had time to talk about. And reading a marriage book together brings to light lots of other things worth talking about, and doing this together just makes the bonds of marriage much stronger. If you want to read this marriage book, then check out an older post of mine called Investing In Your Marriage and you’ll see this books and others that we’ve read and recommend.
When I think about this particular book, it does have tons of good points worth remembering, but I wanted to share a few with you here. 1) Marriage is the best mirror of yourself that you’ll ever find. You’ll never really see yourself fully till it’s reflected thru your marriage. Almost any time I’ve complaint about Amanda, I later realize that I’m actually complaining about myself. It’s not her selfish behavior, but my own. 2) If you truly love your spouse, then you’ll put them first. Going into a marriage because of what they can do for you is selfish and paving the way for disaster. But if you go into it thinking about what can you do for them because of how amazingly wonderful they are, then you have denied yourself and others so that you may serve your spouse and love them beyond all others, including yourself. 3) Marriage is a reflection of the type of relationship we’re supposed to have with our creator, God the Father. I actually never really noticed it as much in the bible till after I read this book, then it suddenly became clear as day and hard to ignore. One God and one spouse, and no more. And that’s not even the beginning of it.
Regardless of your faith beliefs, a long road trip can either be a major pain, or a major opportunity to spend time with your spouse and grown your marriage. I’m a big supporter of saving and growing marriages, so I’d rather see you grow instead of hurt. There’s plenty more road trips ahead, so plan for them and enjoy them.
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