Daily Archives: July 2, 2015

Where Do You Need to Say “No” to Say “Yes” to Your Marriage?

Where Do You Need to Say "No" to Say "Yes" to Your Marriage?Today’s post is personal. Straight from my heart and no-holds-barred.

I have 22 emails in my Inbox, several messages on Facebook, and 17 outstanding comments that require more than a 1-3 sentence reply. I’ve let these things stack up, and I feel bad about it. Truly, truly bad. I want to respond personally to everyone, but I haven’t had the chunks of time to do it properly.

Then there’s my church, which often wants me to volunteer in more ways. Sing on the praise team? Teach a class? Make food for a family? These all take time—time I don’t have. (Plus, that last one takes cooking skill, which is also somewhat lacking…but I digress.)

I had to turn down an editing job recently that would have paid me some money I could use, because it bumped against three other deadlines in my life and I was pretty sure my husband would give me his why-did-you-agree-to-that?! face if I said yes. (He’s right. I tend to think I accomplish more than I can.)

This doesn’t include deadlines I have for my writing or that others have for me (agents, critique partners, etc.). I have books to read, products to review, colleagues to answer. I’ve even skipped a couple of blog days lately, and one month’s newsletter, for no other reason than I plumb ran out of time to get it done.

I know what it feels like to be overly busy.

And I need to say “No”—so that I can “Yes.”

Not only will I not be singing on the praise team for a while yet (sorry, fellow songsters), or editing a manuscript I really wanted to read, or running for the Republican presidential nomination (Why not? Everyone’s doing it!), I must remove things already on my plate.

Because while these things matter, they do not matter like my faith, my marriage, my family.

Sometimes I think there’s where we get way off track with our marriages. We put all kind of things first: our children’s activities, church volunteering, extra jobs and hobbies. When we run out of time for daily conversation, date nights, and sex—oh yes, sex—we throw up our hands and exclaim, “But I’m so busy!”

Yes, you are. You’re too busy. Even if your schedule is filled with wonderful things, if those things are whittling away at your marriage and your marriage bed, you’ve got to set new boundaries. It’s time to say “no” to other things so you can say “yes” to your marriage.

My hubby and I had a recent sexless stretch of two weeks (rather atypical), and it was honestly because our schedules were crisscrossed and crazy. (Plus, a couple of sick days in there.) We just looked up, and suddenly two weeks had passed. Well, no wonder we felt disconnected and grumpy and “off”!

So yeah, I understand how this can happen to a couple. But I’m chiding myself and encouraging you at the same time to stop the madness, wives! Let’s look at our long list of to-dos, our schedules, and our priorities…and make some changes.

(And please don’t play the “if I don’t do it, no one will” card with that one ministry in your church you’re keeping alive. I contend heartily that if a church’s ministry relies entirely on one person’s efforts, it’s not a ministry of the church. If you step aside and no one else takes your place, maybe it was time for the church to say “no” to that so it could say “yes” to something else.)

I do not want to look up 5-10 years from now and have a successful writing career, a fabulous volunteer ministry, people singing my praises…and a flailing marriage. I’ve had a flailing marriage before, and I definitely want the thriving marriage I have now.

For myself, I have to say “no.” For example, I’ll be cutting down on answering personal emails—even though my heart goes out to each and every reader who writes to tell me their story—because I want to still have a great marriage years from now and be able to confidently speak into this ministry of Sex & Marriage by God’s Design.

I’m encouraging you to do the same. Even if it’s something good, it could distract you from what’s even better—your time with God, your priority of family, your marriage relationship, your sexual intimacy.

Don’t turn down sex for days and weeks because your schedule is overloaded. Say “no” to something else so you can say “yes” to your marriage.

If you do have a question for me that I might be able to answer on the blog, you can email me at hotholyhumorous [at] gmail [dot] com. I read the emails, but I can no longer personally answer each and every one. Know that I will not use your name if I choose to answer your question in a post.