I Choose (Not) You
By Janel Breitenstein
Remember being engaged and saying things like, “I can’t wait till we don’t have to say goodbye!” or “I can’t wait till we can just be together”?
I do. I also remember my new husband heading out the door to play basketball with friends.
I (of course!) felt betrayed. I just got dumped for an inanimate object and some sweaty dudes?
It took months before I realized when he chose basketball, he chose us.
He came back energized and connected and—critical for him/us—able to stave off the minor depression occasionally stalking him.
Our schedule has evolved a bit since then, with four squirrely kids, 9-5s, and living in a house with a bike-strewn lawn. But I’ve still got the same guy who’s healed by alone time, workouts, or a movie by himself.
I get it now. Sometimes the better “us” doesn’t translate to “joined at the hip.” Sometimes it means championing the other, even in ways that won’t put us in the same room—like the personal retreats he’s gifted me.
Sure. Sometimes you’re just wrestling for some quality time together. You need face time (the low-tech kind).
But other times, rather than having him home with the kids or her knocking out that to-do list that makes your home run like a well-oiled machine, choosing the better “us” could look drastically different. Maybe it looks like her hiking with just God. Or whacking a tennis ball. Or him laughing with a trusted friend.
Jesus modeled this, pulling away from even His disciples to pursue the intimacy and rest He needed most.
Instead of being hurt by thinking your spouse chose something over you, think more broadly. And choose both of you.
The good stuff: And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
Action points: Does your marriage need more face time right now? More time for one of you to rejuvenate? A combo? Ask your spouse what’s one God-given area of themselves they wish they could develop or spend time in, or take rest, if they had the opportunity. Share your own way you’d love to do that. Are there ways you could create space for that without creating more hustle or draining life from your family?
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