Life can be boring. Marriage can get dull if you let it—especially during a quarantine. Certain tasks must be done, but they are not very entertaining. Making food, washing dishes, fixing the bed, doing laundry, and taking out trash are repetitive and humdrum. Instead of accumulating boring, mindless minutes, why not look for ways to turn them into opportunities for fun?
It’s a matter of where you choose to focus your attention. Are you going to dedicate mind-minutes (or hours) to things that are annoying? Or are you going to dwell on what’s genuinely good and even fun? Philippians 4:8 reminds us to concentrate on attributes that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, excellent, and of good reputation. As a practical matter, here are three ways to focus your attention and have fun, even in the midst of a quarantine.
Look for humor in the situation
You and your spouse are undoubtedly very different. You have different standards for housekeeping. One of you is more attentive to details. You have different opinions about food. And, if you let them, those differences can be irritating. Or, they can be fun. One of the jokes at our house centers around Roxann’s and my food choices. For lunch, Roxann often has what she calls “a beautiful salad” – lots of colors and textures heaped high in a bowl. I couldn’t care less. I want most nutrients per unit ounce so I take all my veggies and throw them in a blender. We could get on each other’s nerves about these differences, or we could have some fun. Roxann loves to name things. She named my meal “vegetables a la homicide” and we get to have a good laugh about it.
One huge caution: Make sure your spouse is laughing as hard as you are. This is not time to poke fun at them in a sensitive area.
Speaking about how differences can be irritating, this is a good time to focus on how those differences can actually be strengths. It’s a good opportunity for the hard-driving, detail-oriented spouse to list and supervise some home improvement activities AND for the creative, fun-loving spouse to make sure you get a large dose of memorable, enjoyable fun. How can you use those differences to your advantage during this time?
How about just learning to look for the humor? Yes, we’re sequestered. No parties. No get-togethers. So, how about learning to be funnier? How about this joke: “If we gave a COVID-19 party and no one came, would that be a success?” How about this one: “Is that a traffic jam? Oh, boy! I haven’t seen one of those in two months!” Okay, I’ll keep working on it. But, at least look for the lighter side instead of sitting and sulking.
Prayer is always a good option
We know one couple who had two plumbing leaks and the electricity went out in half their house and their car had to go to the shop—all in two days. That’s pretty bad. So, what do you do? Panic? Accuse your spouse of negligence in caring for the house or car? We have a better idea: Start with prayer. Agree that you are on the same team and will work through the problems together. Tell each other, “This is going to make a great story one day!” Then, start working on the story together.
Keep it light and fun
Finally, make some lighthearted gestures. Be a little flirty. “I bet I can finish my to-do list before you can.” The winner gets a massage from the loser. Or a kiss. Loser gets tickled.
Jokes aren’t a substitute for a needed serious conversation, but they are a way of releasing some tension and focusing your mind on being thankful.
This article comes with a warning: You must begin forming this new habit within 48 hours, otherwise you’ll forget about it.
Now, go out and have fun with your spouse. Seriously.
You can find more Biblical answers to many of your marriage questions in our book The Marriage Dance, available at Amazon. The helps in this marriage blog as well as weekly marriage tips are available to you for FREE by signing up on our website here. (We will never share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.)