Heath: This week we will celebrate Valentines Day. It’s that time of the year when we think about love and romance. We want to pay attention to that with our podcast this week by thinking about cultivating healthy marriages. I’m really thankful that in the kindness of God, I am married to a woman named Lauren. Our marriage is not perfect; no one’s is. But our marriage is really, really good. So I asked if Lauren would consider coming on the podcast this week, and against her better judgment, she agreed. So our special guest this week is Lauren Lambert, my wife. Amy Evenson is here and is going to ask us some questions about our marriage.
Amy: I’m so excited you both could be here with us today. What are the top two things that you love about each other the most?
Lauren: When I met Heath, I would say the first two things that were my favorite (and they have continued to be my favorite things) are one, his sense of humor and two, his godliness and thoughtfulness in our relationship as well as how well he’s lead me in our relationship. Also how he’s desired to know me.
Heath: I would say the two things about Lauren that were obvious to me from the time back in college when we were first getting to know one another (and they have remained consistent throughout our entire relationship; dating, engagement, and marriage) is number one her loyalty. Lauren, I always say, is the most loyal person I have ever met. When you are in, you are in. And I am in with Lauren. There have been times when we’ve had personal conflict and frustrations with one another, but somebody will come along at church or wherever and will say something very slight about me, and Lauren is immediately circling the wagons and wants to defend me. So Lauren is very loyal and I love that about her. She is also a servant. When Lauren loves you, she wants to do things for you. She’s always thinking about how to be a good mom, and she’s always thinking about how to be a good wife. She has a sign in our kitchen that says, “If you love people, you’ll cook them tasty food.” So one of the ways she tries to serve me and our kids is by working hard to prepare good food. I love that Lauren is a loyal servant.
Amy: So what would you say that date night looks like for you guys? What are some of your favorite activities that you do together.
Lauren: Well, I am kind of a foodie. I love to cook and I love to try new restaurants and go to new places, so we like to go out to eat. We also have three children, so going and eating dinner and having a conversation that is not interrupted is always a treat. We also like to be outside and take walks and enjoy the quiet and being together.
Heath: One of the things that the Lord has been really kind to give us in our marriage is that we really love the same kinds of things. It is relaxing for us to go some place to sit and read, or to a bookstore. We also love to see movies together. So walks, movies, books, talking, all uninterrupted and without mopping up someone’s ketchup that squirted out or apple juice that spilled are all date night to us.
Lauren: We also both like concerts and shows. That’s fun for a special occasion date.
Heath: We also have sex on date night. That is something that needs to be said because some couples are nervous talking about that, but it’s something that the bible commands. It is an important part of any marriage in the bible, and it’s an important part of our marriage too.
Amy: So what advice would you give to married couples who are busy and maybe their romance has dwindled.
Heath: So, we’re busy. But I don’t think our romance has dwindled. So why don’t you take that one Lauren.
Lauren: I would say that continuing to remember that you’re on the same team and that you guys love each other and you’re working towards the same thing, and that’s to love God, love your family, serve each other, and serve others. I think keeping that in perspective and reminding yourself of that as well as not having it be a contest about who’s busier or a “me versus you” situation or attitude that starts growing in your heart. I also think that being intentional to take time to ask each other about your day and really listen is important. It seems simple, but it’s important. There’s a lot of time that you waste in a day. Many of us spend a lot of time looking at our phones on social media, or doing things that are really unnecessary – and that adds to our sense of busyness. I think that often when we feel really busy we cut out the wrong things. So take a step back and look at your day in order to see what you can cut out to make time to really invest and build in to your spouse.
Heath: I think that’s wonderful. Amen to everything she said. I would elaborate on taking time to talk and listen. Every single conflict we have ever had and every single conflict anybody has is going to trace back to a failure to communicate. This can often look like an inability to really understand the plan, or what’s going on in a person’s understanding of the plan. And look, everybody is going to be busy. It’s good to be busy. It’s bad not to have anything going on. It’s a good thing to be serving the Lord, to be doing things, and to be productive. You just have to be sure that one of the things that you’re busy doing is cultivating a heart for one another, talking to one another, and really caring for one another well.
Lauren: I read a book by Carolyn Mahaney and one of her daughters called Shopping for Time that was helpful. She says when things get really busy, concentrate on getting food on the table, clean underwear in the drawers, and having sex with your husband. And honestly, when things get really busy it’s really important to just say, “What is unnecessary? What can I cut out? What is really necessary to continue moving forward in life as a family and to continue loving each other and to continue loving Jesus well?” I think looking at those basics and seeing what your husband cares about, and asking, “What is necessary for my family right now?” Just doing those things and cutting out some of the things that are really unnecessary is really helpful.