The less and less my husband and I watch TV, the better and better we find our marriage. Yet the pull of TV is so strong. Why is that? For me, there is something so easy and convenient about turning on the tube and letting your brain zone out once the kids are asleep. It takes no work; it's entertaining; it's convenient. And while I'm not saying that TV is all wrong or that you can't find enjoyment watching it, I will say that I usually feel no closer to my husband after watching an evening of TV together. If you are like me, you might want to do something else other than watch TV, but struggle to come up with something worth doing together. So I've decided to share with you some of the things we like to do, which have proved to be not only enjoyable, but relationship building as well. Talk to your husband and give little (or no) TV a shot for one week and see what you think.
Read the Bible together:
It really doesn't matter if you do one chapter or five chapters. What matters is that you are growing closer to God, TOGETHER. My hubby and I always start and end with prayer. We've found that the hardest part is just motivating yourself to start. However, if you can crack down on yourself and keep each other accountable to STARTING your night this way, you'll be surprised how much you will enjoy it.
Build a puzzle:
We've built quite a few puzzles together over the years and really enjoyed it. In fact, our first summer of marriage we almost always had a puzzle underway at our home. If you are like us and have some kiddos in the house that make leaving out a half finished puzzle next to impossible, check this out: We now have a mat where you build your puzzle, then roll it up when you are done for the night. You can take it out and put it away without losing your work! Puzzle Stow & Go
Read a book together:
My husband and I have fallen in LOVE with reading together. We usually sit on the couch and take turns reading aloud. Over the years we've read Christian living type books like Crazy Love by Francis Chan to fiction books like The Oath,This Present Darkness, and Illusionby Frank Peretti. (All of Frank Peretti's books are FANTASTIC. I would highly encourage you to read one together. Right now we are almost done with reading his book Prophet. SO GOOD!)
Go to bed:
We've found that the nights TV has the biggest pull on our life are the evenings we are EXHAUSTED. We've been learning that as tough as it is to shut down the house and crawl into bed early, while it makes you think that you're lame, it actually feels GREAT. On top of that, since neither of us instantly fall asleep once our heads hit the pillow, we usually find we talk and visit for a while in bed.
Sex is such a wonderful blessing in marriage, but often couples feel like they have no time and energy to fit it in. Turning off the TV gives you back precious time in the evening and there are few things that bring a husband and wife closer than sex.
Overall, doing something other than watching TV often takes hard work to change a (cultural) habit. Don't give up the first week you only turn off the TV one night. Keep working at it! You'll find it gets easier and easier to turn to other things than the remote and the memories you create with your spouse are priceless.
What do you enjoy doing as an alternative to watching TV? I'd love to hear your ideas!