5 Cleaning Tips to Spruce Up Your Relationship

5 Cleaning Tips to Spruce Up Your Relationship

Linda GildenBy Linda GildenMay 5, 20226 Minutes

We know when the seasons change it’s time to give our homes a good cleaning. But what about marriage? Relationships change. Every marriage has seasons as well. Wouldn’t it be a good time to spruce them up a little?

Dust

Do you have dreams that have gone unnoticed and dormant on the shelf of your life. Have you squelched the dream of your spouse? Dust those dreams off and bring them to life. Is there an activity you used to do with your spouse but just don’t think time permits any more? Set a date on the calendar and play tennis again, arrange for a regular after dinner walk, or exercise at the gym.

Sarah and Erik had exercised regularly together. Since their children were born, they abandoned their thrice weekly fitness sessions. Realizing that they needed to make time for that again, they planned to take a walk every evening after dinner. Erik agreed to bathe the kids after the walk while Sarah did the dishes soaking in the sink.

Not only did they enjoy the family time, walking and pushing the stroller briskly made Sarah and Erik feel better. They had positive time with their preschoolers, pointing out the neat things they saw along the way. Erik and Sarah felt it was special time for them, too, an unexpected benefit from this new family ritual.

Sweep

If you look under the bed, you may see a year’s worth of things that have been swept under and out of sight. Unresolved conflict, family issues, or hopes for moving up in the corporate world. Reach that broom way under the bed, bring out the things that need attention, deal with them and then sweep them out the door for good. Things are a lot easier to deal with if we can see what they are.

Never let a matter go unresolved. Ephesians 4:26 tells us “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Maybe we could paraphrase that and say “Do not sweep things under the bed before you get in it!”

Declutter

How can things get so messy around the house? How can things get so messy in our relationships? Is the closeness you once felt lost in the middle of an overfull schedule. Step back and see if everything on the calendar is necessary. Take away one thing a week and enjoy space to breathe.

Brad had bowled on the same team for ten years. Several years ago they had added another evening to their schedule. Brad realized that even though Heather had agreed for him to bowl another night, it was making things really hard on her. He decided to go back to the original plan of bowling one night and week and making the other “date night” with Heather, a practice that had fallen by the wayside when they had children.

Shine

Washing the windows is a sure sign of spring. Shiny windows let the sunshine in. How is your vision? Are you looking at life through cloudy lenses and need to refocus?

Megan and Gregg both had high-pressure jobs. They can home at night ready to relax and not do anything that requires thinking. Every conversation seemed like one way communication – the instigator talked and the other answered without any thought or real understanding. Their vision to each other was clouded by their fatigue.

Megan and Gregg developed a new plan. For the first thirty minutes after they came home, they observed a period of silence and watched the news, read the paper, or whatever they wanted. After that, they came back together to enjoy a relaxed two-way conversation.

Take a few moments to clear your vision. Focus on the important things. Let the Son shine on every detail of your day.

Polish

Even the pieces that receive regular attention during the year can stand a bit of polish. Think your relationship doesn’t need any spring cleaning? Then take this opportunity to elevate your relationship to the next level. Spend time with your spouse thanking God for each other.

Recently Zack’s work schedule changed and he was no longer home for lunch or dinner. Not willing to give up their special times over meals, Brenda started a new tradition. Now, she fixes lunch for both of them and takes it to the plant where he works. Zack comes out and they sit in the car. Brenda and Zack eat in the car and continue to enjoy being with each other. That little bit of “polish” keeps them close despite a difficult schedule.

A little sprucing up in our relationships can make what seems good even better.

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