The Importance of "Fun Time" Together

The husband and wife relationship is the first human relationship God created (Genesis 2:18ff). It was for the stated purpose that man should not be "alone" that God designed the woman (2:24). The marriage relationship, then, is to be one of companionship.

“Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, showing endearment to Rebekah” (Genesis 26:8), and he knew that they were married. That verb “showing endearment” can have many different meanings as a search of different translations will verify. But what it does show is that Isaac and Rebekah were spending time together.

Recreational companionship provides a laboratory in which your love and communication with your spouse can be tested, strengthened, and improved. King Solomon told his audience, in Ecclesiastes 9:9, “Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.” Enjoy your life with your wife!

Football games? Perhaps. Hiking? Walks along the beach? Art museums? Maybe. A concert? An opera? Watching movies? Hunting? Fishing? Possibly.

When you and your friend are dating, you give in to these requests and do such things because you are interested in spending time with your friend to build a relationship. But if you do not have inherent interest in such activities, once you get married, you quit. You might not begrudge your spouse the right or the time to do those things with his (or her) own friends, but you quit participating.

There is a danger in doing that. You swallowed your pride and sat through a three-hour football game (or a two-hour concert) when you were dating in order to build the relationship. It would do your marriage some good if you went back to do the same types of things in order to sustain the relationship.

If we view a husband and wife relationship in terms of a bank account, every positive act of one towards the other is a deposit. Every negative act is a withdrawal. If you make too many withdrawals, the marriage can end in divorce. The ideal then, would be to make as many deposits as possible. If you have a huge bank account with your spouse, those inevitable withdrawals are barely felt.

Spending time with your spouse, then, in recreational activities that you both can find enjoyable can make huge deposits in the relationship bank. If a man loves fishing, how much more would he love fishing if he could take his wife and she would enjoy fishing too?

So, how can you develop mutual interests? Communication and humility. Each spouse should make an extensive list of activities that he and she enjoys. Then, take a look at the two lists and see where there is some overlap. Ideally, you would come up with four or five. You will not have time for more than that. Of course, you might have to forsake doing something alone or with a friend for the joy of doing something with your spouse.

You might also try something new for his/her sake. Be patient. But if at the end of a trial period your spouse does not enjoy it, have the humility to try something else. In the end, your entire marriage relationship will thank you for it.