Marriage Advice from the Garden

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I recently posted this to Twitter:

“What activity/hobby have you taken up that helps you & your spouse spend MORE time together? If you don’t have one, why not?”

There are lots of hobbies/activities that I enjoy.  I like to run, bike, play golf, read, blog, and watch 24.  I highlight those things because I do all of those without my wife.  Either they’re solo activities or she hates them (well, lets just be fair…she hates 24…she says it’s like a bad male soap opera…I don’t deny it, but still love to watch!).

In and of themselves, these activities aren’t wrong.  In fact, most of them are pretty healthy…running and biking are good for my physical body, while reading and blogging are good for my mind.  I’m not indulging in activities that are harmul for me or for my family, so why would I ever need to be careful in doing them?

Even “good” things can become a hindrance to my relationship with my wife.

I am not ready to give up these hobbies.  My wife isn’t asking me to, and, like I said, I enjoy them.  In fact, it’s healthy for couples to be able to operate independently of each other at times.  But most couples have the independent part of their lives covered pretty well.  What they need to work on is bringing their lives together more.

I’ve recently taken up gardening.  Though that may sound a bit girly, it’s really hard work.  My wife and I constructed four raised bed gardens and a shade garden for our back yard.  We’re really proud of the work!  Maybe more importantly, though, we were able to work together to get it completed.  We’ve found something to do together that we both enjoy.

Husbands, how can you reach out to your wife and develop a love of something that she enjoys doing?

Wives, how can you stretch yourself to do something that you know your husband loves?

Do you want your spouse to love you even more?  Try loving something that they love.


Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Leslie Oden

    Great post, Ben. Developing a shared interest or hobby doesn’t mean convincing your spouse to do that thing YOU love to do. Sometimes it means doing something your mate loves, even if it’s not your cup of tea. My husband loved to ride motorcycles, but I was really afraid to ride. I mustered the courage to get on the back of that bike, and I have never been sorry. Now it’s a connecting point for us. There’s freedom from the stresses of parenting and ministry on those winding roads! We’ve put over 20,000 miles on the Harley in the last 3 years, and I have treasured every mile. Young marrieds would be wise to learn this lesson early in their relationship. Sharing a hobby becomes part of the “glue” that keeps you together during those rough patches that come to every marriage.

  • Jonathan

    yes, it is good to have your own time where you can do hobbies and others. The point is not to forget your responsibility.