It’s 5:00 p.m., and from my kitchen window, I can see the sun is setting.
As the warm afternoon rays send a dreamy glow to the rural scenery outside, I hear my husband’s voice say one word from across the kitchen: “Ready?”
I turn to him, smile and say, “Yes.”
We each grab a small snack and walk outside to our backyard porch swing.
It has become our favorite place to spend our daily check-ins—those 15 minutes we spend everyday that keeps our friendship close and our marriage strong.
When we bought this swing about 9 months ago, we bought it as a place for these check-ins (we wanted to have a special “landing spot” each day for these precious times as a couple).
And while the kids and I also love to snuggle up and read stories before nap time here, I like to think that the swing is happiest when it’s holding my husband and I, moving rhythmically hand in hand as we unload about our day and connect our marriage on a deeper level.
While I would love to tell you that all our conversations are deep and thought-provoking, that would simply not be true. Most days they’re simple glimpses into everyday family life: daily reports about how the kids are doing in school, upcoming events for the week, frustrations with work… that sort of thing.
And other times we just collapse into the swing exhausted, its gentle swaying a soothing balm for two people who overcommit, make mistakes and need rest from a busy life.
Sometimes we do dream—about places we want to travel to, things we want to do with the kids—and we even spend prayer time here as we connect with our Father together.
But always we’re holding hands and staring into the distance. That to me is the best part of all.
The Best 15 Minute Investment In Our Marriage
This simple check-in makes a profound difference in our marriage.
First, it reminds me to stop—to look around me and remember that that there’s a deeper foundation for the sometimes overwhelming chaos of daily family activities.
Our marriage is that core place where our family begins and ends. These daily check-ins remind me that if we don’t nurture this most critical aspect, our entire family structure will begin to break apart.
Second, it is an important release of the everyday emotions and thoughts swirling around inside me. I’m often the talker and my husband is the listener (it’s just that way since he’s a more introverted guy) and I often feel my stress melting away as we bounce ideas off each other and ground each other in biblical truth.
Together we work to untangle the complicated feelings that can easily lead our family decisions down the wrong path, and we strategize together as we look at the big-picture-goal of serving God as a family.
When Our Porch Swing Is Unavailable
Before I mislead you, however, I have to say that we don’t get to our porch swing every day.
My husband travels for work, I sometimes have afternoon commitments with the kids—lots of things can keep us from landing in our idealized porch swing around 5:00 p.m.
Nevertheless, we do make it a point to connect each day for at least 15 minutes in some way, whether that’s driving together somewhere, chatting on FaceTime (if one of us is traveling), or even talking while making dinner together.
Ideally we try to do this without children, but some days that’s impossible, and so we find some way to have a little bit of privacy.
One of our favorite tricks for (some) privacy when driving together as a family?
We turn on one of our favorite audio dramas and adjust the car speakers all to the back so that the kids get all the sound and our voices are somewhat muffled. It’s not ideal, but if it’s the only way we can get our 15 minutes of connection in each day, we take it!
Do you have a daily check-in with your spouse?
If not, how could a 15-minute check in change your marriage for the better?
I encourage you to give it a try for several weeks and notice the changes.
Enjoy these simple-but-powerful moments each day with your spouse!