Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
Barbara and I know a little about building into our marriage when we are separated by travel. In fact, some of our most miserable disagreements have occurred around traveling. We’ve come to greatly admire those married couples who serve in the military and are separated for long periods of time because of deployments.
Travel can take a toll on a marriage. In the process of making hundreds of adjustments, we’ve learned a few lessons:
1. As much as possible, don’t leave packing and preparation until the last few hours at home. If you’re rushed and feeling stressed, the chances of a major misunderstanding and of provoking a conflict rise steeply.
2. When a conflict or an argument occurs, do your best to resolve tensions before you leave. I have to admit that I’ve made a few calls from the airport back to Barbara to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.
3. When you say goodbye, always kiss, hug and say tender words from your heart. Leave a memory that speaks loudly of your love and commitment. Occasionally place a passionate kiss, a “smacker,” on him or her—one that says, “I’ll be here when you get back.”
4. Use the phone to check in. At least once a day. If I’m in my hotel room, I turn the TV off when I call home—no ESPN on mute! She knows when I do that!
5. Use email to send “I’m thinking of you” and “I love you” notes.
6. Pray for one another and with one another. It’s an excellent way to end a call. As much as prayer binds you together when you are at home, it’s needed more when you are separated.
Consider what adjustments you two need to make to protect and build your relationship, even when traveling.
What expectations do you have of one another when you travel? What can you do to improve your communication?
Ask God to give you a supernatural ability to keep your love fresh during times of separation.