The third key to nurturing your marriage is practical application of these truths previously mentioned. Knowledge (knowing truth) is not enough; we need wisdom (applying truth) in our marriages.
Homeschooling mother, I know you are busy. Life is demanding. You are home all day teaching the children. There is work to do, places to go, errands to run, a home to manage, lessons to be taught, projects to complete, and schedules to make and keep. Some days bring many challenges and there are probably times when your husband walks in the door only to be greeted with chaos. While these days are a reality, I have found that a conscience effort to manage my “office” well is very beneficial to our marriage. I have always said that my career is my family. It is my job, given to me by God. Therefore, if my career is my family then my office is my home. I’m going to take the liberty to speak for all the husbands out there. They do not want to come home to a messy house with loud children running around. They do not want to see dishes in the sink and laundry piled up in the living room. The kitchen table does not need to be overrun with school books, paper, and computers. There does not need to be a science project hanging in his bathroom either. He doesn’t want to see the children dirty and unkempt. And he certainly does not want to see his wife in sweats and a t-shirt with a chili stain left over from lunch on the front of her shirt. You husband wants to walk in the door and greeted by a smiling wife and children who are happy to see him. The home needs to be orderly. I am not saying it has to be immaculate, but it should be managed well. A little care goes a long way in a home. If your husband comes home every day at 6 p.m. make sure by 5 p.m. you have a plan for dinner, the house is somewhat picked up, the children are happy and quiet, and the schoolbooks are put away. If you are not finished with schoolwork by 5 p.m. then you need to start your day sooner. I am speaking from experience. Trust me; I have had a few of these chaotic days. But let me say that when my home is managed well things go much smoother. It’s certainly worth the extra effort.
Another must for marriage is Date Night! It is imperative that you spend at least one day a month out on a date with your husband. Just to clarify, this means without the children. You are old enough now that you do not need chaperones. The dates do not have to be elaborate. While that is nice every now and then, it is not necessary. Date nights can be as simple as a hamburger from McDonalds and holding each other’s hand while walking through a store together. The important thing is that you spend time together, talk, and enjoy each other’s company. Date nights can also be at home. Put the children to bed early or rent them a video, fix a late dinner, and light some candles. Your children will appreciate the fact that their parents make time for each other. And your husband will appreciate the fact that he has a wife that desires to spend time with him.
Communication is also essential to a thriving marriage. Homeschooling is a big part of your life. Make sure you and your husband communicate often about the children. Typically the dad does not spend as much time with them as the mother does so he needs to be involved. Let him know how they are doing academically. Share their successes and their failures with him. Let the dad oversee the direction of their schooling. Do not make him feel bad for always being at work. Thank him for working hard so that you have the privilege to be able to stay home and homeschool the children. It is common mistake to have the attitude of “Mother knows best” when it comes to the education of the children. But, when it comes down to it, the father as head of the family will be held accountable by God for the direction of his family and the education of the children.
Finally, do not over commit. It is easy to go through life doing good things and completely miss out on the best things. Sports are good. Ministry is good. Homeschool groups and activities are good. Hobbies and recreations are good. But marriage is best. Children are best. Relationships are best. Warm memories are best. Don’t become so busy that you are exhausted all the time. Don’t become too B.U.S.Y. (Bound Under Satan’s Yoke). Don’t run around doing things and forget about people. Make time for your husband and make it a priority. Make plans to eat together as a family. And make sure every now and then that it is at home at the kitchen table and not in the car running to your next activity.