For a long time, I was a drip coffee guy. There are some great coffee machines out there—you know, the ones that you set the night before? Those efficient caffeine delivery systems give a jolt to start the day. I would slurp down a cup on the way out the door or as I watched morning TV.
However, a few years ago, my friend Trent came over with his French press, grinder, and beans. I guess he didn’t want drip coffee. I didn’t take it personally. He introduced us to a good cup of coffee. Something to drink, not chug.
I’m not a coffee expert. I don’t pour over. I don’t know flavor profiles, but after Trent’s visit I did purchase a French Press and some reasonably priced beans. And thus began a habit that my wife Susan and I still practice—morning coffee. It became our thing.
Morning coffee isn’t as complicated as the tea ceremony from Karate Kid 2, but there are steps. Susan and I make coffee together as we get our breakfast ready. As the coffee steeps, we feed our children. About the time the coffee is ready to pour, our kids are done with breakfast and out of the room. We are alone with our coffee. Nothing magical happens. We talk. Sometimes we hold hands. We are together. Just a few minutes together before our day begins. This daily event is important to me and affects me when we miss it. Just like showering, getting dressed, and brushing my teeth—morning coffee with my wife has become a necessary part of my day.
Maybe you hate coffee. That is A-OK. Rather than what you do, making a habit of spending quality time with your husband or wife is the important thing—as long as you both enjoy it.
Here are 6 ways to spend meaningful time with your spouse, including some ideas that have worked for us:
1. Roses and Thorns
Either at mealtime or right before bed take turns sharing a rose (something awesome) and a thorn (something that bummed you out) from your day. Not only do you get to relive the good and get the bad off your chest, your spouse gets to hear more than “Fine” when it comes to the topic of your day apart from each other.
2. 15-Second Kisses!
Even if your days are slam-packed with activity, you can spare 15 seconds. A 15-second kiss is an intentional kiss, not a peck on the cheek as you run out of the door or a weary smooch when you stumble back home.
3. Read a book together out loud
And read something funny. We’ve been reading Jim Gaffigan’s book Food: A Love Story. Plan on it taking awhile to finish a book. It takes a long time to make it through a chapter when you’re laughing so hard you can’t read properly.
4. Take a class together
We took a pottery class. I made some quality paperweights. It was so much fun throwing clay on the wheel. As an added bonus, pottery classes double as Christmas shopping – mugs for everyone on your list! Pro tip: use Google to find a free class first before you invest money in a class you might not like as a couple.
5. Cook together
Monday through Friday can be a grind, but maybe on Saturday you can spend some time in the kitchen. We bought Julia Child’s On Cooking. That was the best boeuf bourguignon I have ever eaten! Great news – the together time extends beyond the kitchen. Some fancy recipes require special trips to the grocery store. Herb sachets, anyone?
6. Pray together
Here’s what worked for us:
When: Right before we turn off the light at night.
Where: The bed. Picking the right “when” makes the “where” consistent.
What: Creating a “who/what to pray for” schedule was key for us. Kinda geeky, but a schedule works like magic when you’re tired and don’t know what to pray. Our weekly schedule looks like this: Sundays–my parents, Mondays–her parents, Tuesdays–my siblings, Wednesdays–her siblings, etc.
Who Prays: Doesn’t matter. We take turns. Sometimes one of us will pray 2-3 nights in a row. I, the guy, usually initiate one of us to pray, unless my wife beats me to it by saying “Can we go ahead and pray, so I can go to sleep?!”
Find something that makes sense for you and your spouse. Make it an easy activity based on what you like as a couple, and commit to doing it. Text or email this article to your spouse so you can talk about it tonight!
What intentional activities do you and your spouse make a habit of doing together? Leave a comment below or @ us on Twitter!