Spending Time Together

By Richard and Merilynne Linford

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    How an assignment in the London England Stake helped our marriage.

    A carefully prepared candlelight dinner in your own dining room can be nicer than going to almost any restaurant. An evening at the home of your parents can be a refreshing learning experience. You can have friends over, visit them, attend the temple, read, play games, watch a good movie on television—but the essential factor is that a husband and wife have an evening for themselves.

    We started having “husband and wife night” when we lived in the London England Stake. The stake president had counseled: “Your wife is sacred to you, so plan one evening per week for her.” In that stake, Friday night was reserved for couples to spend together. Only occasional social functions could be scheduled on Fridays.

    This practice promotes husband and wife togetherness just as family home evening creates family unity. In fact, we have often scheduled our time together on Mondays after the children have gone to bed.

    Preparing dinner together and cleaning up afterwards together helps to make the time available. Our six children have always known that they must go to bed at a set time. This does not always mean they must go to sleep—they may read or visit or keep themselves quietly occupied in some other way.

    Time together doesn’t have to be purely for recreation. We have read to each other from such sources as a child development book, a Church history book, the Ensign, a book on business management, and the Book of Mormon. We have also painted a room or done other odd jobs. If work brought home from the office threatens to take our time, we do it together.

    All this has given special meaning for us to scriptures such as “love thy wife with all thy heart” (D&C 42:22) and “let thy soul delight in thy husband” (D&C 25:14).

    Illustrated by Dale Kilbourn