As you and your spouse decide what is needed, try making joint decisions to reduce conflict. Have a discussion and negotiate the differences: how much money to budget, how to spend Christmas day, or what gifts to get your children. Memories and traditions from each spouse’s childhood and family may have different meanings that are important to include. Communicate and create unity as a couple in celebrating the season.
Explore and find out what is meaningful to your spouse in celebrating the season. Instead of one of you pulling rank and making a uni-lateral decision, joint decisions will keep the atmosphere peaceful and loving.
Finally, we need to stop and spend time with those we love. Mary had chosen to “Sit at the Lords feet and listen to what He said” (v. 39). She chose to spend the moment engaged in doing something that would not be taken away from her, something of eternal value.
This beautiful verse speaks of connectedness, closeness and relationship. Isn’t that what we really want for Christmas? We need to take time to sit at the Lords feet this Christmas season. Is it more important to spend time with Jesus on His birthday or doing the dishes? Slow down and connect with Him. We are celebrating His entrance into the world and this is the time to worship and praise Him. As we sit in quietness and drown out the noise of the busy world, listen for His voice. As you are in His presence allow Him to speak to your heart. Ask Him to give you insight into what your spouse may need this season. Abide in Him and the fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control will naturally overflow to your spouse and loved ones.
Not only is it important to create time to be alone with our Savior and Lord but it’s also important to model Mary’s behavior and sit still and connect relationally. Isn’t it more important to sit around the table and play a game with your family than make sure the bows on the presents are perfect? Be intentional about stopping your projects at times to connect with those you love. If we are willing to learn from the example of Mary in Luke 10, I think we can all have a very “Mary” Christmas with our spouse and those we love.
Allen Haley, M.Div., P.C.
Terri Haley, M.F.T