I had just become Mrs. Chris Beall when we moved into a little duplex on Mill Street in San Marcos, Texas, in 1993. Chris and I loved this little abode that cost us a mere $400 a month in rent. It was our first place together and even had a second bedroom for guests.
But the best part about it was the front porch.
Sometime during that year we instigated something called “Tea Time” and many times during each week, we would plant ourselves on some lawn chairs on that porch and sip some sweet tea. If it was in the evening, we would turn on our stranded owl lights that hung every so gently from the ceiling of the porch.
(You think I’m kidding about the lights, don’t you? I was born and raised in Texas and am a borderline Redneck. I assure you, I am not kidding.)
Somewhere along the road, we renamed “Tea Time” to “Porch Time”. Chris and I absolutely love sitting outside on the porch. Back porch, front porch, any porch. We are not picky about our porches. We enjoy a mild climate, but during the colder months, the sitting area off of our bedroom becomes our “porch”. Regardless of the weather, we have a porch.
Nothing is off limits during Porch Time. We talk, remain silent, laugh, cry, share our excitement and our frustrations, pray with and for each other, have fights and apologize. Porch Time is an absolute necessity for us to stay connected in our marriage. Even if we only have 10 minutes on a given day, we go to our porch.
We still like each other after 20 years of marriage and ministry. Our marriage is healthier than ever and we are truly for each other. I don’t believe we would have what we have today without making sure that we have this time together.
Is the connection you have with your spouse healthy? Are you best friends? Do you believe in each other wholeheartedly? Do you share your hearts with one another?
If your answer was yes to these questions, then chances are strong that you are on a great path toward keeping your marriage healthy.
If your answer was no, then you need to find your porch.
Your porch could be a sitting room, your study, any room in your home or even a walk around your neighborhood. Your porch is unique to you and your spouse. Whatever it is, you need it.
I don’t have to tell you that being in ministry can put a strain on your marriage and family life. You already know that. But you can maintain a strong union with your spouse by keeping the lines of communication and the doors of your heart open to one another. Your ministry will never be strong if your marriage is not.
Find your porch.