Life comes with many demands and expectations. And naturally we seek to be productive with the limited time we have. This can make it hard then just to hang out with each other. But wasting time together might often be the best and most loving use of our time.
Of course, we want to be wise stewards of the time given to us. But all too often we take this to mean we must always be on the go and doing something. As such, whether in marriage, parenthood, or with our friends, we often feel the pressure to fill our time staying busy or otherwise entertained. And while there’s nothing wrong with productive activities per se, we can miss the joy, richness, and depth that unstructured time together provides.
And this is the essence of wasting time together. It’s not wasted in the sense of being without use or meaning. Rather, it’s wasted in the sense that every moment is not filled or planned with activity. In other words, it’s free time – allowing the space to be in the moment, go with the flow, and perhaps be surprised at the creative intimacy and beauty stirred in our souls.
On the one hand, what we do with this time is not structured. But often we must still carve out this time to protect it from the many other demands of life. It’s scheduling our free time. And hopefully this also allows us to relax in these moments and not feel anxious about not being more productive. But even here, “productive” is a matter of perspective because we are producing moments of love and connection when we can unplug, disconnect, and simply be present with each other.
In the end, don’t let the pressure to fill each minute of the day with activities cause you to miss the important connections in life. Make a difference by learning to waste time together.