When you first began dating you had lots of fun together, didn’t you? Of course you did.
Every woman remembers those sweet beginnings of a relationship—leisurely walks holding hands, long conversations on the phone until you’re too tired to make any sense at all and who can forget the laughter?
It didn’t matter that he loved to hunt and you hated to step on ants. When he explained why Caddy Shack and Faulty Towers were the best comedies ever—you just smiled and listened, and when he fell asleep during a Broadway performance of The Phantom of the Opera you giggled and thought it was cute. You were making memories and that’s all that mattered.
So what’s happened since then?
I don’t need to bore you with divorce statistics. It’s not hard to remember one out of every two marriages fail. If you know more than a few married couples chances are you know a couple who are struggling. When I was young and newly in love I believed marriage was a destination that culminated on my wedding day. The truth is marriage is a lot like a marathon—God knows I hate running but the analogy is so fitting: it takes dedication, devotion, and a “never say die” attitude to finish well.
For those couples hitting a rough patch, it’s sometimes tough to see things getting easier. How do you keep unified? How do you heal those tiny stress fractures that can result from hurt words, financial ups and downs, parenting disagreements and plain old life struggles? I believe one element to a strong marriage is time together–intentional moments with each other. A God honoring marriage is a testimony to His creation—opposite genders, backgrounds and personalities united as one –committed to do life together.
When I say opposite personalities I’m speaking from experience here. Paul and I are different in so many ways. God knew when He brought us together He would get all the glory.
Paul makes a decision and sticks with it.
I can barely order at a restaurant without changing my mind a dozen times.
Paul’s idea of encouragement is telling someone how they could have done it better.
I have the ability to see gifts in others then inspire them until they catch the vision.
Paul has the first two nickels he earned. He’s cheap…ahem… frugal …I mean a God-fearing
steward of the Lord’s provision.
I still have a lot to learn.
Paul can remember facts and figures. Loves history and could debate any
U.S. politician on any foreign or domestic issue.
I have an awful memory—got a D- in high school government and get tongue-tied debating
the price of tomatoes at a farmers market.
Even though we’re opposite in lots of ways we make sure to spend more time together than any couple I know. He is my best buddy. I’m writing this while he’s in arms reach. Of course, it helps that he works from home. So, if we can still love being together (most of the time) I thought I’d share a few ways you can encourage togetherness with your husband and maybe a few laughs, too.
- Turn On Some Oldies. Most couples are around the same age, so listening to music from when you were in high school can make for some laughter—especially when he doesn’t understand why you absolutely LOVE Dexys Midnight Runner’s because he LOVES Metallica.
- Coffee for Two. Grab your caffeine drink of choice and take a drive. A long drive. (No, not off a short pier!) Adventure to somewhere you haven’t been before. Crank up the music and make sure to reach for his hand. We live in Tennessee and there’s just something about a long stretch of country road that brings out the teenagers in us. We could drive forever. Conversation comes easy when it’s just the two of you on a long drive.
- Invite Your Man. Stick a note in his lunch box or text him while he’s at work. “You’re invited to…” Share the date, time and event and give him something to look forward to after work. Send the kids to their rooms after he gets home and have a cup of iced tea waiting with a homemade goodie on the back deck. Or, send the kids to a friend’s house for the evening and make a romantic dinner sans conversation about the kids. Refrain from cutting up his steak.
Spending time together is not an option. Your marriage will suffer when you stop making time for one another—I can promise you that. If you can’t remember the last time you were alone then it’s been far too long. It doesn’t have to be an expensive, all-consuming event. One phone call to your spouse is all it takes to open the door wide open to together-possibilities.
“Hi, I’ve been thinking, we haven’t had any alone time in a long time. I miss you. What are you doing tonight?”
Marriage Scripture to Memorize
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
We love because he first loved us.