In August, I had the privilege of marrying a beautiful couple that were so in love with each other and looked forward to their special day where they began their new life together. Their hopes and dreams for their future are so promising and so bright.
When a couple first signs that marriage license, marriage couldn't seem to be any easier. Young and in love, everything seems perfect in their world, that is until they really get to know each other. Now, two minds have to agree, or agree to disagree. Now, there are two opinions, not just one. Now, the real life journey begins. As the years go by, they learn so much about each other and about marriage, often by trial and error.
So how can we keep our marriages healthy? I'm glad you asked!
How do we greet each other at the end of the day? Have you ever watched how a dog greets it's master when he/she comes home? Even a dog has more sense in how to greet their caregivers than you and I do in greeting our own spouse. The family dog is enthusiastic, and totally focused on greeting you. Sadly this isn't the case for most of us. Our opening words to our spouse just might be a question about having left the garage door open or remembering to get to the bank, putting the clothes in the dryer or why they didn't take the meat out for supper.
Is this hitting close to home? Rather then letting our marriages drift on auto pilot, we need to mindfully reconnect.
What if the scenario went something like this. "Hey, honey, I'm home," and your spouse greeted you with a hug and little tender loving care and attention. What if you set some time aside for personal stuff - couple to couple time, not discussing how you'll get the kids to their next soccer game, not problem solving, and deciding to keep conflict out of the conversation, and decide to have positive emotional interactions. Maybe you're thinking you could never carve out fifteen minutes of your busy day to chat together. You can do it! Choosing to, may make all the difference in the world in how you intimately connect with each other later on in the evening. Physical contact, a three minute hug, holding hands, connecting on a personal level is a beautiful thing, it has great rewards!!!
My husband and I find going for walks by the water or sometimes along a trail holding hands valuable time together. Some of our best conversations have taken place on these walks. In the morning we do our best to sit down and take time to have a coffee together and discuss our day.
I realize some of you have small children and may need to make other choices in how this connection together will work. You can tell the kids to go play and leave you alone while you both have a coffee together after dinner or set a time when they are in bed for you both to connect. The important things is that you take time to connect on a daily basis with each other.
For a marriage to thrive, we must enter into communication that involves both listening and speaking. In James 1:19 it says, "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."
Greet one another with a kiss of love. 1 Peter 5:14
I will leave you with a quote from Martin Luther:
"There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion,
or company than a good marriage."