April 20, 2015

Interrupted by Grace 2015: Marriage Fun

I'm blogging daily in April. Learn more about the series here.

Most of life is routine and expected, as I'm sure you know very well.  Regardless of one's marital or family status, there are bills to pay, dishes and clothes to wash, work to do for employers or classes, people to love and care for in relationships, etc., etc.  It is a treat when life is interrupted, so to speak, with a little fun.  This weekend had a couple of highlights for me, both with my husband!

All dressed up for a "Night at the Races" a couple of months back.

Let me be the first, maybe, and certainly not the last, to tell you that life changes when you have kids.  You think when you get married that you learn a lot about how selfish you are.  Well, then you have a kid (or more) and you really learn what a selfish jerk you can be, and the Lord drives home what sacrificial love really means.  It's cool, because you also get to grow in your understanding of and appreciation for His love for you!  But it can be quite the journey, facing the facts and all.  Thankfully the Lord is gentle, His Spirit is always near, and He's not finished with us yet!  

Tiny kiddos are a lot of work and can quickly take away from marital intimacy, and I don't mean intimacy-intimacy, I mean simple things like having a good conversation without interruption!  Can I get an 'amen,' parents?!  It takes work to keep the marriage relationship close and vibrant as the family grows.

Besides kids, there is also the stuff I mentioned at the beginning, which I affectionately call LIFE!  Life can really get in the way of marriage enjoyment: at least one person has to work to bring in enough money to put food on the table and keep a roof over the family's head; then there's all the mess that's made by the family living under the roof; and, in addition, sometimes the roof leaks!  Myriad time-consumers exist to keep us from remembering, Hey, I married you and I like you, and spending quality time together.

This weekend I was interrupted by grace when Colin and I got TWO opportunities to have good, ol' fashioned fun together.  I do not take these for granted as much as I used to!  Saturday night my in-laws kept the kids for us and we enjoyed several hours out.  In the end I joked with Colin that it was a theme date; we played catch, then went to eat and watch the Pirates game at a local restaurant.  Good times!  Our second bit 'o fun was last night when we participated in our church's youth fundraiser talent show.  Both of us were involved in musicals and other musical pursuits throughout our youth, but we'd never done anything together.  After hearing the Frozen soundtrack, Colin and I had decided that some day we needed to sing Love is an Open Door together.  When I was at a youth meeting and they started talking about a talent show, I knew our moment had come!  Practicing over the last month has been a ridiculous amount of fun.  Performing yesterday was the icing on the cake!

Thinking about this weekend reminds me of how important fun is for a healthy marriage, and how quickly it can gets squeezed out with the demands of life or an unexpected really difficult time financially, medically, or relationally.  Our marriage is not always roses, but neither of us would trade the hard times we've walked through because they have contributed significantly to the strengthening of our faith and our marriage.

Are you married?  Has it been a while since you've gotten to have fun with your spouse?  Can you plan a time soon for just that?  Spend a little time reflecting on what ways the two of you have fun or have had fun together in the past.  Treat yourselves to some time together, just the two of you, not for business affairs!  (It doesn't have to be out or expensive, either!  Plan a date in and/or exchange childcare with some friends.)  May God bless you as you write some new good memories onto the pages of your story together.

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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