hope

Keeping The Magic In Marriage

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I remember the plan. It was compiled over the course of many nights and romantic comedy movies.

 
I wake up before the sun (just like the Proverbs 31 woman) to make breakfast for my family. I follow a schedule for the day as does everyone else. I make sure that I look presentable before my husband wakes up (because the bonnet and hot breath are probably not how he wants to be greeted.)

 
All of our meals are prepared at home. Our home is always clean and perfect for company. Our child is well behaved and well taken care of. My prayer life and connection to God has never been stronger because I draw my strength and direction from him.

 
Our marriage is passionate and fun. I am always on the same page as my husband. I’ve discovered the perfect balance for us between giving space and doing life together. We communicate as planned–lovingly and effectively.

 
If you think all of this can’t be true, well you’re right about it not being an everyday thing for us. But I do believe it can be true for marriages around the world.

 
I define the magic as an elusive thing. You see it in movies: the couple never argues or has disagreements, both parties are always in the mood at the same time, emotions never run too high (or this outburst is cured with a song or shopping.) I believe it isn’t about sustaining the same spark that was there from the first moment you had chemistry. Once you get married, you are in a different place than you were when you first met.

 
When you first meet there’s likely attraction, possibly humor, but also an anticipation of what could be. This person and desire for the life you’ve always wanted, become synonymous.

 
Interest and excitement can be present for decades to come but it’s through a different filter. When you meet, the excitement is based on glimpses of things you like about them coupled with things you’ve hoped for. Once you’re married, you get to really know the person and must decide to overlook what you dislike and celebrate what you love.

 
Excitement once you know someone deeply is different because you have a lot more things to maintain the feeling–in spite of. Like:

– I am excited to go on a date with you. But I have to manage my expectations because you’re picky and may not like the food.

– The toilet seat is never put down

– She never dresses up now that she has the baby

– The last time I ate a home cooked meal was our honeymoon

 
It requires more to be infatuated once you know them than it does when you’re wrapping them in hopeful expectation. The best part about your spouse is that they are a gift from God with many layers. You’ll see layers unfold in the next season that you haven’t seen in all the past seasons combined. Experiences bring different aspects of their character to light. So there’s always more to discover.

 
One of my favorite moments in our marriage was when we were out walking with our son when it suddenly began to pour. My husband took the stroller to the car five or so blocks away. We waited under a store awning to keep dry. He drove up minutes later having packed the stroller wheels, installed the car seat, and heated the car with a great attitude. In those moments, watching him take on that inconvenience for our sake really touched me.

 
I could see my husband’s heart in a new way that day and our love grows in unexpected ways much like that one, every day. I’d say it’s not about how invigorating day to day life feels. What’s important is how open you are to discovery. Your marriage can thrive without magic. You thrive with faith, hope, and flexibility.

 
In what way has your spouse unexpectedly shown love for you?
In what way have you set out to specifically love on your spouse?

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