Sunday has been a day all about marriage.
At Harvest, the sermon was on the first sin (from Genesis 3:7-13), and it’s destructive effect on relationships with each other (including marriage) and with God. It was a very challenging look at how we sinfully fight and try to control and manipulate each other, rather than submit to God and one another in humility and repentance.
Later, we, along with more than 50 others, spent the afternoon celebrating the 25th wedding anniversary of Chris & Kimberly, a wonderful couple who invest so much of themselves in other people. They have a passion for discipling others and seeing them grow in holiness.
I could go on about them ad nauseum, but I think the best thing I could say is that they’re awesome people and we want to be like them when we grow up.
When I wasn’t toddler-wrangling at the party, I found it really interesting listening to the way people spoke of them in little speeches and toasts, particularly what their children said. Listening to them share how much they love and respect their parents and how their faith has been affected by them is really encouraging. I see these things, and I hear these things, and I can’t help but think, “I really hope my kids will be able to say things like that when Emily and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary.” Not due to any sort of need to be lauded, but really, because I want my children to be positively impacted by my faith. That Emily and I both can say to Abigail and our future kids, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1).
Emily and I love to read a book together. It’s part of how we encourage each other to grow, spiritually (aside from my regularly asking, “So what’d you read in your Bible today?”). And it’s a lot of fun. We’re going to start reading When People are Big and God is Small by Edward Welch, which should be lead to some interesting discussions, to be sure. But we’ve found that when we’re doing this, when we’re reading a book together, asking each other questions and going back to Scripture for clarification or correction on what we’re reading, it’s a wonderful thing. It’s really healthy for us.
The only trick has been not letting life get in the way.
Because the reality is, things pile up. There’s always dishes, laundry, freelance, writing, and so many other things that can or need to be done. But I’ve got to remember that a marriage is something worth working on.
It’s worth setting aside all the other things we could be doing to spend time together, learn from one another and grow closer to both God and each other.
So for us, that means we need to be more intentional about date nights and making sure they happen. We have wonderful friends who love to babysit whenever we’ve given enough notice. My mom even wants to start taking Abigail on sleepovers once a month to give us a break. These are things we need to take advantage of.
It also means scheduling time through the week just to hang out. This has been really challenging of late, simply because of how wonky my schedule became earlier this year. Fortunately, things are being culled, other things are being postponed and we are endeavoring to get the time we need together.
It’s hard sometimes, but it’s worth it. Because it’s a marriage worth working on.
So if you’re like me, and really do want to work on your marriage, but sometimes struggle with getting the ball rolling, here are some questions to consider:
- If you’re married, when was the last time you and your spouse read through a book together?
- When was the last time you went out on a date with your spouse, just the two of you?
- If you have kids, do you have friends who can babysit? Have you considered starting a childcare rotation with friends who have kids so everyone gets a regular date night?
- What are some practical ways the two of you can cultivate your relationship with each other and Christ?