One of the blessings of using Labor Day to clean out the garage is filtering through all the “old stuff” and getting to reminisce. That’s exactly what we did last Monday. Old books, pictures, and memorabilia were uncovered with older hands and faces and with hearts that were happy to remember.
One such box that was discovered again was a box of love letters, written while my husband and I were dating and engaged. The syrup from their sticky words had dried, but what was left was the memory of that young love. Stating how lonely we were for one another, due to the three hours that separated us, we spoke much of how we longed to be together again. It made me smile. It also brought thankful tears to my eyes. That’s where our love started, and the truth be known, we still feel that way about spending time together. I’m so thankful.
But for many couples, they might come across sentiment like that and think about how foolish they were when they were young. The joy of just being with “your fella” has grown cold and an indifference has replaced indescribable love. To be alone as a couple seems boring now.
Does it seem impossible that you and your spouse could laugh and talk the night away like you did before marriage? Maybe you don’t think it impossible, just difficult, or short-lived. These kinds of emotions are what make the parent/adult child relationship too dependent. Many moms pour everything into their children, then when it’s time for them to go to college or marry, she feels lonely and unneeded.
My desire in this post is to encourage in two ways:
- Keep it fresh. If your children are young and still at home, I beg you to keep spending time alone with your husband. Have fun together. Keep conversations up when you share a date night. Leave the phone in the car or on silent. Look into one another’s faces and be together! Practice for the time when it will be just the two of you again. It will be here before you can really understand what happened! Prepare for the empty nest today! Keep the love warm. Keep the fun going. Keep the sparkle in your heart and eyes. Then when your children leave, you can look at your husband, high five one another and continue to have a blast together. My own parents have been such a great example of this to me. If no one could come home for the holiday, they would make plans to go do something really fun instead of sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. Go have Christmas at a beautiful lodge, spend Easter at the beach, find a quaint B&B for Thanksgiving. Make your kids know that you’re just fine being alone.
- Pray for refreshment. If you’re older and your heart is lonely because the kids are gone (or nearly so) and you and your husband don’t have the kind of relationship I’ve described, take a breath…right now…in and out. You’re alive. Your husband is alive. Do you know what that means? There’s still hope! Do you know why? Because God is eternal and He can still work in your marriage. Start today: Pray and ask God to give you a desire towards your husband. Pray that every single day. Keep praying that prayer until the day God calls you home. This is a prayer God will answer. Don’t let the hard days discourage you from asking God for this request.Be the fun one in your marriage. If your husband is sour, then give him a reason to smile (in his heart, even if he never does it outwardly). You know why? Because you’re responsible for you, not him. You will answer to God for your obedience.Plan something today that you could do for him or that you could do together in the near future. Think of something he loves to do then plan an event for/with him. It might include a hike, a football game, a fun restaurant that serves his kind of food. Join in and have fun. Have the kind of fun you had before marriage. Ask questions – not necessarily deep ones, but ones that show you care about him.
Then just keep it up – praying and doing things together. One day you just might find yourselves wrapped in the the greatest times together and realize that God did a work in your marriage. Even if you never feel you got to that place, there should at least be fewer wrinkle lines around your mouth and eyes from the frowns that might have etched them there.
Do your own selves and your kids a favor and keep recreating those fun times that brought you and your spouse together. Life is too short to live with a scowl.
Refresh your marriage,