Monday, March 16, 2009

Marital Moments Issue 26 - Holding Patterns

We've touched on the highs and lows of marriage, but what about when you are living the day to day, ins and outs of marriage? This is truly where most of our marriage lives are spent. If it were graphed; these patterns would probably look similar to a heartbeat. There are the ups and downs of everyday joys and struggles, but it has a sense of consistency about it for longer periods of time.

I was speaking with someone today who was asking what I thought about the difference of "loving your spouse" and "being in love with them." This could probably be termed many different things, but essentially I believe she was needing me to validate that most of us don't have that giddy "in love" feeling every day. Not even every month. Let's get real here because I believe that another one of those "messages" that we are bombarded with in our culture is that if we've "lost that lovin' feelin'" that it's "gone, gone, gone, whoa whoa whoa..." we must have missed our true soul mate and they are still out there somewhere just waiting for us.

Imagine with me that you are about to go on a trip. An anticipated vacation perhaps. You are sitting in the airport waiting for your turn to board the plane that is going to transport you to your destination. The speaker finally comes alive and your row is called. You board the plane, stow your small bag(s) and buckle in ready for the adventure to begin. The door closes, air pressure begins to change and an attractive stewardess shows you how to properly buckle your seat belt. She also visually demonstrates where the exits are if you were to need them in case of an emergency and holds an air mask up to her face while pulling the straps to ensure that you understand.

At this point, the captain welcomes you and also mentions that you will be taxiing the runway shortly. The plane jolts and then glides down the runway, but you are the last of what seems an endless row of planes awaiting take off. The person beside you is engrossed in the "SkyMall Magazine;" the child behind already using the back of your seat as a springboard of activity...


All of what I just described is not necessarily part of what you had anticipated your adventure to be - in it's fullness, but it is part of the adventure none the less. The same can be true of marriage. There are the day to day activities of life to be lived.

This is where I want to encourage you to shake it up just a little though. Too many of us just float through life without really living it. Too many are married without the joy of a marriage. I'm sure that it will come as no surprise to you when I say, go out of your way to pursue your spouse. Engage them in conversation. Join them in their every day activities. Lighten their load now and then even if it means taking on more yourself for a bit. Go out of your way to love them. Love can be a noun or a verb. While it is nearly impossible for it to always be a verb; choose to make it a verb as much as possible. You will experience more of the "highs" in marriage if you do, and when you do go through the lows, you will already have an established relationship that can walk through the valleys together.

I was amazed this last time that my husband and I were in the valley together...we were actually able to enjoy a bit of the lushness of the greens and the scents of the flowers together in the midst of the pain and sadness. We don't have it all together; we have days where we don't like each other very much just like everyone else. Those are normal feelings, maybe even trends; but it doesn't have to be your every day "normal." Step out and make love a verb in your relationship. That lovin' feelin' is often found when we do.

5 comments:

rhemashope said...

I still remember that post you wrote where the older woman said, "Have an affair with your husband." When I go out of my way to pursue my husband, the poor man is shocked out of his mind. That tells me I could stand to do more! But sometimes just a little effort can go a long way...
My husband thanks you, Shanda!

Gretchen said...

This is such a great reminder. Sometimes, I focus on all that I have.to.do. in my life and wonder what he's done for me lately. Then, I wake up, and realize that I can only change my behavior and attitude, and often when I wonder, "what have I done for him lately?--just him, not the kids, etc.--it brings me back to a fresh focus. It does take effort. But when did anything worth anything not take effort? I think, even more than in an equally yoked relationship, it's important to show Jesus in skin whenever possible. Trying to make agape my middle name. Lord, give me Your grace!

Jaycee said...

Bravo! Great post! My husband and I have been pretty good so far about not letting too much time go by before we break the routine of the "everyday." Just a couple weeks ago he sent me flowers for no reason. Made my day! I hope we keep it up (only been married 2 1/2 years).

Mama Voss said...

I just found your blog and I needed to read this... thanks for your inspiration.

Rachel said...

Thank you for posting this. It is a good reminder and lesson... I learned the "love is a verb" thing a few years ago and it changed my life. Thankfully I have a pretty terrific husband - there's no one else I'd rather be going through a valley with.

Thank you for your sweet comments on our blog. It was a tough post to write :)