Marriage is a unique bond between two individuals that is really unlike any other. It’s special and unlike any other relationship, and it requires a lot of work to make it successful. Adding to our section on marriage here on the blog, I wanted to write about the importance of doing things together as a couple today.
I know some experts say it’s important for couples to do things apart from each other at times. The idea is that each person will still have individual interests that they want to pursue apart from each other, even after marriage. The thing is, marriage is a constant sacrifice to each other, and if one spouse continually engages in things that only interest them, or don’t involve their partner – they are going to slowly create a distance gap in their relationship. Marriage is each person giving 100% to each other – it’s not 50/50. Sometimes that means that one partner may have to do something alone, and the other sacrifices that time to their spouse.
But this shouldn’t be the majority of the time in a marriage relationship.
One of the things that can grow a marriage together like none other, is looking for opportunities to do things together as a couple that you both enjoy. This applies even to family in general (as we are discovering as new parents). Growing up, both of our parents spent a lot of time with us, doing events that included the whole family. My parents rarely did anything if I couldn’t go along with them (I was an only child). This enabled them to multi-purpose family outings … not only was it something fun for both of them to do together, but it included me and allowed them to spend more time with me. The same thing can be done in a marriage – looking for opportunities to share time together, enjoying a mutual activity. You may find that you have to scale back on the things you enjoy a lot in order to spend more time with your spouse, but trust me, it is worth it. Marriage is about sacrifice. It is not two people co-existing together but still going in independent directions. That’s a marriage destined for relationship problems.
I enjoy playing a variety of sports, but Anna is not a sports-oriented person. So, I play less of these kinds of activities than I did before we got married. I don’t feel resentful about this … it’s part of my sacrifice in our relationship, because it’s not something we can enjoy together as much. I will still play some sports when I have time, but it’s not a priority item in my life anymore. Instead, we do more mutual interests .. cooking together, exploring in nature, visiting new places we haven’t been. There are things that Anna has changed to prioritize more time with me.
The bottom line is, after marriage you can’t expect to continue living on like a single person. You will need to create new interests together, find new joys, and make new traditions – as a couple. It’s a life changing event. It’s the process of two hearts becoming one. The old things you used to love don’t matter as much anymore, because you’re obsessed with making your spouse happy and pleasing each other. It’s something you have to work at daily. But it’s rewarding.
“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.” – Eph 5:25-18
Part 2 of Megan & Rob’s river adventure will be on the blog tomorrow! Check back in for more beautiful film gorgeousness …