God created a woman because He saw that the man, Adam, was lonely and needed someone. These two lived in perfect harmony until they sinned and then things started to go wrong.
This blog is not about who’s fault it was that sin entered the marriage, but instead about what can we do about it. Relationships are complicated it seems. We are driven by feelings, emotions, and hormones to the opposite sex because God created us to be attracted to each other. Relationships with our friends sometimes get difficult and we have not committed to starting a family, and spending the rest of our lives with them, like we do a spouse. As individuals we carry different beliefs and expectations into a marriage. Things are not always as we expect them to be. This causes problems. We argue about all sorts of life issues, finances, commitments, time together or apart, kids, how we discipline our kids or should we and so much more. A marriage that will stand the test of time takes work.
One of the largest contributors to marriage success or failure is communication or the lack of communication. We are so very busy in life and have so many relationships going on at the same time it sometimes gets difficult to remember to slow down and spend time to really communicate with your spouse. This is not the logistics of the day to day type communication, but the type where it is just the two of you talking about each other with each other and getting your feelings out there for each other. Marriage is about being transparent and making yourself vulnerable. This is not normal or natural since we are taught to never let down our guard and be strong. Being completely open means going against our natural instinct to preserve and protect ourselves, and this takes work. Marriage is about putting others ahead of ourselves and finding a balance of living and giving.
The time to communicate with intentional purpose and just talk with your spouse is something that has to be carved out of busy days. My wife and I like to cruise as a vacation since it is a completely different life than we live on a daily basis. This has become our vacation of choice since it gets us away from phones, emails, the internet and the things that can easily distract from us. It takes a day or more for me to unwind and start to focus on her instead of thinking about work. We have recently become empty nesters, and this has brought some interesting challenges, but has allowed us to focus a little more on each other. We both miss our children a lot, but we are not as focused on them and their activities as we were, so it allows more time for each other. We are rediscovering that relationship we had twenty-nine years ago before kids. We are learning to laugh together, opening ourselves up to each other again like when we first started dating. Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying, we would never trade the time we have spent with our children, but as a couple you have to make time for the two of you and this balance takes work.
Some of the best advice I ever heard about marriage was to never stop dating each other. This means you have to schedule intentional date nights and events with your spouse. Figure out what makes each other happy and go that direction. There is no magic formula, place to go or things to do since it is different for everyone, but it has to be intentional time set apart for each other. A time to retreat away from the distractions that everyday life throws at us. Finding a balance between work, family and each other. Learn to laugh, cuddle, play, and just be with each other, we call this retreat. Unplug from the distractions that invade our lives and retreat with each other for a few days. Spend time learning about each other with each other. Talk about your struggles, your likes and dislikes and listen to what is being said. Talk about how to change or be better in your relationship. You see this takes work.
If you want to really jumpstart this type of a relationship, join us at the Strengthen the Knot Retreat. We will be intentional about how the whole weekend is scheduled and the information that will be shared. It is our goal to give you a weekend to remember and the tools that will set you on your way to a joyful marriage for years to come.