The Dancing Puritan

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Someone to Date: Thoughts on Marriage

Picture from northgeorgia.edu


It was a crisp enough morning to move the couple inside of the dessertery. The quaint little eatery on the historic town square was the beginning of a thee-day dating experience for the couple married twenty-five years. The menu offered a different twist on the regular breakfast fare. The homemade croissant embraced a lightly fried egg and was decorated with fruit on the side. And he, to the surprise of his wife, chose quiche.

It was a delightful morning. Laughter and conversation filled the room. The husband planned several days of short excursions to spend with his wife as they celebrated their anniversary. Interestingly there had been a different place on the schedule for that morning, yet it was closed. The couple considered it a sweet providence as they enjoyed a more suitable and a bit more romantic setting to begin their short journey.

Over the days, gifts were exchanged at various places.  Sometimes they would dress up and other times they chose casual.  It was an adventure. She did not know where he was taking her, which seemed to delight her and to excite him. They ate, they walked and they talked.  Twenty-five years was capsuled into three days.

This was not the first time they had marked big events.  On year ten it was she who did the planning.  In many ways the tenth year felt like the first.  Both were young and the marriage was young. They set sail across the ocean and boarded together in a little cabin--perfect for a couple in love.

Such occasions marked year fifteen and other key dates connected to their marriage. And sprinkled along the journey were special nights, days or weekend trips that delighted the couple.

They were never disappointed in any of their trips (short or long). They were together and their marriage was renewed. Each date had a way of infusing the marriage with fresh vision and new ideas--like the meal at the dessertery on the unusually cool late summer's day.

Perhaps you are now recalling such experiences in your marriage. Remembering great dates on special occasions brings a smile to your face. But what about the regular days when there are no anniversaries, birthdays or other events to mark? The weeks when all is normal (meaning school, chores, work and chaos)?  Do you ever open the windows so that refreshing air can stir the romance that tends to settle on your heart's floor?  Yes, a thousand times yes, there is joy to be found in the daily duties of life.  Eat and drink to the pleasure of God and let your taste-buds dance with every peanut butter sandwich. It is a gift, not to be missed.  Enjoy every hug, appreciate every time the mountains of clothes are folded and the office is organized.

But...don't stop there.  In marriage love needs to be awakened.  It needs to be called to the front in fresh and creative ways. Music must be added to the daily fare--music that invites a dance, a waltz.

Sabbath's are needed every week--to rest, reflect, refocus and to swim in God's grace. You read your Bible throughout the week but on Sunday's (at least) you need preaching, congregational singing and the fellowship of the saints.

Perhaps your marriage is in the proverbial rut.  It is characterized by going through the motions but is missing the song, the dance, the laugh and the kiss---the real kiss.

What do you do?  How do you open the windows to allow the fresh air in? Can you stir up again the romance that seems to have disappeared into the normal routine?  Tomorrow we will seek to answer those questions. For now find a quiet place and meditate on these verses:

Come, my beloved, let us go out into the fields and lodge in the villages; Let us go out early to the vineyards and see whether the grape blossoms have opened and the pomegranates are in bloom.  There I will give you my love.  The mandrakes give forth fragrance, and beside our doors are all choice fruits, new as well as old, which I have laid up for you, O my beloved (Song of Solomon 7:11-13).