Go Out

By Cindy Koch

Many good advice-givers tell me that marriage is hard work. I even want to believe them in these times of kids, activities, commitments, meetings, bills, stress, and the endless search for rest. My husband of 18 years, now, is a familiar face in the blur of everyday routine. And sometimes, I find myself missing the friend I knew in my youth.

After years of babies, student loan stress, church council meetings, home renovations, and (now) teenage breakdowns, we are almost never focused exclusively on each other. Of course we do things together; we tag team to piano lessons and eat at the same dinner table. But our weekly routine needs a time when I laugh with him, recognizing the amusement in his eyes. I must have a moment to clearly see the frustration in the creases of his forehead. And we have learned to schedule this time together in our week.

Thursday is the one night out of the week that I learn even more about my friend, my husband. We talk about the future, the past, theology, sports (I try to listen and make sense of it), our friends, our families, our victories, our pain, even our anger. Some Thursdays we go out and have nothing to say at all. We will just eat, drink, and smile. I may dress up one Thursday with heels & lipstick. The next Thursday it might be my simple jeans and a T-shirt. It’s not uncommon, on a Thursday night, I break down in tears. Something held in too long, something I didn’t even know that hurt. There are Thursdays I had to forgive. There are Thursdays that I was forgiven.

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If you are anything like us – married – then you know that the relationship isn’t just magical once you repeat the words “I do”. There is another sinner that now lives in your house, for the rest of your life. There are frustrations and expectations. There are hurtful words and too many activities. We have moved beyond the puppy love friendship recalled from our wedding day. And so they say that “marriage is work” and you will have to really try hard to make it last. But, I think it may be easier than all that.

Just go out.

Enjoy your life with your friend. Be with your friend. Laugh with your friend. Cry with your friend. Forgive your friend. God has given you this special person to share your days here – so just be what He said you were – one flesh.  Escape the façade of your mundane day-to-day. Be free from the staged Facebook happiness. Go out and live a few hours refocused on the gift of each other.  Your friendship becomes less like “work” and much more like the blessing it was meant to be.

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3 comments

  1. I just want to thank you, Cindy and Paul, for being a great example for Amy and me. Now – I don’t want to boost Paul’s ego anymore than it already is – Amy and I make a night for ourselves. Yes, we don’t have children and aren’t as busy, but with a little tike on the way it’s good to get into practice now! Thanks be to God for that friend we as married folk share happy/good times and sad/bad times!

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  2. “The Date”

    My Better Half (sometimes/sometimes not) and I found a sure fire solution very early on! Maybe not “every” week, but we came to realize – the more, the merrier!

    1. Pick a night a week. Get Grandma or someone you know and trust with the kiddies overnight, order a mess o’ pizza and coke/pop/soda (depending on your geographical location) in the demanded flavors, and some DVD’s and/or games.

    2. Do your dinner of choice at the appropriate establishment. Get what you want -don’t skimp! Then – stop at the appropriate store for the “beverages” of choice. Be sure to get snacks, including chocolate. Self-explanatory, I think.

    3. Of course, you need to reserve it in advance (work out a deal with the boss there in you will be a regular, or try diff places) – but get the honeymoon sweet with the deluxe hot-tub. Fill the tub upon arriving at the room, get the beverages on ice quickly, and the cooler next to the tub.

    4. Go “pre-Fall” Adam and Eve – git nekkid. It has a great cathartic effect (and most times far more!), then get in the water, let the jets take away the negative tension, while you counter-chill the heat of the tub with the beverages. Wonderful sensation, but do be moderate in a hot tub. They greatly assist in the efficacy of the “adult” beverages.

    5. Talk – about whatever – get it out, examine whatever is on your minds- good or bad. See and feel (not being a schwärmerei), and take in the context of the moment, and why the moment is really about the two of you and why you started your family and both put all the efforts into raising and loving your young saints as you do. Repeat your vows (that’s ONE time you DON’T need some dude in vestments!) –

    a. I {love; need, desire, and upset} with you but still love you dearly
    b. God in Christ put us together, and He meant it.
    C. Because He meant it, you will too.

    6. Re-consummate your marriage. It is hardly carnal, but a Divine act through which you see and know your love for one another, and for the dear ones with which God has blessed the both of you. besides – it is also just plain fun, and comes with the imprimatur of the Lord!

    7. When you get home the next morning, smile knowingly to all without a word. Somehow – the next six days will somehow seem a whole lot better than they used to be.

    P.S. Don’t be surprised if both of you become quite creative in how you plan “the date.”

    pb

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