Monday, May 21, 2007

What if ... we always lived as though we were still newlyweds?

Me and my husband celebrated our 10 year anniversary this past Friday by going out to dinner and then going out of town to visit family. We recognize 10 years as being a great accomplishment especially when divorce is so commonplace and seems to be an easy way out for many when the going gets tough. If a marriage is ever going to work though, it takes lots of hard work which at times can be very draining. We are both very grateful for the hard work we have put into our marriage to make sure it has lasted as long as it has and know our hard work will keep us together for the rest of our lives.

In the past on several of our previous anniversaries we had pulled out our wedding video to watch with our children and pictures of when we were first married. It reminds us of those times we went out of our way to make the other feel special and loved. Something that we need to work harder at the longer we are married especially after we began our family. It is easy to take one another for granted and just assume they will alway know how special they are and how much we love them.

This is something I had begun to learn a few years back and continue to need to remind myself of to act as though I did when we were newlyweds. To make it a point to go out of my way to make my husband feel special and remind him of how much he is loved. To stop taking for granted that he already knows.

I have never been too affectionate of a person and at one point when my marriage had hit a pretty rough trial I realized I wasn't making my husband feel very secure in our marriage because of it. My husband is definitely the more affectionate one of the two of us which is what attracted me to him in the first place. It was then that I realized how important it is for me to work hard at letting him know just what he means to me. And I am continuing to learn to do so. What if .. we always did live as though we were still newlyweds?

13 comments:

Randee said...

Lori, I love this post and thought I'd take the opportunity to give a tribute to my man.

My initial attraction to my husband was physical...to say the least. Lust? Probably. No, definitely. He was hot! Still is, as the matter of fact. (I've always had a thing for clean-shaven bald heads.)

There he was muscled up with his arms bulging from his t-shirt, naturally tanned from a man who worked outdoors. I was immediately attracted.

But it was his quiet confidence that sent me into ga-ga land. We struck up a conversation about our likes and dislikes. I told him I played tennis. He asked me out on a tennis date. I said no. (I wasn't interested in dating at that time.)

But, about a week later, he sent me a gift that made an impact. It was a tennis racket with a note that said...When can Randee come out and play?

I was hooked. Turns out that this man of physical strength was also a man of emotional and spiritual strength.

We played that tennis game (I beat him, by the way.) and we've been together ever since. And, I can honestly say that every year gets better and better.

The other day I told him the story of a husband who was leaving his wife for another woman. The woman requested two things:

1) Don't leave for another month.

2) Carry me into our bedroom every night for the next month.

The story ends with the husband leaving the other woman with his marriage in tact.

Do you know what my husband did? He bent over to pick me up! Then he remembered that he had hurt his back at work but he was willing.

That's what I love about Will...he is always willing.

Anne said...

Beautiful stories from both of you, Lori and Randee. Lori, Happy 10th Anniversary, and Randee, thank you for sharing a little bit about your husband Will. How could anyone resist the tennis racket gift - especially the note!

Shalene said...

Hello Ladies,
Congrats on 10 years Lori! And congrats to you Anne that you still think of your hubby as hot! :) I too, still think my husband is hot. You see, my husband and I were believers when we met, so I know without a doubt that lust was uppermost in our attraction to one another. I've always had a thing for very masculine types with light eyes. My husbands voice alone screams "MAN!!" and his eyes... well never mind, I don't want to entice anyone. :) I'm kidding but you get the picture. Recently, my husband and I had the oppotunity to take part in a small group study called "I Promise" by Gary and Greg Smalley of the Smalley Marriage Institute. It reminded us to think of those things that drew us to one another in the first place- aside from the lust. Because as we all know, lust does not last, at least not consistently, but where our treasure is, there are hearts will follow. So it is with desire as well. We all must remember that love is not an emotion, but a decision, and you cannot base that decision on how you feel about another. Having said that, it is so much easier to "feel" that way, when you think of the good things, and dwell not on the bad. We are told this time and again in the Bible. Thank God that He gives us instruction on how we are to live every aspect of our lives! For those of you that still would like to "lust" after your spouses, I recommend a book titled "Intended for Pleasure" written by Dr Ed Wheat and his wife Gaye Wheat (it is a Christian book intended as a marriage resource.) Bless all of you.

Sheri said...

How cool that y'all still have the fire. That doesn't happen much anymore.

Randee said...

Yes, Sheri, we do have the fire still after all these years. It's funny, too, because we don't necesarrily practice the common theories behind it like a weekly date, etc.

But, have you ever seen that triangle analogy often used in Christian marriage counseling? You know, the one with God at the top and the husband and wife on the sides pointing towards Him?

I believe this is the key to a successful (and passionate) marriage. A God-ordained marriage. It's taken us a long time to come to this point as neither of us were walking with Christ when we met. But...we do now and our passion for Him translates to a passion for each other.

Sound strange?

Sheri said...

Randee,

Not strange at all. If both partners are following Him daily, how can you go wrong?

Here's what I see in my own marriage. Not that I'm pointing fingers, but I do get very frustrated with this.

When it comes to my relationship with the Lord I can be very demonstrative. When I'm on fire for God I let it show. I am constantly striving to grow closer to Him. Although, my prayer life could use a little prayer.

I'd like to point out that I also wear the pants in the family. More on this in a minute.

My husband is very reserved. I often wonder if he even has a personal relationship with God. He is saved. But, I've never seen a fire or even a desire to grow.

He is very focused on his job. It consumes him. Sadly, there is no doubt that it will take his life. There's no room left for anything else. We've talked about this repeatedly, to no avail. I can't make him change, so I just deal with it.

He also travels extensively.

That's where the pants come in. God did not intend for the woman to run the show. He gave men leadership capabilities in this area for a reason. My firm belief is that the reason there is no fire for us anymore is because we're not living the biblical model for marriage and family life. And even though God is a part of our family (1/2 of it)He is not the center of it. I, personally, think that in order for God to be at the center the husband has to be the one who gathers the family into that area.

At least my kids are saved. One of them is on fire for God. The other one, just like his dad, is apathetic.

I wish it weren't so. But it is what it is. I keep praying. God will work it out when the time is right. (I guess I do practice perseverence. From a different post.)

So, strange? No. The proof is in the pudding. Where there is God there is passion.

Randee said...

Sheri,

I have a very good friend who faces the same challenges. She talks openly with me about her frustrations of being the "spiritual leader" of their family.

This was the case for me a while back, as well. I remember praying every day for my husband to "step up" in this one very crucial area. It took years but when he did...he really did!

But...back to the days of old when I was praying. I remember once going to my husband and very quietly saying: If you won't do this for me or for our marriage, will you do consider it for our children? You play a large role into our sons becoming men of God and who our daughters marry. What do you want for them?

I left him with these thoughts and questions and he conceded. I believe to this day that God gve me those words and the tenderness in approaching him with the unthinkable...his children making bad choices based on his example. This was simply too much for him. God convicted his heart and the transformation began very quickly. Still is.

The example my husband provides for my children (for me) is admirable. Truly a conviction by the Holy Spirit.

Years of prayer finally answered.

By the way...I believe that I have been given the spiritual gift of leadership. As a woman, this comes with its own challenges. When used in accordance with God's will, it can be a powerful gift but against God's will...devastating.

I have to remember always my role...particularly within my family.

Lori Arriaga said...

Randee, I had to laugh at what you shared but also thank you for sharing that beautiful story of you and your husband. As well as the story of the other woman with her simple requests and how her marriage is saved. I completely believe and agree with you that passion for Christ translates into passion in a marriage as my passion for my husband only gets better when I am doing well spiritually.

What initially won me over with my husband was when he made a blueberry cheesecake for me after he overheard me tell a friend that was my favorite desert. LOL And to this day he makes it for me at least once a year for a special occasion.

Sheri, I believe there are many women who can relate to you. I definitely can. I continue to pray and trust God. I get wore out at times but I continue to persevere because I believe God wants it more then I do and has a greater plan for him then what I can see. Little by little I have seen God doing a work in my husband heart and I praise God for the efforts he does begin to make to lead our family spiritually.

Sheri said...

I agree with you that women who are given the gift of leadership do have to be careful in their marital relationships. It would be very easy to let it spill over into an area where it shouldn't be.

I find it sad that we, as wives, have to pray so stinkin hard and often for our husbands to be spiritual leaders. I have other friends who have struggled with this same issue.

If God designed marriage/family to be a certain way, why is it so doggone hard for men to concede?

Randee said...

A response to Sheri's question...a paraphrase from Billy Graham.

Once long ago, there was a garden called Eden. In it were a man and an woman living in a perfect world.

Then a choice was made that changed the world...

Sheri said...

Randee,

Isn't it funny how so many things go back to that brief moment in time?

One simple little choice and how it affected an entire world for eternity...

Makes ya wonder.

Randee said...

Yes, Sheri. And, I believe it's the same for us.

One little choice and our lives are forever changed.

Yes. We are forgiven. The slate is wiped clean by the beautiful grace of our Father.

Yet...He's also clear. We reap what we sow.

I was a rebellious teenager who completely bucked authority. Quite frankly, the idea that I could ask for forgiveness at any time...well, let's just say that I took advantage of that promise.

And, as He says...I will not be mocked.

I told this to my pastor several weeks ago. That the children and youth need to deeply understand this biblical promise: We reap what we sow. There are consequences.

I know about consequences.

But, even better, I know about His infinite grace.

This "major sinner" is deeply grateful.

Yours said...

sdfe52