Thursday, November 18, 2010

Encouraging a Fun Marriage

For SWI we had an assignment in which we had to either 1) develop a plan to get over our fear of public speaking 2) write a quick speech on a topic of personal interest or 3) write out questions that may come up during an interview with a pastor/staff search committee and your answers to them. I quickly jumped on the topical speech and as I was writing it, I thought it might be fun to share it with more than just the grader. I wrote the speech on one of my passions-marriage. I'm sickened by the view on marriage that our current society holds so I wanted to speak on how to encourage those who are married to have a fun marriage and try to change that view that is so dismal. Now, I know I've only been married 7 months, but thankfully, I've gleaned some wisdom from women who have been married much longer. I've placed my ideas into practice, and I must say I love how fun my marriage to Ryan is. So here is my homework assignment verbatim. Hope you enjoy! Also, if you have other ideas to make marriage fun, post them please! 
                I love having fun. Who doesn’t? Laughing and having a good time are always things I am up for. I feel that too many people think that having fun is a waste of time or counter-productive. These people are usually depressed, stressed to the max, or really grumpy or angry most of the time. Why would you want to live like that? I’m not trying to say that we shouldn’t work or be productive or even be serious sometimes, but I think a life full of fun and laughter is just better. God created fun. God created laughter. He made things for our enjoyment because He is gracious and loves us. Shouldn’t we enjoy them fully and declare His glory in them? Although I could go on and on about enjoying God’s creations and worshiping Him through that enjoyment, I want to focus on one area in particular: marriage. We live in a world that doesn’t value marriage very much. Divorce rates are through the roof and people are staying single longer so that they can enjoy life first….and then get married. I want to show how enjoying life increases when marriage comes, not the other way around.
                First, be silly. This is something that my husband and I do frequently. We talk in goofy voices, we make up funny dances, we play silly games. When you can be silly with your spouse there is some serious “one-ness” going on. Your guard is totally let down. You’re being vulnerable. You’re letting him see the goofy stuff that’s in your head. He is accepting who you are, encouraging your creativity, and loving you deeply. You’re also doing the same things for him. Let’s face it, we all do weird stuff, we just don’t let anyone see it. We’re so afraid of what people will think. Because of that mindset there is some degree of disconnect with those around us. When you get out of that shell with your husband, there is huge bonding that happens. For me, it has encouraged me to be more real and transparent and truly increases my effectiveness in ministry.
                Second, get cuddling! This is a HUGE one for me. Physical touch is my primary love language. In my pre-sleep ritual, I have to have 5-10 minutes of quality cuddling. For me, cuddling helps me feel safe and secure. When my husband is holding me it communicates “I’m going to care for you and protect you.” This may be a more intimate moment than fun, but we like to mix in some silliness sometimes. Knowing I can truly trust my husband makes our marriage very fun.
                Lastly, DATE NIGHT, DATE NIGHT, DATE NIGHT. To have a fun marriage you have to mix fun into it! Date night is a chance to make great memories to look back on. One of my favorite date nights was actually last week. My husband and I went to eat at Chili’s (our favorite) and watch a movie. Dinner and a movie is a classic date night and it is our favorite date night to do. At dinner we got to talk and share some “us” time and my sweet husband shared his heart by telling me how much he appreciated me being so understand while he has been busy every night with homework. My heart melted. This man loves me and doesn’t take me for granted. He really does want me by his side! Next, we followed up dinner by seeing Megamind. We are still kids at heart and love watching animated movies. This one was especially great because Will Ferrell and Tina Fey were voices in it: two more of our favorites! We love watching movies because we talk about them at length afterward. Usually with comedies, we pick a few lines to quote frequently. It creates a memory or an inside joke that only we have. That night was incredible. It was simple but it was perfect. Make date night special. It can look a hundred different ways, but find time to get alone with you man and cherish each other.
                Hopefully, I’ve provided some ways to encourage a fun marriage. Sure, there will bumps in your marital road, but those should be exceptions, not the rule. Delight in one-another like the couple in Song of Solomon. Enjoy this life as you share it with your best friend who knows you better than anyone! Through our marriages, may we be an example of love to those who do not know it.

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