Saturday, December 01, 2012

Dating Him

My husband has a class at Cornell this weekend, so we decided to tack 2 1/2 days of couple time on the front of the trip. With a small dose of guilt I left my primary daily role of homemaker to spend some time focusing only on my role as spouse.

After typing up the lists for family members who will be shuttling, feeding, supervising and holding down the fort in our absence, we headed for the airport. My husband spent his time dictating cases, fielding calls and 'tidying up' his practice. I had a few moments reflecting on the time, expense and preparation required to get away and wondering if it was worth it. 

When we arrived at the airport and were standing in line I looked up at my husband and smiled. It was the first time all day amidst our rushing and preparing that we had stopped to just look each other in the eyes. He smiled back and asked,  
"Did you get a facial or something? Your face looks different." 
I laughed (and reminded myself it was intended as a compliment.)
"It must just be your vacation face," he grinned.
It struck me how very often it is the case with those we love, than we do life without pausing to really see each other.

Then scrolling through twitter, as if on cue, I stumbled upon this quote: 
"Simply living life changes us; we’ve got to keep pursuing our spouses or risk becoming a stranger to the person we married." Gary Thomas 

In the early days of our marriage, a fellow newlywed friend had a cute comeback she used whenever her husband rolled his eyes at one of her antics. 
"Well, I am just being the woman you married."

I attempted to use that little zinger once--after making a significant financial decision without consulting my husband. I still cringe when I reflect on the immaturity I displayed. We were young marrieds--just learning the rhythm of matrimony. Suffice it to say, my husband didn't think my comeback was very cute. 

I will never forget his reply: "See, that's just it. You can't just be the woman I married. We are still growing and learning. Getting married doesn't mean you stop. You just do it together."

Eleven years later I agree completely. I am not the woman he married--and he is not the man I married. Time, perspective, life events have changed us. That can be feared or it can be embraced, but it cannot be denied. And so, to Gary Thomas' point, we must remain in pursuit of one another's hearts. 

Whether it is tacking a day or two on a business trip, sending the children for an overnight with the grandparents or a weekend marriage retreat... we must remember the vows we made to love, honor and cherish. Those are not one time words, they are active. Life is a dynamic process. If we aren't growing we are dying, so we face a choice: We can grow together or we can grow apart.

Taking a step away from the hamster wheel to be intentional about 'dating' each other isn't always convenient...but it is beneficial. Yesterday we had absolutely no plans until 8pm when we met old friends for dinner. We spent the day carefree, exploring the city. It was a day that might has well have been a week.

We held hands. We had adventure. It was just the two of us against the city. We laughed. We reconnected. We took a break from the rat race that threatens to engulf us and amidst this city that never sleeps--we rested. And it was good. 

We aren't the people we married, but we are in this together. Glory be to God.


Allison Preg said...

thank you for this! it gives me hope that marriages CAN exist in the way God intended them to be!

His Doorkeeper said...

Every young couple needs to read this (well, maybe us old ones too!!) We teach Young Adults in Bible study and I always remind them to take time for each other. It's your relationship with each other that builds the security into the lives of your young children. They will thrive in the overflow of your love for each other!

Great post! Have been reading your blog since your children were very small but rarely comment!

Elizabeth said...

Your posts always speak to me at the right times. Thank you for reminding us that we need to invest our marriages and put them first in order to be good parents.