This post is a continuation of my Wedding Day Countdown – 10 things I want you to know before your wedding day. ( Original Post – http://wp.me/p2Uy1y-wv )
2 days and counting! Marriage is fluid. It moves and changes. It’s a building process that ebbs and flows like the tide. It will change again, and again.
Does the thought of your life changing make you nervous, scared, or excited? Probably all of the above, I would guess. For twenty some odd years you have been doing things your way for your purpose, the next you wake up with someone else by your side. What will that look like? How will that change you? The joining of two lives into one is a process – a journey that will last your lifetime. Here are a few things to remember at the start of your new life together.
Don’t give up things you love – always hold on to a little piece of that for yourself, but look to build new adventures and hobbies with one another too. What are the things that attract you to one another? Do you smile when the other lights up during a conversation about a hobby or interest they have? Do you laugh at the quirkiness of what sparks his/her attention? Never let that go! These are the things that drew you to the other. They are the things that have the potential to breathe new life into your relationship. Call it space, call it self-care, call it alone time – what matters is that you allow the other to have it. If you don’t, slowly but surely a little piece of the other can slip away as they lose a part of who God created them to be.
The challenge here is that you never make this “space” the priority in your marriage; never make the other feel neglected or rejected. Nor should this “space” bring on feelings of guilt in you. Your time together must be prioritized, but you must recognize when there is a need for a time of renewal.
That time may look very different to the two of you. Even though your interests may be different, the reason you enjoy them are probably the same. Your shared values are more important that your shared interests. Your commitment to one another, your communication with one another, respect, and love are the shared values that help form the decision you make and how you respond to them.
Being able to recognize your own or the other’s need to recharge means you are listening and learning about one another. The need to think, process your thoughts, or simply relax is a sign that you are paying attention to the busy-ness in your life.
When couples have their own set of interests, friends, and time alone, it encourages laughter and happiness. It brings a renewed freshness to their marriage. Conversations become more exciting because you are learning something new about the other with every new conversation. You hear their hopes and dreams for the future. This is the adventure, the part of the journey that keeps things new and exciting! See the value in the things the other enjoys, the gifts they’ve been given, and do everything in your power to embrace it and help it grow.
Just remember to create clear agreements so that whatever each of you does to recharge is in alignment with your relationship. It should never be thrown in the other’s face if it disrupts your marriage financially, or threatens your marital bond. Again, communicate these things ahead of time.
Dear Lord, thank you for creating each human being with unique gifts and talents. When this couple can’t see the big picture, the masterpiece you have in mind, help them to be patient with one another and find acceptance in the moment – placing all their worries and concerns at Your feet. Just as the back of a tapestry looks like a mixed up pile of thread, we often don’t see how life is falling into place, but when the tapestry is turned over and we look at the other side, we will see the beautiful masterpiece that only You can create. As this couple brings their two different sets of interests and gifts to the other, I pray that Your mighty hand weaves those differences together to create a masterpiece of their marriage. Amen.
Marriage isn’t the end of your freedom, it is the beginning of an adventure with your best friend.