“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.” Ephesians 5:25-29 (ESV)
When Daniel and I were engaged, we heard “Marriage is hard work” a lot. Every married person I talked to said it. I know they meant well, but after a while it became discouraging. I remember the look in their eyes, the knowing smiles on their faces. It’s as if they were watching us, young and newly in love, and thinking, “Oh…just wait. You’ll learn.”
Only a few people told me that being married was genuinely fun.
Don’t get me wrong – it is hard work. But it’s also GOOD hard work, and it really is fun!
- Without even meaning to, you create inside jokes with each other that no one else will completely understand.
- Anytime you travel somewhere, you get to have your best friend by your side.
- You know exactly how to cheer each other up and make each other really belly laugh.
- Gifts, kind words, and acts of service mean more coming from that person than from anyone else.
- You can be silly and weird, singing in ugly voices and dancing around the house in your underwear like an idiot with no fear of judgment.
You guys. I’m telling you. It is so much fun.
I was nervous at first, but I shouldn’t have been afraid of the hard parts of marriage because they are both inevitable and necessary. Any relationship that’s worth having takes work. Engaged people, don’t be discouraged! And married people, choose your words wisely. Don’t scare future married people into thinking they’ll be miserable all the time. Marriage is fun, even if you have to recreate the fun sometimes.
I don’t want us to become an old callous couple who stop getting to know each other and just get old, fat, and bitter. I don’t want to look at a young engaged girl with that same “You’ll learn” face. I’d rather work my entire life to keep my marriage fun than give up and become lazy and bored. If our desire is to have godly marriages that bring glory to God and encourage others around us, and we do everything we can to pursue that goal (including breathing constant life into our relationships), God will honor that desire!
Ways to Create (or Recreate) Married Fun:
- Compliment your spouse for an entire day. No criticism or accusations – just compliments. Look for things they are doing right and point them out on purpose!
- Go on a progressive dinner date. Can’t decide where to eat? Go to one restaurant for appetizers, another for entrees, and another for dessert!
- Put your phones away. Just put them away and TALK to each other. You used to do it a lot, remember? It might feel awkward at first if you haven’t done it in awhile, but face time with each other is important!
- Hide notes for each other. Write a bunch of one-sentence love notes on scraps of paper and hide them in random places for the other person to find – in a jacket pocket, wallet, nightstand drawer, Bible, etc. Get creative!
- Start a question-a-day journal. We got ours from Urban Outfitters, but you can get the same one here on Amazon. It’s a great quick way to connect every day through one simple question!
What advice did people give you before you got married?
This post is part of “Married Monday,” a new series I’ve started in order to expose myths and lies we’ve been told about married life, celebrate moments of joy and growth, chew on hard truths and sprinkle them with grace, and remind others (and myself!) that marriage doesn’t work without Christ in it. I have lots of ideas, but I’d love your input too! What topics would you like to see covered?
2 thoughts on “Married Monday: Good Hard Work”
Great post! I’ve been writing about marriage myself. I recently broke down the type of Marriage that Solomon and his bride had. A beautiful one that we all can obtain.
Didn’t get much advice. Realized it was a life-time committment. Learned along the way to encourage each other and listen. James learned there were some things he could not fix, but that was o.k. We shared time with each one’s family, and our families did not put pressure on us to do things their way. Each of us encouraged the other to pursue goals and promptings from the Lord. It was not FUN all the time, but joyful on a deep level. Still learning after 58 years on Jan. 25th.