Monday, February 16, 2009

Romance and All That Gushy Stuff!

We survived another Valentine's Weekend. I am not a syruppy romantic person and neither is Mike. A few years ago we were listening to the radio and they were reading entries from a contest detailing romantic stories of roses, candles and poems. I looked at Mike and did the '80's gag me sign. He replied, "I'm so glad I married you!" That's about as romantic as we get.

On top of not being a romantic, I have always hated feeling forced into "date nights". I think I've written about that before but lately I've been rethinking dating my spouse. I know it is not reality to have super special dates every week. We don't have the time or money for that. But at the same time I think it can be easy to let our marriage slip to the back of my mind, the last thing on the agenda, and the thing we never have the energy to work on.

As the years roll on, especially this year, I've realized that we need to date each other and even romance each other a little. It doesn't have to involved me in a flowered dress or anything dippy like that, but we need to make time together a priority and that is going to take sacrifice. It'll be a sacrifice of time, energy and money.

The problem is when we don't do anything together we drift apart. We are irritated with each other, put off by the other's needs and just generally disinterested. And it's so easy to get there! With jobs, kids, activities, church, errands, bills, pets, house repairs it just seems like there aren't enough hours in the day! And there aren't.

The next level after drifting is actually seeking other people and pleasures in place of my spouse. That would obviously lead down a destructive and dangerous path.

God's plan for marriage is for it to be a lifetime commitment but more importantly, a reflection of His Glory and His intimacy with His bride, the church. So, if it is that important to him, it better be important to me.

Maybe part of what annoys me about all this is when the dates seem selfish in nature. Some people call it "us time" or want to show others what a wonderful, happy couple they are. That kind of dating is in direct contradiction to God's design for marriage. We are supposed to serve and mutually edify one another as a reflection of God's glory. So if we approach our marriage selfishly, it's just as bad as me dancing in a flowered dress. Trust me, that is a sight NO ONE wants to see.

Last month we took a dance class, which was fun and unusual. It was an hour of face to face time each week that included touch (something I'm generally opposed to but realize we need) and a lot of laughter. For Valentine's Day I gave Mike a card and small box of chocolates which I also ate for him. He made me a card with glitter on it. On Sunday night when my Mom got here, we took advantage of the free babysitter and went out to dinner. The more time we spend together, the more I want to kick myself for letting it go.

1 Corinthians 7:5-6
Do no deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

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