Today’s post comes from Monique Chambers & Start Marriage Right.
The butterflies ceased, the kind words of affirmation came to a halt, and those go-out-of-my-way gifts for him dwindled. I didn’t know when or how this happened, but one day I realized we were brother and sister, not friends and lovers.
When I was engaged to my husband, I never thought for a second that marriage could be so much work. I heard so many variations of people saying: “Marriage is what you make of it…It’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever work at…” But for some reason, I didn’t take them seriously.
In our first year of marriage, I could remember my husband saying things like, “Monique, we’ve got something really good. It’s not as bad as you think. As a matter of fact, our marriage isn’t bad at all. We just have to keep working at it…together.”
And he was right. We do have a great marriage, but we also have a marriage that requires constant attention- attention that I don’t always want to give.
Maybe I just want things easy. Maybe I just want things to go my way.
Maybe I’m a lazy lover.
Is that you, are you a lazy lover?
I had to seriously consider these questions:
- Am I actively listening to the heart of what my spouse is saying, and not merely what he is expressing?
- During times of conflict, am I leaving room for the possibility of another perspective? Does everything always have to be my way, especially when I don’t quite agree?
- When my spouse speaks, am I paying attention? When he is trying to have a heart to heart with me, am I dismissing his feelings? When he expresses his likes/dislikes, am I even taking note?
- When was the last time I apologized without a prompt and with an apology greater than “I’m sorry”?
- Do I do little things here or there to show that I care? When was the last time I showered him with a compliment or prayed through his struggle?
BOTTOM LINE, HOW COULD WE POSSIBLY EXPECT FRUIT FROM SOMETHING WE’RE NOT WILLING TO PRUNE?
A beautiful vineyard doesn’t just become the masterpiece that it is overnight. It takes time and it requires our ongoing attention. My husband and I weren’t oblivious to the state that we were in. As a matter of fact, we were quite aware that the honeymoon was over, but we also knew where we wanted to be together as a union.
It was time for us to prune.
I began praying for my husband more than I had in previous years. I also began trusting God that He would lead our marriage to the place where He wanted it to be- a place where we both had an insatiable sexual desire for each other. God wants our marriage to be one that is healthy and growing in all areas.
We got rid of the busyness and neglect by scheduling a whole lot more of what we wanted to do, rather than what we had to do. We brought back date night, and it’s something we both look forward to! Lastly, we schedule a weekly devotional time with material focusing on growing together in marriage.
Together, we learned that it’s true, marriage is what you make of it. If you do nothing, just like a vineyard, weeds or unproductive habits will overtake it. Don’t be surprised when you produce little to no fruit! But if you give it the attention and the care it requires, your marriage will thrive and produce all the goodness your life needs.
Don’t be a lazy lover. Love your marriage!