Monday, 9 January 2012

It's Time to Lighten Up

Susan Yates, contributor to “MomLIfe Today” a FamilyLife blog for moms seemed like great advice.

Are you having fun in your marriage?


It sounds like a ridiculous question, doesn’t it? After all, most of us got married because we liked being with each other and we had fun.


But now, many of us don’t even think about fun. We are just trying to get through the day—cleaning up the next poopy diaper, finding money to pay that unexpected bill, figuring out how to be at two different ballgames at once … Who has time for fun in marriage, anyway?
My husband, John, and I have a little farm in the hills of Virginia. When we bought the farm years ago we inherited a delicious red raspberry patch which produced the most delicious red raspberries twice a year in July and October. Every season the kids and I would carefully weed out the honeysuckle and prepare the soil to ensure a good crop. And it did. We picked baskets of them and ate raspberry pancakes, raspberries on ice cream, raspberry muffins—raspberries in and on everything we could think of! It was great fun.



But as the kids got involved in more activities and life got busier, I just didn’t have the time to put into keeping the honeysuckle weeds out of my raspberry patch. I was sincere—I wanted a good crop. But too many other commitments took up my time. Slowly and subtly the honeysuckle took over and began to strangle out my raspberries. Finally the day came when we had to mow down the patch. What a sad, sad day.


As I thought about my raspberries I thought about my marriage. How easy it was to think, I’ll work on my marriage when life calms down. But the reality is that life doesn’t calm down. It just gets busier, more complicated. There are simply too many good options in today’s world for us and for our kids.


Our tendency is to put our marriage on hold—in fact, to neglect it—thinking, One day we’ll have time for us. But we’ll never have time. We have to make time, or the marriage may end up like my raspberries.


Oh how we need to recapture fun in our relationship. We need to laugh together. We need to try something together which we’ve never done before. It doesn’t have to be a big deal: Go for a hike in a new place … attend a lecture … take a dance class … go sailing or canoeing … light candles and take turns reading a silly book out loud … find a field and make love in a pasture.


I pray every week that John and I will laugh more together. I pray that for my children and their mates. When my sons were young I prayed that God would bring them wives who would make them laugh. (He did!) Now I pray that God would give all of us friends who would make us laugh.


Life is hard. We need to lighten up. We need to restore a little silliness in our relationships.


So here’s a challenge: On your calendar, set aside two hours in the next week for time alone with your spouse. Write it in ink, not pencil. Plan to do something crazy and fun.


Of course you don’t have time for this. But you can’t afford not to.

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