I have marriage on my mind today. Not exactly sure why…maybe it’s because I am readily aware that many marriages are struggling. Or maybe it’s because the calendar has flipped to the month of February and romance is in the air.
Although marriage is ordained by God, it can be a bit challenging for you and I. Fewer and fewer people are committing to tie the knot. Demographic Intelligence projects that, by 2016, there will only be 6.7 weddings per 1,000 people, compared to 16.4 in 1946 or 10.8 in 1984. A lot of people have been burned. Several have become cynics. Even amongst faith-walking, Jesus-talking believers, marriages fail. Creating a successful and healthy marriage is certainly not an easy task.
Maybe the first step is to realize that our marriages will struggle. We all have bad days. We yell at our kids. Take our spouse for granted. Think only about ourselves. Yet, despite our imperfections, God created husband and wife to direct our attention back to Him.
“God did not create marriage just to give us a pleasant means of repopulating the world and providing a steady societal institution to raise children. He planted marriage among humans as yet another signpost pointing to His own eternal, spiritual existence.” —Gary Thomas, author of Sacred Marriage
I’m blessed. I know I am. I am fortunate to be married for nearly 25 years. I love my family. However, I will be completely vulnerable today and tell you, “It’s not perfect.” We work. We try.
There is ALWAYS room for improvement. No matter who you are or where you live or how long you’ve been married…it can improve. And here’s one helpful hint to HOW…
DON’T GIVE UP ON TOUCH. It seems like we can’t keep our hands off of each other when we’re dating. The flirting. The hand holding. And kissing. But with the passing of time come the complexities of life. Babies crying. Kids whining. And a thing called a mortgage.
Sadly, we become accustomed to taking each other for granted. We forget to longingly gaze into each other’s eyes. Flirting seems like a prehistoric dinosaur. Something left for yesteryears.
Touch matters…and not just the overhyped sex thing you watch on t.v. We are human beings wired for relationship, which includes touch. An infant longs to be soothed by their mother. A child grabs the hand of mommy when scared. We never outgrow the need for human touch. Whether it be a hug, or a kiss, or hand holding while having a conversation over dinner. Couples who stay together AND still like each other gaze at the stars, cuddle in bed, and okay…yes, once in awhile, have a good ole’ rendezvous in bed.
However, sex may be overrated. Could it be that Hollywood, the media, romance novels, and the girl next door have overemphasized the importance of sex? Many couples become disenchanted regarding their marriage because they don’t have sex every day. There is this underlying notion that they think they should. I’m not saying sex is a bad thing. In fact, I believe it to be a really good thing. But, it’s not the only thing. Simply said, no marriage was ever saved or made successful because the couple had a great sex life.
Have a spouse who isn’t interested in playing the game? Make a concerted effort for touch points throughout your day. You may be amazed to discover how much it matters. You also may be surprised how your own heart is stirred. Why, you may even discover you feel closer than ever before!
The simple act of touch shows…
Parents brought their children to Jesus so that He might touch them (Matthew 10:13). Jesus touched a coffin in order for a young man to be healed (Luke 7:14). A hemorrhaging woman reached out to touch the garment of Jesus and was healed (Luke 8:43). Jesus healed a deaf man by touching his ears (Luke 22:51). Over and over in Scripture we are shown how Jesus broke through barriers, healed the sick, and crossed the lines to build an intimate relationship with mankind.
Jesus was willing to lovingly touch us to change us. Shouldn’t we be willing to do so in our own marriages as well?
How are you seeing Jesus work in your marriage? What marriage tips have worked well?
*Stay tuned for more upcoming blogs on marriage.