Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It was all worth it

Many years ago, I had the privilege of listening to a "panel of married experts" discuss marriage. This panel consisted of several pastors from our church, and they were asked a series of questions and then took turns sharing their thoughts. My favorite question and then subsequent answer came from one of our elder pastors, a sweet and gentle man. He was asked what was one of the greatest gifts that he could give his children as a Christian father. His answer was "to love my wife".

I remember being a bit surprised by his response, but ten years into this marriage thing, I am learning to agree with him more and more. Life has a way of distracting us so fast, and raising children has a way of shifting the focus of importance. We all do it, it is almost unavoidable, and intimacy in marriage takes such a hit in our world. My husband and I are often quick to become so deeply wrapped into the lives of our children, that sometimes we forget that we need to first be deeply wrapped into the lives of one another. My husband is involved in a men's group in our church that often preaches "God first, then your wife, and then children". To some it may seem harsh or unfair, but I can understand the truth behind it more and more as we raise our kids together. The busyness of life can drown a couple and before you know it you are robotically walking along side of your spouse asking "what day is it?" or "which one has practice tonight?" and "how about we just plan to talk to one another in 18 years".

On most days, this is the stuff that makes life fun for us as parents. But on some days, this is the same stuff that eventually will wear you out. This past week we got away and it was indeed refreshing. We took a cruise down to Mexico, and the sun and calm sea had a way of calming our anxious hearts. It was nice to have uninterrupted talks and meals, and oh my goodness the joy of actually finishing a book! Yes, it was a lot of work to get out the door. And yes, we missed the kids and kids missed us, and no, you don't have to go away on a trip to find intimacy in your marriage. But this trip was a special treat, and once we crossed the threshold of the ship our souls settled a bit and my husband reached out his hand and said "hi, I'm Kevin, it's nice to meet you"...and it was all worth it.


Amy

22 comments:

Virginia Belle said...

Thanks for sharing such amazing advice. I hope my husband and I never forget to put each other first, after God, of course. I'm so happy you had such an amazing trip!

Thanks for the shoe recommendation too, they are perfect :)

Rebekah said...

So glad you got away with your sweetheart! And coming back with a tan is an added bonus!

ntignor said...

Good for you, glad you had a great time.
(love the picture)

Andrea said...

Such a great message! I'm glad y'all had fun on your trip! Have a great wednesday! ~andrea

Jemsmom said...

What a wonderful post! You are so right about taking time for your marriage which I have to say we are very guilty of not doing. We have never been away from Jemma together. NEVER! We have never lived close to family so it never seemed like something we could do. Now we are closer ( a little bit) and she is older. We need to do that for ourselves. I am going to read this post to Tom! I am so glad you had a wonderful time. You both look so happy and relaxed!

BTW... did you find some white wedges??? :-)

Amy S. Norris said...

so true...

kakalderman said...

So glad you had a nice trip! We just got away and had the same discussion as soon as we got on the plane - "I'm your wife, how have you been?" I totally agree with what you said about marriage. It's the same message in the Bible; start with the relationship between husband and wife and the rest spins off of that. Glad you got away for a little bit!

Cathy said...

So wonderful! I am thrilled to hear that you had such a wonderful time!

I am glad that your back safe and sound!

Enjoy!
Cathy

Emily E. said...

I COMPLETELY agree! During our wedding, the priest talked about how the most important thing is keeping a healthy marriage- everything else will fall into place if you do that. And it's so true. If we look around us at people who have really healthy marriages, they also have wonderful, well-adjusted children.

Liz Barnett said...

So when did your hair get so long??? Has it been that long since I was there? Glad you two had fun. That Kev Kev cracks me up.

The DG Family said...

I truly enjoyed this post and can SO relate. I am glad you had a wonderful trip and you and your hubby enjoyed your time together. Thank you for helping me realize we aren't the only ones in the world who deal with the issue of time and priorities.

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

So wonderful. You on that image... stunning!

Have a happy day. xx

Revamped French Maison said...

What a beautiful post! I know of a person having difficulty right now that this would make perfect sense for.

Thank you for the comment on my blog..hope to see more of you:)

Blessings,
Shanna

Jill said...

What a cute post and you are so, so right! My husband and I are totally in robot mode. We honeymooned in Mexico and then went back for our 1st anniversary, and we haven't been on a vacation alone ever since. I need to work on that! Your vacay sounds so fun and relaxing. Glad you had a great time! (Love your husband's comment he made as you entered the ship. So sweet.)

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

Thanks for sharing that message.

Between You and Me said...

beautiful picture...so glad the trip was great...I knew it'd be worth it!!!

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

Love it! And yes, after the kids are grown and gone then what? Agreed, it's so important to stay connected to our spouses. I don't want an empty-nest that is empty even tho 2 still fill it. Thanks for the reminder. I wanta run out and have a date night!

Woodard Gang said...

Sooo glad you found out that is was worth it! Getting ready to go to Boston with my hubby in less than two weeks...preparation can be daunting...but I can't wait to spend five days with just US :)

Russ, Anna, Pepper and Vesper said...

Cute pic!!!! Thanks for sharing this, my hubby and I are so feeling this way for the first time in our marriage with a 3 year old and 9 month old. It is HARD to put each other first and really stay close emotionally.

Lana K. W. Austin said...

I'm thrilled for you that you and your husband had that time to reconnect! I TOTALLY empathize and "DATE NIGHT" is a focus now with us and since last year's getaway we're planning an annual longer getaway with just the two of us. I truly believe that it's vital as a Christian couple and I concur with the folks at your church conference that the best gift a man can give his children is to love his wife! At first this was a difficult concept for me. I felt horribly guilty leaving (and not to mention how DIFFICULT it is in terms of pragmatics to prepare to leave 3 kids, 2 of whom are very young) but then I realized that we are MODELING WHAT A WONDERFUL CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE IS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE for our children and for them to see us truly still in love, even after over a decade of marriage...well...I want that love for my children!
Anyway....great post as always and I'm thrilled you got to go.

Your kitchen shot from your preparing to go shot was a HOOT AND A HALF! I about died laughing!

Thanks for keepin' it real!

Blessings,
Lana

I will be posting more pics of my baby Thomas (who is 4 now, but I still say baby Thomas) on the blog soon, but I have tons more photos of the kids (including Kate's 7 yr old b-day party last wk) on Facebook, so please Add me/look me up if you get a chance and check out my Thomas.

As if you have nothing else to keep you busy.
;) LOL!!!

Lana Austin in Huntsville, AL
Home of more engineers than you could possibly EVER imagine! ;)

sara said...

What a wonderful post - full of great advice for maintaining a happy, healthy marriage. And what a beautiful couple, glad you all had such a nice trip!

M.O.T.B said...

I couldn't agree more! I have to remind myself of this over and over. We have two very demanding little ones and it doesn't take long to realize my husband is less important than taking out the trash!

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