Archives For Valentine’s Day

CouplewalkinginwoodsPrior to meeting Carol, a friend of mine, Tommy Moore, invited me to come work with him in Kenya. I jumped at the opportunity to go help build churches and hold evangelistic meetings.

While there I was impressed with Tommy and LaDel’s marriage. The culture actually helped them build some healthy rhythms into their marriage.

They lived in Eldoret, Kenya which is just above the equator. Sunrise and sunset are about the same time year around, 7am and 7pm.

A typical day included Tommy and me getting up around 5am, having our quiet time and then he attempting to teach me Swahili.

After breakfast we headed out to either frame up church buildings or hold various meetings. Then we would call it a day and have dinner. After dinner that was it. I mean there were no distractions. No TV (this was the early 80’s in a third world country), no outdoor activities (not the safest thing to do) and nowhere to go. When the sun went down everything was locked up. They had iron gates to get onto their property and another iron gate at the front door.

But this allowed them to build in some deliberate practices into their marriage. For instance, after dinner they would typically sit on the couch and talk. Also, there was some minimal British TV (definitely not my style of humor) which they had adapted to. When there is none, even bad TV is watchable, I guess.

They also planned 2-3 day getaways. Once again, even in a culture with almost zero distractions, they were deliberate.

For the rest of us, you would think that all the deliberation that was evident during our dating time would carry over. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.

Think of all the distractions we have here in the States. We have hundreds of TV channels, Gold’s Gym, Starbucks, Sunday afternoon football, sporting events for our kids, cleaning house, and yard work.

These distractions lead to drift. The only way to overcome the drift is to be aware of the distractions and be more deliberate in your marriage.

Every marriage is different. Some have little kids, some have grown kids. Sometimes both spouses work. Schedules get complicated. Priorities shift. And drift happens.

Today is Valentine’s Day. Today you are deliberate. That’s the scary part. Too many are ready to pat themselves on the back for thinking ahead and planning a great evening.  But this is just one day.

Tomorrow and every day after that the distractions will once again begin to pile up. Marriages will drift.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

3D marriages…

Are Aware of Distractions

Understand Drift

 

Do Deliberate Things

You can be deliberate. The question is… Are you?

CoupleonrockinwaterLet’s be honest. With Valentine’s Day just hours away many are planning something big or special.

Now that is all fine and good. And I’m not suggesting you don’t celebrate the day. Just don’t get caught up in the moment of the day. What I mean is you can’t create a life time of romance around the big days.

One of the sad realities of marriage is that romance dwindles simply due to natural drift. We simply don’t think about it. Until a big day arrives. Then we make some reservations at a restaurant and order some flowers.

If marriage was that easy we could all take a one week cruise to the Caribbean and be done for the year. Which all points to daily romance, not monthly or yearly romance.

Romance is built everyday.

Romance is in the every day things. Romance is…

Running to the store to pick up some lettuce.

Sitting around chit chatting.

Listening to my spouse’s viewpoint.

Sending a text that encourages.

Cooking a favorite dish.

Watching a TV show together.

Hiking in the mountains.

Planning your next trip.

Sharing feelings with one another.

All of the above actually cost nothing. Yet Valentine’s Day is THE day to buy flowers and go out to dinner. But if you are not careful, your investment on that one day can go south in a hurry, if you ignore what romance is really built on: Daily things.

What have you done today to build a romance filled marriage?