Do you remember being engaged and thinking, "we are going to get to see each other all the time when we are married! I can't wait."
Then time passes by, careers come into the picture, kids come along, life is busy and stressful, and that safe space that you used to have in the arms of your spouse seems to have shrunk, and you don't quite fit like you used to. You sit down for a minute and look at your spouse, and for a brief moment, you realize that you don't quite know them anymore.
Unfortunately, this has become the norm for many marriages. You fall in love, you get married, and then you quit hanging out together. The date nights get further and further in-between. Sexual intimacy of any kind becomes an argument that ends in hurt feelings, guilt and tears, to the point that you just quit trying. You don't really know what to talk about besides the kids, the dog, and work, and to top it all off, you are competing with a phone, iPad, or computer to give or receive attention.
You Didn't Get Married To Have A Roommate
Your marriage doesn't have to end up this way, and if it already has, it doesn't have to stay this way!
God is so good, his grace and mercy are entirely just, and his love is new every morning! When you lay our marriage at the foot of the cross, invite Jesus to take the lead, and you "do the work," your marriage can be restored.
The restoration takes action, mindset changes, humility, patience, kindness, love, commitment, and forgiveness. Your marriage is worth it!
If you want to start creating or restoring your marriage, here are a few ways to get the ball rolling.
1. Stop what you are doing and pray, together or separate, hand your mess to Jesus and allow him to start separating the pieces. With his help, you can put it back together.
2. Yes, you read that correctly, every day. Make intentional time to spend with your spouse EVERYDAY. That does not mean sitting in front of a screen of some sort, not talking to one another. Hang out, play a game, dance, talk, get couples discussion cards, be intentional.
3. Go to bed at the same time as one another. Allow yourselves the opportunity to snuggle, kiss, be intimate, make love, have sex, engage in foreplay, and take your time! Making love isn't about how fast you can be finished or who can finish first. Making love is about connecting with one another in a way that you don't get to communicate with anyone else. Making love is the act of oneness, the glue that holds you together in the hardest of times. Two become one.
4. Want to want your spouse. I know that sounds silly, but think about it genuinely and honestly. If you don't want your spouse, they will feel that. If you don't desire them, don't miss them, don't feel that you need them, they know those things, they can feel them. Your marriage can only be successful if you want it to be.
5. Let them know that you are thinking about them throughout the day. Don't nag, don't expect anything in return, but let them know they are thought about. Send a text that says, "I miss you," or "I love you," just be present.
Of course, it will take more than this, but these are easy steps to get started moving in the right direction. Find each other again, get to know each other again, make your spousal relationship the most important relationship. Your kids will thrive when your marriage is thriving!
To know your spouse is to spend time with them, all different kinds of time. To create a vibrant, healthy, beautiful, Christ-centered marriage is to spend time together. There is pain, longing, and brokenness when we allow our marriages to become more of a roommate situation than a spousal relationship.
We can not continue to "know" someone without spending meaningful time with them because people are constantly changing. My husband is not the same man he was 20 years ago. However, I still know him because we have made an effort to keep learning and spending time changing and growing together as husband and wife.
Don't give up, don't lose hope. Your marriage is not too broken to be mended. God is the great restorer.