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Saturday, December 5, 2009

The secret

It's been nearly a week since I've had time to sit down and blog. The words in my head are taking over. It's quite noisy in my brain tonight. There are several pieces waiting to be written, but I don't know when I will get caught up. Right now I am blogging from my phone in my dark bedroom listening to the snores of my husband.

Life in the second year of church planting is so busy that it makes the first year look like an easy part time job. I have not invested nearly enough quality time in my family over the last several months as I would like. So tonight I had tons to do, but chose instead to walk away for a few hours to take my oldest daughter, Grace out for the evening.

On our way to the movies, Grace began to talk about her friends who have divorced parents. She talked about their brokenness and hurt over the fighting and manipulation that often happens. She was concerned about a child having to split up holidays. Finally she looked at me and said, "What's the secret to staying married forever and crazy in love like you and dad?"

It was neat to share with her my secret to staying married. Here it is: stay married. That's the secret. Don't give up. Keep looking for ways to communicate love to your spouse. My husband hears "I love you" very differently from me. He needs absolute respect from me. Absolutely always treating his opinions as important, speaking to him in a tone of voice that is respectful, and telling him often how amazing he is. His other love language is service - he feels loved when I wash the dishes, or mop my kitchen. And the other way he feels loved? Well, he is a guy...

On the other hand, he tries as hard as he can to communicate love to me in a way that I understand. I like quality time. I love when we go on dates, or even just sit together in the floor by the fireplace and have a cup of coffee. I also like thoughtfulness - a cup of coffee at work, my favorite snack in the cabinet, a full tank of gas.

So I tried to explain to Grace that the secret to my good marriage is a lot of hard work by both of us. There are other factors: common values, shared faith, good chemistry. However, I would say that being determined to show my husband love in a way that he understands, whether he earns it or not, and him doing the same for me, is the secret to it all.

We had a great night. I know that tomorrow will be rough when I have to catch up on the things I dropped tonight, but I wouldn't trade tonight for a million bucks. Just our conversations about relationships were priceless, in addition to having fun together.

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