DAY 5: I choose my MARRIAGE (before my kids)
It goes without saying that I am crazy in love with my children- but I am more crazy about my husband and investing in our marriage. I was a wife before I was a mother and when the kids are grown and gone (that day is getting closer and closer) it’s going to be just us- and I want to like US then. So I prioritize him over them.
We communicate this often to our kids verbally and non-verbally. We are embarrassingly affectionate. They see us going on dates, “So mommy and daddy can smooch uninterrupted!” And we make a point to get away at least once a year together. Because we know that healthy marriages don’t just happen.
Good marriages are intentional. Neglected marriages die.
I know we will have plenty of parenting fails, but I also know my kids will benefit now and in the future with a thriving, intact marriage to look up to. I want this for them. So we pursue intimacy like it’s our job.
Intimacy means to fully know someone and be fully known by them- no secrets.
Like whole health, intimacy in marriage has three parts: emotional, spiritual and physical. When one of these parts suffer, the other parts suffer.
We choose EMOTIONAL intimacy. We encourage each other in our individual pursuits so we stay interesting and interested. I’ve witnessed the many phases of Keenan: dancer, bodybuilder, triathlete, jiu-jitsu-er…it’s hard to keep up! But I enjoy trying. (I’m into this bearded version at the moment 😜) Likewise, I know he is interested in me and all of the things I love to do. He’s encourages me in my writing and likes who I am and who I am becoming. (He also knows my basic needs are food, sleep and compliments.) We make time to get to know each other better as we evolve, because if you don’t take an interest in your spouse- someone else will. Stay interesting and interested.
We choose SPIRITUAL intimacy. For some reason we have the BEST conversations about life and faith in the hot tub! We put the kids to bed and talk. I give him the cliffs notes of the books I’m reading (because he won’t read them) and he shares with me the podcasts he is listening to. (does that count as reading?) We wrestle with deep questions and we pray together. I love getting to know his heart and asking his opinion because he is so wise and because his perspective is so different from mine! (I’ve always thought that in the body of Christ- Keenan is the middle finger.) We both love Jesus but he is heavy on Truth side and I’m heavy on Grace. We make a good team.
We choose PHYSICAL intimacy. Married people- this is the time and the place! To enjoy each other physically is a gift- I say it’s worship. (Hallelujah!) As long as it is healthy and honest. Do you want intimacy husbands? Maybe you need to put down the phone. Pornography kills intimacy. Your fantasies will rob you of what your real sex life could be. Do you want intimacy wives? Maybe you need to put out. You can’t be tired or not in the mood all of the time. That is damaging. You are your husbands only legitimate source of sexual fulfillment and he is yours. I’m aware that this area can be complicated, but it can’t be ignored. A sex-less marriage is doomed.
Marriage is the most sacred expression of God’s love for us. But like anything worthwhile-it takes effort. We will not drift towards solid healthy relationships- just like we don’t drift towards being healthy physically. It’s much easier to sit around and let the pounds of unexpressed frustration and resentment add up. But I choose Keenan. I choose us. I choose to invest in our marriage emotionally, spiritually and physically so that we can enjoy each other fully. This pleases my Heavenly Father.
The grass will be greener on my side because I will water it…and fertilize it…and pull weeds… and occasionally aerate… you get the picture!
I choose my marriage. I choose Keenan.
Call the babysitter. 😁