I don't have a backup plan when it comes to my marriage.
It is all or nothing for me. That sounds really intense but I truly mean it with my whole heart. My husband is my whole world and I am absolutely crazy about him. He isn't perfect and I am most certainly not perfect, but we fit together. He is calm and level-headed and I tend to be Type-A high-energy. I would be lost without him. I really can't stand the thought of being without him. Our marriage is not always easy and we don't feel wildly in love everyday. True love is not a feeling. True love is defined best in 1 Corinthians 13. It is patient, not self-seeking, kind, and does not boast.
When I married my husband almost four years ago, I made a commitment to be with him until the end. It is not popular in our culture to get married and stay married. It is very typical for people to enter into marriage with the following mindset, "Well, if this doesn't work out then I can just find someone new." That mindset is assuming that it won't work out and planning accordingly. It is basically setting you up for failure from the start. That bothers me. It bothers me since the divorce rate is so high in America. Assuming that someone else will come along is too easy, friend. Commitment is hard but beautiful. The drive it takes to stay committed to your spouse is a big deal. God takes a union between a man and woman seriously and wants us to stay committed. There will most likely be times when you just want to give up. Life isn't always going to go according to plan but staying committed to your marriage is worth enduring the hard times. I believe that God wants us to have beautiful marriages.
*My husband says I always have a disclaimer and this goes without saying but I am going to say it anyway.* I know that there are situations (abuse, adultery, death of a spouse, etc) that occur and result in divorce. I am not talking about those situations here. The Bible does talk about what to do in those situations. I am specifically talking about a person walking out to find someone new when the excitement dies down or getting married for the wrong reasons.
I certainly don't know everything about marriage. I am learning as I go just like everyone else. But I don't have a backup plan. I adore my husband. We have our share of disagreements and work through issues just as all married couples do, but it never makes me not want to be his wife. There are times when we are both stubborn and refuse to own up to something we have said that should have never been said. We fail each other a whole lot yet we still are crazy about each other. Even when we annoy each other to the brink of insanity we still couldn't stand being without each other. I made a commitment to God and to my guy to be his until the very end. In the four short years we have been married, we have changed individually. We have been stretched and experienced growing pains; uncomfortable pains at that. We made a commitment that we would hold on and trust God to grow us as a couple though; even when the road seems dark.
I know that in the past four years Mason and I have been married between juggling finances, careers, children, house maintenance, a puppy, and everything else in between it is easy to forget about "us". One goal we set for 2019 was to go on a minimum of one date night a month. I would love to go on a weekly date night, and eventually we will, but in this current season we have two small children so getting away together is a bit tricky. However, we try to do at-home date nights, leave each other notes, help each other with housework, and have Bible reading/prayer time together. One day we will easily go out for the evening or even go away for an entire week, but right now in this season we are making it work as we can.
I want to be one of those elderly couples who have been together for 60+ years that are holding hands in the grocery store. I am a firm believer that with God at the center of our marriage my husband and I can create an unbreakable bond. I believe He can do it for you too, friend! In a world that is so quick to give up when the season gets tough, I want to hang on a bit tighter in those seasons. I want you to hang on too! Go on a date night, read scripture that deals with marriage, find a marriage book, go see a counselor, or be intentional about pursuing your spouse. It will be so worth it in a few years when you can look back and see how far you have come as a couple. I have a list of marriage books featured here that are my favorite!
I know that sometimes we have a really hard time figuring out what to do on a date night. Here are my top ten favorite things to do for date night including a few at-home ideas!
1. Eat & Shop Date-Go out to eat and to a store you both like to shop at (we usually go to Cabela's and Target/Hobby Lobby)
2. Active Date-Go golfing, walk around a park, workout together, etc. I enjoy golfing with my husband or walking and talking.
3. Movie Night Date-In our house we typically enjoy a movie at home on the couch with our favorite snacks. We do like going to a movie theater to see a new movie occasionally so depending upon your current budget you can do what works for you.
4. Attraction Night Date-We fortunately have a lot of fun attractions where we live so this is always a fun night. We really enjoy playing mini golf and racing go-carts with plans to try all the attractions that are near our home this year!
5. Dinner + Games Date-This is always a fun at-home date night because it is kid-friendly. What I usually do is make a pasta dish, salad/veggie, and garlic bread for us for dinner. You can light a few candles, put on a cute outfit, and it is just as fun as being at a restaurant. Then when the kids go to bed you can play your favorite board game.
6. Sporting Event Date-Go to a sports game together and enjoy the atmosphere. We really enjoy baseball and only live about two-hours from Atlanta, Georgia so we frequent Braves Games. If you don't want to travel far then check your local sports teams and go see a game of your choice.
7. Theatre/Musical Performance Date-This is on our bucket list for 2019. Go to your local theatre/concert hall and see a show. Dress up, grab dinner, and enjoy a fun musical or live orchestra. Specifically, we want to see The Phantom of The Opera at our local theatre when it is performed again.
8. Coffee + Book Date-Grab a coffee or hot tea and head to your favorite book store to find a good read.
9. Seasonal Dates-Enjoy picking fresh apples and pumpkins in the fall, viewing Christmas lights while drinking hot chocolate in the winter, planting flowers/working outside in the spring, and take a day trip to a waterfall to cool off in the summer.
10. Rest + Relax-Send the kids to Grandma's and spend an entire day resting and relaxing. Enjoy all you favorite meals, give each other massages, take a relaxing bath, and forgo all other responsibilities for the day. If your budget allows room for a spa day then go together and enjoy an entire day of pampering.
Praying for you always, friend!