How often as a married individual do we fall into an area of familiarity? We spend so much one on one time with this person, that we fall into a pattern of forgetting that we still have to try. Even though the “I do’s” have been said and the marriage license has been signed, does not mean that we can fall into a complacent state within our marriage. Now, I am by no means an expert, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt (we just celebrated two years of marriage in September).
However, I have seen in those two years how easy it is to get into a routine and not have much motivation to change anything. Work schedules become hectic, groceries need to be bought, bills need to be paid, and we forget that the most important covenant that we entered into requires work and our attention too. I quickly realized that there is a newfound excitement and element of surprise when you enter into a dating relationship, wanting to do everything you can to show the other person how much you truly care for them. I also realized how that does not need to change when the relationship status goes from single to married. That part of the relationship should not change, even when the status does. It is an easy thing to say, but being newly married, I realized how quickly that can become the case in marriage.
I am sure many of you have heard the phrase “Date Your Spouse.” However, it is one of those things that can get pushed to the wayside if not careful. When I got married, I realized how vitally important it was to connect and take that time away from other responsibilities and truly work on our marriage. Even though I have him as my husband now, does not mean I get to stop trying. It is a fact I know I fall short of, but one that I strive to make sure is at the forefront of my mind.
My husband Ryan and I decided to do a date day a couple months ago. Granted, we have gone out since then, but this day stuck out to me more than others. My work schedule was a little bit more lax as I got out earlier so I was like “Let’s do it.” We were LONG overdue for one. It was a gorgeously sunny and warm day so we decided to take a drive out by Grand Valley State University with our dog and visit a dog park I had heard of but never been to.
Now, you have to know something about our dog. She loves being outside, she loves other people, and she loves playing with other dogs. All around, she is such a sweetheart. However, she was definitely not made for 90 degree days; not even 80 degree days. She is 50/50 German Shepherd and Husky meaning….fur, fur, and more fur. So we love getting her outside when we can, but during the summer we can not have her outside as much as we would during the winter. It could be below 0 outside and we would have a terrible time trying to get her inside. She is a winter baby that is for sure.
On this particular day, we loaded up and vowed to keep her as hydrated as we could. But of course, with all the excitement at the dog park, she was not interested in any of the water we tried to give her. Go figure. 😉 She had a blast though and so did we, getting to walk and talk together while watching our fur child explore.
After we left the dog park, I wanted to take a quick detour to the other part of the park that held trails, a bridge, and the river. It was a quick stop due to our child not thinking the water was cool enough to drink ;), but the scenery was breathtaking. It was amazing to be able to take the time to slow down, and just be with the two of us, laughing, exploring, and loving the life that God has blessed us with.
After taking plenty of Instagram worthy photos, we loaded back up and made a must stop at Dairy Queen for some ice cream for us and a PupCup for her. It was a much needed cool treat for not only us, but her as well. I can not imagine how warm she had to have been under ALL that fur. We drove home after that, reveling in the time that we had together. We both realize how this should happen a lot more than it does. We use the excuse that life gets busy, which in all honesty, it does, however, if you want to work at something you make the time for it to happen. Which is something we both need to work on. It is so important to make that time to truly connect with each other, without the distractions of the outside world. It is important to make the other person feel known and seen.
You will not ever regret the quality time you spend with your significant other as you grow together and truly seek the Lord for everything He wants your marriage or relationship to be. It is so important to put the work in even after the vows have been said. If you want something to grow or if you want something to be better in your life, you have to be willing to put the work in. Marriage takes work, but it is one of those adventures that will always be worth it. It is one of those adventures that as you put the work in, you will slowly see the seed start to blossom and grow.
“A husband and wife may disagree on many things, but they must absolutely agree on this: to never, ever give up.”