No, not the American Idol song, the real thing, with possibly a white pair of discarded undies sticking out of them. If you are a wife, chances are you have seen this combo a time or two…………….or more.
Keeping the Spark Alive
What emotions can an aged white flag, swimming in a sea of denim, in the middle of your bedroom floor, evoke in your heart and mind? I remember many lonely nights when I choked out desperate prayers in between the sobs of a broken heart. These prayers included among many things, words like “Lord, I want a husband to take care of.” No I didn’t specifically ask for dirty Fruit-of-the-Loom briefs to wash, but the role of professional laundry woman was in essence what I was petitioning the Lord for.
So, what changes in our hearts between the single years when we passionately pray for a spouse and seven or forty-seven years later when we are celebrating wedding anniversaries, children and grandbabies? The pant and undies sizes may change, but surly this is not what tips wives over the edge. Why do we get irritated at the sight of something that used to electrify and bring a grin to our faces?
I was listening to a family program a few years back and heard an interesting story. A marriage counselor was sharing that they had been able to accurately guess both the health of a relationship and its future success based on one question. This question was not profound, it was simply, tell me a story about when you and your spouse met, first dated, one of your first memories….. Eyes lit up, and smiles formed on the faces of some couples. They shared stories laced with love, passion, fun, adventure and wistfulness. The memories of other couples were as favorable. Some rolled their eyes, with a kind of “Well let me tell you,” attitude. These looks of disgust and irritation were usually followed with stories about constant failures, embarrassments, disappointments, and unfulfilled expectations.
There was a moment in time when every one of those married couples stood in front of a crowd, gazing intently into each others faces, hearts struck blind by love. Their wedding day was a culmination of years of waiting, yearning, preparation, discovery, and unbridled love.
What happened after the wedding? Where did that love, excitement, and passion go?
I vividly remember the second or third night of our honeymoon. I had just discovered my husband’s amazing ability to fall asleep in 1.3 seconds flat. We were still in the octopus stage of marriage, trying to figure out how to fit all our hands, legs, faces and such in one bed comfortably. As my husband snored away (Yes it was music to my ears then) I laid awkwardly beside him. With one arm draped over his chest, I listened to his steady breathing and began to cry softly. I was married, and I would never have to say goodbye to David ever again. The marvel of his body, soul, and heart in my life and in my bed overwhelmed me. As I lay there, I never wanted the absolute wonder and awe of this man’s presence to become commonplace to me. I had waited twenty-eight years for him, and I shuddered at the thought that one day I could possibly slip into bed, roll over, and fall fast asleep without my heart leaping with delight by the snoring figure laying next to me. I never wanted to experience a night when I could climb into bed and fall asleep unmoved by the fact the most special answer to my prayers was laying next to me. I wanted my heart to be thrown for a loop every evening I got to fall into the bed with him AGAIN. I wanted a smile of delight to creep across my face every morning when I awoke and found him still there next to me, my soul mate, my best friend, my lover.
That night I cried out to the Lord and I asked him to help me to never forget or let go of the wonder, the feeling of awe, or the passion I had for my husband and our marriage.
Join me tomorrow as I share one simple truth and habit that keeps the spark of marriage alive in my heart.