Marriage isn’t easy in the best of times. But it seems the coronavirus controls to “stay home and stay healthy” are taking a toll on marriages. Statistics evidence unprecedented calls to abuse centers, and domestic violence is on the rise. Like the fly on the screen door, those who are single want “in” and those who are married, seem to want “out.”
Or those single feel alone, and some who are married are also feeling alone.
Pre-existing conditions in marriages are also being preyed upon by the virus. When there were underlying differences, the undercurrents in a relationship are now magnified becoming full strength rip tides – pulling apart marriages. We’ll admit it hasn’t been all easy at our house either.
At first, it may seem simple. But, foraging in the freezer for another one pot wonder, or dealing with screaming kids in 1200 square feet, or trying to work while others wander down the hall – all erode our best intentions. If ever we have needed grace for one another, it is now.
Recently, in a moment, the words came out: “Let’s have a honeymoon.” For two long-married folks like us, that seemed unlikely. Especially with lectures to record and post online. A school to hold together without being on campus. Financial pressures. Meal creations with limited groceries. Aging. Distance. Work. Widowed moms. Kid worries. Grandkid photos. So many distractions.
But, what about our marriages? How about a honeymoon?
Just pursuing the thought is tantalizing. Just turning off our phones in the bedroom is a start. Just turning to one another rather than the T.V. will help. Just taking steps toward one another with a hug, a gracious word, or a compliment (which requires taking time to shower, do our hair, and present our best self to a person who may not see another living soul today). It may take a little extra effort – but after all, it’s our honeymoon.
The richness of a devoted marriage grows over time. There is a profound freedom, and also a profound responsibility. For us, dates are now country “drives” with a picnic lunch, conversations guided to joyful memories, and movie nights with duvets piled high while it snows outside (in April!). Taking time for tea is a regular way to connect and bless.
Scripture encourages this wild thought of returning to a honeymoon: “I have this against you, you have left your first love.” Rev 2:4.
It reminds us to return to a honeymoon with God. In returning to a first love of heart, soul, mind and strength toward God, we gain not only heaven, but earth as well. COVID-19 time allows us to: Sit at his feet. Be Still in His presence. See His words to direct our paths and words.
And how about a honeymoon with my spouse? How about returning to my first love? The things we did at first – like talking and actually listening (no interrupting), like expressing the value we have for one another (as if something serious could happen to one of us), displaying our affection, and demonstrating our devotion to one another? We’ve got time.
Since “we all make time for what we love,” let’s show our affection and make time for love…our first love. For Him. For our spouse. “Let peace begin on earth, and let it begin with me.”
Over the years, we have often been asked to present at a marriage conference. These conferences have kept our own hearts in good condition!
We’re working on creating and recreating the marriage resources we’ve presented over the years. In the menu bar for our blog, you’ll find Marriage Resources. We hope to populate this page with resources that have been helpful to us and some that we’ve written for you.