(Before I begin: A sincere apology to all of my readers who happen to be single at the moment and who hate reading about people being married. I try really hard not to write to one narrow audience, but I need to say something to my married self and my married friends; you’ll forgive me this once?)
I saw on social media recently that another friend of mine just got engaged. Immediately I thought, “Oh, how romantic. Look at that waterfall in the background. And, oh, the smooches!”
Then it hit me. I’m married. My life ought to be waaaaaaay more romantic than theirs. I’ve been practicing romance for over a decade. They’ve only just begun!
Ever since then, I have been thinking about how easy it is for me to slump into the lull of familiarity and the drudgery of a full life rather than to take advantage of the beautiful thing I have simply because I am married. Why on earth do my single, dating, or engaged friends have romantic lives that put mine to shame? Shame on me!
As married people we have so many gifts: the security of commitment, the freedom to give ourselves fully, the warmth of familiarity, many cumulative hours to spend with our best friend and roommate, ‘true love’ (the kind that especially sticks with someone else when it’s excruciatingly difficult and requires much personal sacrifice), the endless opportunity for romance, the creating and raising of other humans together, the potential for enjoyment together of even the mundane and quotidian… and the grace to work on any of the above that aren’t going so well with the hope of making progress and enjoying the fruit later.
Now, if all of that isn’t as romantic as it gets, I don’t know what is.
May we be ever more grateful for those gifts. May we practice, develop, and grow out of those gifts. And, may we allow God to spill out the security and freedom and warmth and creating and time and love of our marriages in ways that are ever more a gift to others.
PS. Jason: you are a fantastically wonderful human. I am overwhelmingly grateful for, smitten by, and indebted to you. Yours, j.