Considering the roller coaster ride of regulating family harmony, when's the last time you two didn't feel like a pair of firemen rushing to a Rescue or a pair of cops quelling a riot in the streets?
It's great for a couple to be a team. It's necessary to be a team. But in the rush and challenges of every day family life and multiple jobs, being lovers can easily become reduced to trying to figure out when to fit in making love when you're both exhausted and/or stressed.
But the biggest challenge to BEING a couple is REMAINING a couple when it seems the number and seriousness of your responsibilities are growing with every passing year. Because they are. And it's so easy to forget why you married the person snoring next to you in bed in the first place. Especially because in certain ways he or she ISN'T that person any more.
You've both been quietly changing. Hopefully for the better. Do you take time to get re-acquainted? To discover new interests or changes in perspective? Do you make regular time to get together and talk with each other ABOUT each other instead of slipping into the familiar pattern of discussing expenses, schedules, upcoming events, or the children's problems? Make time to do the things together you most enjoy sharing?
Life expectancy is increasing with every decade. Have you really thought about what it will take to faithfully stay with each other over a very long haul? It will take sexual and emotional fidelity as well as being open to your partner's inevitable changes while staying in love with the bedrock, unchanging reality of who he or she is. His or her Integrity. Sense of humor. Ability to listen, to be tender. Unique mind, heart, and soul. Unique talents and interests.
The divorce rate is up to about 50 per cent. Fifty per cent! Do you talk about that, resolve together that you don't want to become a statistic? If one or both of you is the Child of Divorce, or if this is a second marriage for one or both of you, have you honestly discussed what baggage and wounds you each carry? Have you asked God to give you the strength to get through the inevitable conflicts and crises? To be peaceful when you'd rather make war? To understand without being much understood until you can work through an issue? To give without receiving much if the other is ill? To forgive the other's weaknesses, knowing you have weaknesses your partner has chosen to forgive?
Because it's worth it, you know. It's worth it to travel through the years with someone you know you can depend on, someone you can have a meltdown around, someone who will hold you when you feel as unlovable as the dog hair on the rug. Someone who will love you when your tattoos wrinkle on wrinkled skin and your hair is gray under the blonde dye and your biceps are no longer bicepting very well. This is the person who, more than any other, teaches you by his or her unswerving love about God's permanent fidelity and love for you: "I have loved you with an everlasting love." (Jeremiah 31:3.).
Resolve together that your life will consist of saying to each other continually, in a thousand different ways - "I will love you with an everlasting love. Past death."