Last week in Merge we did another Merge Late Night. This time we called the session “Perspectives.” The session included a Q&A panel with three couples: a newlywed couple, a couple married eight years, and one married over 30 years. The questions revolved around unmet expectations, how to stay intentional both before and after having children, and the panel’s favorite characteristics about their spouse.
My favorite question was, “What do you do to keep your marriage fun and light in the midst of life’s trials?” I am not sure what prompted this specific question, but I do know we need to continually learn how to keep our marriage and relationships fun and light in the midst of a world full of challenges and trials. We all can relate to this question.
Here are a few of their answers:
- We find something we have in common, and we do it.
- We meet with friends and each couple brings 5-10 of their favorite YouTube clips and we watch them together and laugh.
- We play board games together. (Love this – the Kedersha family loves board games!).
- We travel and look for fun, outdoor shared experiences.
- We figure out what the other person likes and we do it. For example: if the wife likes to host others in the home, and the husband doesn’t, the husband serves his spouse by being a joyful host whenever they have friends over.
I recently started asking couples about their favorite part of married life. Top answer on the board? Companionship – having someone to enjoy life with, laugh with, play with, and hang out with. Genesis 2:18 says, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.””
I am so grateful the Lord did not leave the man alone to hang out solely with the elephants, zebras, and cats. Rather, He created a helper for the husband; a necessary companion, because it is not good for man to be alone.
How are you doing these days at being a friend and companion to your spouse? How do you keep things fun and light in your marriage? Some days I’d give myself an A+, other days I’d say I’m a miserable D-.
Here are 9 obstacles to companionship in marriage (in no specific order):
- Technology: You did not marry your iPhone. You married a human being, so start acting like it. Check out this post from my senior pastor, Todd Wagner. #Convicted
- Work: Your priority relationship is your spouse, not your job or your boss.
- Kids: Love them, but they can’t be the top relationship in our marriages. Yes, there are seasons when they (rightly so) demand more time and energy, but your children cannot remain the top priority.
- Selfishness: We fight and quarrel because we are selfish (James 4:1). Selfishness leads us to prioritize our own desires over companionship and friendship with our spouse.
- Unresolved conflict: All couples argue and conflict. The question revolves around whether or not you know how to resolve your conflict.
- Priorities around the house: Groan… laundry, bills, meals, dishes, mowing the grass, on and on and on. While these are all significant and necessary, they cannot dominate your schedule and priorities.
- Boredom: I wrote about this one before – avoid boredom in marriage! Boredom will not go well for you.
- Sin: When I am involved in gross sin and have not shared with Kristen, I tend to avoid her. (Proverbs 28:13). On the other hand, when I share and keep things in the light, I have no reason to hide or avoid her. (1 John 1:7-8)
- A lack of money: We think we need a lot of money to have fun with our spouse. Sometimes we can have a blast over a cup of coffee, a deck of cards, or a good book we can read together.
I’m sure there are many others, but hopefully the above list will give you a few obstacles to discuss with your spouse. This week I pray you enjoy the gift of companionship with your significant other.
Your Turn: (Book Giveaway: Fun Loving You, by Ted Cunningham – Drawing from those who respond below or on Facebook)
- What are some other obstacles to companionship in your marriage?
- What do you and your spouse do to build companionship?
- What are a few of your favorite YouTube clips? Here are a few of mine. (Jimmy Fallon lip sync, Jimmy Fallon #Hashtag, Key & Peele East/West College Bowl, Tripp & Tyler – Shoot Christians Say)
- What is your favorite Board Game?