A few weeks back Jeremy and I had a date night, quiet time away from all three kids. I know, right? So, as we were sitting there, talking away with each other like two teenagers that can’t shut up because we are so excited to get to be together; I noticed an elderly couple across the room. They sat there, emotionless, as they ate dinner. My mind immediately filled with thoughts about their story. Have they been together so long that they have nothing new or exciting left to say to each other? That’s sad. Are they together so much that they are beyond annoyed when the other one talks? Sigh… Will Jeremy and I be like that one day? Is their marriage one of those old marriages where the woman doesn’t speak unless her husband tells her to? Ugh, that’s really sad too. Are they hard of hearing, and when they talk they have to yell at each other? So, when they’re in public they just don’t bother because they’re too loud? We will be like that one day, and that’s sad. Do they have health issues and they don’t feel well? I feel sadness inside for them. Did their kids exhaust them, and now they just want some peace and quiet? I get that, and that’s the saddest for me to think about. Kids are a blessing and a life sucker at the same time. You know you’ve had the same thoughts too… Don’t gasp at me and make your eyes really big because you’re shocked that I said it. Kids will eat your happiness for lunch! Anyway, maybe they’re just not talking because they’re eating? Legit. No, because I noticed when they finished their meal, they sat there and looked around in silence.
Right now, Jeremy and I are in the “It’s more important to build a foundation for our children”, take them to and from school, take care of a baby, doctor appointments, sickness, clean house, work a couple different jobs each to make ends meet, serve at church, spend an ounce of time together as a couple, and then find time for God when we can, phase. It should be the opposite though: Spend quiet time with God, build a foundation for the boys, serve at church, spend time together as a couple, and then all the other things fall into place. Priorities can make or break your marriage. We spend our life running ragged trying to do all the things we need to do. Our family’s main focus is on God though, so at least at the end of the day it’s a good-ragged feeling!
That’s why when I saw that couple eating silently together a few weeks back, my saddest thought was that their children exhausted them and now they just want some peace and quiet. How do you keep the exhaustion from creating a divide in your marriage? Well, I don’t know what works for everyone else, but I can tell you what we do. Our most appreciated time is after we get the kids in bed. We don’t usually stay up watching television. I don’t spend that time cleaning the house. He doesn’t play video games. We get ready for bed, and then we get IN the bed. We lay next to each other, talk, watch funny videos, make fun of each other, are really goofy, laugh, talk about our day, talk about the boys, share people who need prayers, then we turn the light off, tell each other good night, and cuddle to sleep. We go to sleep together almost every single night because that is important to us. It’s a conscious decision and a lifestyle choice. Our house is a wreck, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is our marriage and protecting the value of it. We also ask people to watch the boys so we can have some alone time. Being blessed to have people in our lives that are willing to take on all of our crazy kiddos is something that we are lucky to have. Thank you God! Sometimes you have to ask for help because if you don’t, you will literally go insane. Remember… your kids will eat your lunch. Then you get hungry. Hangry follows hungry, and ain’t nobody got time for that! For real though, people babysitting our kids… that is a marriage saver for us, for sure. Getting away from your kids, your job, your house, your town, your state, just whatever you can manage, will help more than anything; even if it’s only for a weekend. It allows you to breathe, chill, focus on each other and why you fell in love with each other in the first place. You come back regenerated and full of life. That’s healthy for your marriage, your kids, and your job! Win-Win for everyone! The vital thing we do to ensure our marriage will stand the test of time: Make God the center of it. We go to church together, we serve together, we pray together, we talk about ways we can build the boy’s foundation in Him, and we turn to Him in all of the difficult times. There is no greater investment than to invest your marriage in God!
So, will Jeremy and I be that elderly couple sitting together eating in silence? Only time will tell. Maybe I shouldn’t feel sadness for them. Maybe they are the ones who have it all figured out. Maybe taking it all in gives them joy. Maybe the phrase “Silence is Golden” is truly accurate. But…maybe… just maybe… their love is so strong that they no longer need words to express it. Each couple has their own story to write. What will yours be when you’re 80 and sitting together eating dinner?