A Promise

because we have new beginnings every day, I am posting an old valentine message. I too need reminded of these things. . .

This morning, my husband stands impassively beside me at the bathroom sink, readying himself for the day, a parallel existence to mine. I hesitate briefly as I study his countenance; a face I know as well as my own. To reach out and touch him would be to breach another world. You see, we have grown comfortable.
Besides, there isn’t time.
I have a good marriage. My husband and I talk about the things that mean the most to us, our dreams and daily happenings; we laugh a lot, we are committed to spending time alone together. But sometimes, I wonder, are we just going through the motions? I’ve heard all the stories about couples waking up one day and realizing they don’t love each other anymore. And I wonder to myself, “Is this possible? Can this happen to us?”
In her book Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce, Elizabeth Marquardt reports that a national study has found that two thirds of all divorces result from “low-conflict” problems, such as partners feeling “unhappy or unfulfilled”. Her book goes on to outline the myriad of problems that the children involved in these divorces face. They are subtle problems, difficult to measure by any scientific standards. The book is filled with words like “empty”, and “lost”; descriptors that society shuns in favor of educational level and average household income. We are rearing, in fact we are becoming, a generation of highly successful, yet unhappy people.
Marriage is hard.  
In today’s world of self-indulgence and instant gratification, it’s all too easy to give up at the first little bump on the road of life. It can be boring, tedious, annoying, demanding, and downright tough. To be happy in a marriage is hard, hard work.
I have a good marriage. But I want an excellent one. Don’t I owe it to my children to demonstrate the richness that intimacy can hold? I don’t ever want them to describe their emotional lives as “empty”. As a product of divorce, haven’t I felt all of those tender longings myself? No, I want more for my children. The best gift I can give them is a marriage that is alive, filled with passion and enthusiasm.
I read this amazing passage in the novel Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.  Eugenides writes: “Bride and bridegroom performed the dance of Isaiah. Hip to hip, arms interwoven to hold hands, Desdemona and Lefty circumambulated the captain, once, twice, and then again, spinning the cocoon of their life together. No patriarchal linearity here. We Greeks get married in circles, to impress upon ourselves the essential matrimonial facts: that to be happy you have to find variety in repetition; that to go forward you have to come back where you began.”
How beautiful and wise are these words! To find “variety in repetition” is not an easy task. And to move forward together sometimes requires waiting, or learning to move in time to the rhythm of the other; a unique dance that only two can share.
As I look at my husband this morning, all of these things are going through my mind. Slowly, I reach out my hand. He turns to look at me, and there is a question in his eyes…like he is remembering something he has forgotten. And everything old is new again, for he remembers now how it feels to receive a tender touch from his wife. And because there is not time, the touch is a promise. A promise sweeter than any chocolate valentine can hold.  
It is the promise of a new beginning.

Comments

  1. says

    My spiritual parents from my college days used to say that the best way to be a better spouse was to have a GREAT relationship with Christ. I don’t have any friends whose parents are divorced so I really can’t imagine what that feels like…but our God does. So thankful He gave you a great husband.

  2. says

    This is extremely touching and sweet. What a beautiful moment between man and wife. You have what it takes to make an excellent marriage.

    Thank you for your comment about me seeking His voice. Trust me, it’s not always been this way and I’ve not always felt the desperation to really hear Him. Thus, one of the things that eventually led my heart to sin against Him and my beloved with my harsh tongue…leading to my beloved to choose a road of sin in divorce over faith in His power. But I am here and I’m believing for him right now. We have two parties and waiting for the third party…the third corner of the powerful triangle of three, circle of three…maybe next VDay I will have something glorious to praise…and maybe not…but someday…someday…the King will reign in beloved’s heart and he won’t be able to run from it.

    Sorry to ramble. I know you can’t get my emails when I send from home so hoping you get this one since it’s routed through blogland.

    Have a super sweet day with your sweetie.
    Love you,
    Paula

  3. says

    Hi, Laura…

    I’ve seen your comments on some of the blogs I cherish, so I thought I’d stop by.

    I read this, and I was just nodding the entire time. Such a beautiful portrayal of the truth of marriage!

    “that to be happy you have to find variety in repetition; that to go forward you have to come back where you began.”

    I love this and plan to ponder it awhile now:)

    Thank you for this inspiring post!
    …kelli

  4. says

    Well, now that’s something.

    Here’s to tender touches in the morning just because.

    Happy Valentine’s Day. May all of your days be seeded with the deep love and truth of who you are meant to be, both collectively and individually, through the power of Jesus Christ.

    peace~elaine

  5. says

    It pays to keep the embers in marriage stoked……it is amazing what the right word or the right touch at the just the right moment can do!

    I LOVE being married! I haven’t always been able to say that! Lots of prayer and hard work have brought us to such a happy place on our journey through life!

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story! You are such a natural! Such an artist with words!

    Beautiful how the Lord uses you to minister to all of us!!!!!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Love you so!
    Cheri

  6. says

    Laura, that was beautiful, and a wonderful reminder of the beauty of marriage and comitment.

    I remember my sister saying to me once “that the greatest gift a father could give his children was to love their mother completely”

    I hope you and your husband have a wonderful Valentines Day.

    Love,
    Carol

  7. says

    This is beautiful and my heart melted knowing the value my husband hold for me. I so agree, having been divorced, the kids need to know love can be real, so very real. I pray they see that with my husband I.

    Beautiful!

    In His Graces~Pamela

  8. says

    Happy Valentine’s Day Laura.
    I hope you and your husband had a wonderful day.
    May God bless you two with many, many happy years together.
    Thanks again for the sweet birthday wish.
    Love,
    Valerie

  9. says

    I woke up thinking about this post again, Laura. This one has settled on me. I just keep mulling it over and over.
    This morning I just kept thinking of how it is the little things that really hold a relationship together. I am such a drama queen, I guess, by nature because for years I tried to make it about the big things. My heart has delighted in the smaller things in recent years….it is hard for me to put into words, but I feel like the little things have woven the hearts of my man and I into a oneness that has truly formed a single unit…..I don’t know if I am making sense……..We are approaching our anniversary of thirty years……..and we are sooooo happy……..and I think it is because we have learned to do a lot of little things that have woven together this amazing relationship. The little things are so often overlooked……..I have learned to make a big deal of them……
    For instance, I am blessed when Scotty says, “Good supper, momma!” after we have eaten a meal that I have prepared for our family. And he loves it when I tell him he is the best dr. in the whole world…….etc……And these are small deposits that form and lasting relationship that over time form a solid foundation for caring, loving, and believing in one another……..One that the enemy has a hard time penetrating.
    Didn’t mean to preach……..you just unleashed my thinking and I wanted to share………This post is not really a response to your thoughts. Instead it is a response to the thoughts I had after reading this…….does that make sense?????
    Thank you again for making me think……..I have been blessed…..
    Cheri

  10. says

    This is beautiful! I fully relate to your words. Our routines become so comfortable. How easy, yet how hard, is it to pause for a moment and reach out with a tender touch.

    I’m going to share this with our couples/marriage Bible study.

  11. says

    [sigh]… I needed that! Such a precious piece to read. May I cut and copy?!! I love the illustrations of the Greek wedding dance. I’ve read somewhere that the best thing a Father can do for his children is to love his wife, and obviously I believe the same applies in reverse. I think the ‘C’ word is something we need to embrace everyday. Committment to Christ, to our Husband/Wife, and to the actualities of marriage in the every-day. So, as hard as it may get, you come back to that; and even though it is not always possible to keep on keeping on for some, for others, me, the ‘promise’, His Promise, is enough, and His provision enables… and marriage feels good, is good and will continue to be so, and… you miss ‘im when you go to Melbourne!!!;)

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