Do you want to keep the romance in your marriage?
I look back on my parents and remember the warmth between them. They stayed close for many years, despite problems.
August is a special month for me because my parents married on August 24. Momma always talked about the day she and dad married. In fact, any time someone visited, she offered to show them her wedding photos. This year, they would have been married 71 years, and in their memory, we are going to talk about marriage for a few weeks. How can you keep romance in your marriage?
First, let me give you a little history.
Dad had served in WW2, and he came home to discover his parents had separated. He spent several years trying to reconcile them, and then he wanted to get married. Mother was a student at a local Christian college, and a person who knew them both offered to set them up. The moment dad heard about her, he decided this was the woman for him.
Mother wore a red dress on their first date, and she enjoyed laughing at my dad’s jokes. She had just taken a sip of her coffee when he cracked another funny, and she choked. Dad offered her his handkerchief, which she took home and washed.
After that date, dad was sure she was the one. Mother wasn’t. She had dated another guy and wanted to see if he was still interested. That young man moved away, and she thought about how much she enjoyed laughing with my dad. They continued dating and later married.
Mom and Dad’s relationship was special. Dad adored mother, and she felt the same. They often embraced and kissed in our presence. At Mom’s funeral, the pastor described my parents as
peanut butter and jelly. You could hardly think of one without the other. They enjoyed being together and found more in common as they aged. When Mama died, they had been married almost fifty-six years.
Not that they didn’t have rough spots. Once when mom came
home from the grocery store, a large box of laundry detergent fell out of the passenger seat and hit the accelerator. She couldn’t stop the car, which whammed into the garage door. The accident left Dad’s brand new car with a huge dent and did a lot of damage to the house too. I found her weeping in the kitchen worried about what my father would say. Dad didn’t like the damage, but he didn’t let that interfere with his love. Nor did he react with anger like she expected. I remember him reasoning with her about preventing such issues in the future.
And I recall when Mom had allergy tests and discovered she
could no longer eat foods she loved. She cried. That crisis could have done them in. Dad was determined not to allow his love to fade. He took us aside and told us to treat her with gentleness since she had a lot on her mind. That wasn’t unusual. He often admonished us to look out for her when she felt down.
Their love for each other was so precious, that I wanted the same thing in my marriage. Once I married, I realized a big part of that was my attitude toward my husband. And by that I mean, not allowing myself to dwell on his mistakes or weaknesses. And remaining committed to him.
After Mom died, I found a Loveman’s box in the bottom of her cedar chest. (In Chattanooga, Loveman’s was an exclusive store.) Mom wrapped contents in tissue, and I was thrilled so see what she valued so much. As I eased back the crinkly paper, Mom’s wedding dress lay on the top. A fancy white nightgown along with an elegant slip lay underneath. What a treasure. What care she took to fold each just right so it would fit. Obviously these items held a special place in her heart. What care she took to fold each just right. Obviously these items held a special place in her heart.
Like those wedding clothes,
After watching them for a lifetime, I understand their secret.
They treasured one another “as fellow heirs of the grace of life.” So when problems come along—and they will—treasure your spouse. Think of that other person as fine china. You don’t bang your china about. Instead you wash it by hand with a delicate touch. If you must move, you spend extra time packing each piece so it won’t break. Just like china, your spouse is special, fragile. Attack
the problem while treating your spouse with love and respect. Nurture that love, and it will last