One thing that really bothers me about modern culture is its approach to marriage. No, this is not going to be a post about how people take marriage lightly, and only are happy with marriage as long as it is making them happy. Rather I want to focus on something a little more subtle that undermines our marriages: today’s culture teaches us that it is not good to spend too much time with our spouses
Seriously, think of it. How many times do we hear things like “You need to have yourself outside your marriage”, or “you need to make sure you have your own hobbies away from your spouse”, or “you just need some girl time away from your husband”. While that is all well and good, it makes me a little sad that modern society almost makes me ashamed to spend so much time with my husband.
Our pre-marital counselors were a wonderful couple from our church who have been married for a very long time. They gave us so many wonderful words of wisdom which I still cherish and take very seriously. But one thing they told us with all seriousness was that we should endeavor to spend as much time together as possible. We should develop hobbies together, we should cook together, and we should go everywhere we can together.
It seemed a little crazy when I first heard them say this because of where my husband and I were in our relationship at that time. We were living nearly 400 miles away from each other and had experienced a good deal of independence in our relationship. We saw each other every few weeks, but when we got married it would not only be the first time we were living together, but it would be the first time we were even living in the same state! The idea that we would go from being so separate to so “together” scared me a little. And now our pre-marital counselors were telling us we need to endeavor to spend as much time as possible together.
But I quickly learned that my misgivings were modern society talking to me. I think that our modern culture sends a subtle message of “don’t get too close, just in case it doesn’t work out.” In other words “You don’t want to get too dependent, or lose yourself too much in your marriage so that when you get divorced you end up with nothing.” What?! What kind of message is that? Preparing for divorce before you are even married sounds like a sure way to pull your marriage apart.
My husband and I decided to throw caution to the wind and take our counselors advice. And we are SO happy we did! We’ve been married only about a year and a half, but we pretty much do everything together. Friends know that if they invite one of us to do something, the other will come along. We work out together, go shopping together, visit family and friends together, do chores together, and spend pretty much all our free time together. Sure there are times when we both need our alone time, but that usually is an hour or two apart before we are ready to be reunited. Being together all the time has not just helped our marriage, it has helped us to grow together as friends. The more time I spend with my husband, the more time I WANT to spend with him.
I went to visit my mother a few weeks ago while my husband went to visit a friend. It was one of the few times we were going to be spending the weekend away from each other. We thought it wouldn’t be a big deal, especially since we were used to spending 3 weeks without seeing each other before we got married. But the 2nd day I started getting kind of pathetic. I missed my husband terribly. Nothing is as fun without him around to share in it.
Many people might be wary of spending so much time with their spouse. But I have seen that spending so much time together has helped us to grow together. We have a silent communication now that I used to envy in other couples. We know each other thoroughly now, and we are more considerate of accommodating one another. This doesn’t mean we don’t argue or bicker, but we know each other so well now that we are able to quickly resolve our issues and move on.
My life has changed so much since I got married, since I used to be somewhat of a loner. I used to joke that there was no one on this planet I didn’t get sick of after a day or two. But in ignoring modern society’s dictate that I need to be my own woman outside of my husband, and that too much “together time” is a bad thing, I have forged a unity with the man God gave me that makes me sad to be away from him after a few hours!
So please, ignore society in this, and enjoy your spouse! Forge an unbreakable bond and oneness that God envisioned in marriage.
Matthew 19:6: So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.