Good marriages aren’t accidental; they require hard work.
Last night Cathy and I were doing some pre-marital counseling with this wonderful couple, who used to be in our youth group, and we were talking about the fact that good marriages aren’t accidental—they require hard work.
This last year I’ve spoken at more marriage events/retreats than I have in the last 10 years, and it’s easy to see that many people struggle and get discouraged when they try to explain their own lack of effort toward dating and romance of their spouse.
I’ve heard all types of excuses–here’s 10 common ones:
- What are we going to do with the children?
- I don’t have enough time.
- Dating costs too much money.
- There’s plenty to do at home.
- I’m too tired.
- I’m too busy
- There’s nothing to do where we live.
- We can’t ever get good baby-sitters.
- It’s too cold/hot/muggy outside.
- I’ve got too much to do around the house.
Those are all true. We’re experts at creating excuses to avoid taking actions that require effort. I could think of ten reasons for not getting out of bed this morning, and another twenty for not wanting to work. Excuses can abound, but eventually the pressures of reality force me into action. The urgency of life tells me I’d better get out of bed and get working or I’ll end up with no where to work! I’m forced to do what I should, regardless of my excuses. That’s reality.
But, in marriage, the consequences of my excuses aren’t nearly as tangible or immediate. If I don’t take Cathy out on a date-night, so what? Life will go on. I’ll still be employed. I‘m not forced to make any special effort toward our relationship because there appears to be no urgency.
Marriages that live with no sense of urgency in their passion and commitment to continuing to date one another or improve their relationship… will eventually dry-up. Need proof? Look at the divorce rate.
Why not jump start your marriage… do what it takes to bring a little romance and dating back into your marriage. In the face of all the excuses… why not make something happen? Don’t wait for your spouse to initiate… you start.
Question: what’s your “default” excuse for not dating/pursuing/romancing your spouse?
Written by Doug Fields