A rowdy sex romp
As the old experiment goes, put a penny in a jar for every time you have sex during the first year of marriage. Then, beginning at the start of your second year, take a penny out every time you do the horizontal two-step. Chances are, a couple of years later, you’ll still be pulling pennies.
Does the sex stop after twelve months of good lovin’? No. Not by any means. But is every night a page out of the Karma Sutra? Nope. Despite what guys think, your wife won’t always want to wear that see-through teddy. Elastic and lace just aren’t that comfortable in some places. And ladies? Keeping the romance alive is hard work for us guys. Sometimes we just want to watch SportsCenter.
Still, with communication and sensitivity, sex can (and should) remain a vital part of marriage. It’s the ultimate bonding activity for a couple to share. But remember it’s not the only activity. Don’t expect marriage to be a fifty-year honeymoon of libido and lipstick. Also, intimacy does not start with sex, sex is the product of intimacy.
A means to a makeover
How many times have you heard this? “He’s not really interested in the stuff I like to do, but that’ll change once we get married.” Very few marriages that launch from that pad end up happily ever after.
If there’s anything you should know about marriage, it’s this: saying “I do” may change your legal relationship, but it doesn’t change your character. Don’t enter a marriage expecting to remake your husband or wife into someone else. You can’t. People have baggage, stuff they’ve wheeled around behind them since childhood. It’s been with us so long, very few have the willpower to drop it before entering the wedding chapel. The flaws go with you.
Don’t marry someone for who they might become. Marry them for who they are right now.
Pray that you see your spouse the way God sees them.
Focus on reconciliation
An easy transition
There’s a reason romantic movies end, rather than begin, with a wedding. It’s because that’s when the hard stuff starts. For anyone who’s lived on their own for any length of time, the space between singleness and marriage is a wide one. It’s a difficult transition for many.
“I wasn’t ready for all the changes,” a friend of mine once told me about his first few months of marriage. “I could deal with moving into her place and giving up my furniture—it was pretty much crap anyway. But what surprised me was having to deal with her emotions. When you’re dating, you always see her best face. Once you get married, you see everything.”
Women don’t have it any easier. Many secretly wince at the notion of placing their fate alongside that of another, worrying that the role of wife might eat into their sense of individuality. There’s no way around making these adjustments. In order for the marriage to last more than a week or two, you’ll have to find a way to cope. Don’t be taken by surprise; expect a few hiccups going in.
Let me get a head start by ending with this disclaimer. We’ve been discussing what marriage is not, but here’s what marriage is: Marriage is wonderful. There is no better way to make it through life than with a partner who loves you despite your morning breath, despite your stinky Converse All-Stars, and despite your failure to clean coffee stains. Marriage is deeply satisfying, incredibly fulfilling, and loads of fun. It makes the harsh edges of life a little softer. It brings joy and hope and laughter. But it’s not easy, and it’s not something to rush into without thinking.
Our RE/Marriage series is for all of us to grasp the reality of a real God who loves us in a real way, and wants us to embrace the greatest earthly gift….Our Spouse.
Derek Osburn, Lead Pastor
The Vine Community Church