Why would you want to stay with the same person for as long as you live? Why would you entrust yourself to someone “in sickness or in health, for richer or for poorer until death”? Why would you commit to an entity called ‘marriage?’
When I got married 18 years ago, I didn’t know the answer. All I knew was that I am madly in love with my husband. There was mutual adoration, intense preoccupation, and physical longing to be with him 24/7. At that time, my immune, muscular and nervous systems were functioning at an enhanced rate. There was the passion to see him, to have fellowship with him and to be intimate with him.
After 18 years of marriage, I have learned that passion alone produces merely infatuation. It fades when you are living with the person 24/7. It seems to me that the word passion is connected to the phrase “to be missed”. Therefore if you always see the person everyday for x number of years, you tend to include him or her as one of the ornament or decoration in your life that hangs on your wall. It’s there. It’s good. But you don’t appreciate its significance everyday. I thought I’ve got to enhance my romance with him to enjoy him for a lifetime.
But romance is likened to cut flowers enclosed in a beautiful plastic wrapper. It’s beautiful to look at and appreciate. But cut from the plant, its beauty will eventually fade and wither. The lasting love that develops from long-term commitment in a marriage is like living flowers in a bush that perpetually blossom. It’s watered, cultivated, and put in the sunshine. This deeper beauty is meant to last as the plant continues to grow. (Devey, 1999)
So I thought that having fun together with my husband is one way to water and cultivate my marriage. By having fun I mean taking time to enjoy my relationship with him -- in my recreational activities, in my quiet times with God, and in my deeper longing for someone to talk to and confide with.
Research shows that the amount of fun time spouses spend together is a major factor in the happiness of their marriage. Sharing enjoyable times prevents them from getting bored with their relationships and helps rejuvenate them when they are very busy and preoccupied with other cares and concerns. Another research shows that the more sexual activity a couple has, the more positively they tend to describe their relationship and the longer the relationship tends to last. The strongest determinant of satisfaction in a couple is to count the number of times a week the couple argue and the number of times a week they engage in direct sexual activity. Having more sex than arguments is a good predictor of a happy relationship (Devey, 1999 and Franzoi, 1996, p.371-372).
Song of Solomon 2:10-13 (NLT) states:
My lover spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past: the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”
Even the couples in the book of Song of Solomon need to seize the opportunity of a good weather to enjoy each other and have fun.
Who says marriage is easy? There’s always hard work put into it. There is always the labour of love. So all I can say about marriage is, “My God, you’ve entered into it, enjoy it!”
May 17, 2005
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