Are you a workaholic? Eric loves to work. And even if he is working on something he does not enjoy, he gives it 110%. Are you a playaholic? I love to play! If there is not something to look forward to in my day, I struggle to make myself work. Maybe that sounds childish (and maybe it is), but I do love to have fun. It makes the tough parts of life seem so much more bearable!
Having fun together regularly is a large piece of the connection maintenance puzzle. It is hard to grow apart from someone you laugh and joke with every day! Right? It is not a pain to get together with friends who share your hobbies and passions, but hanging out with people you find boring (or, even too exciting) is like pulling teeth. So, if you and your sweetie are consistently enjoying fun activities together, you are in little danger of growing apart.
Laughter Soothes the Soul
Belly laughter is like a toothbrush for your insides. When I belly laugh, I feel like my gut gets a good cleaning. ~smile~ Stress, negativity, and intense focus can leave a lot of emotional “tartar” inside, but laughing and letting off steam loosens the crud and refreshes the spirit.
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. – Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)
Eric and I cannot stay furious with each other when we’re laughing hysterically. Laughter really is like a balm for the tired, aching, exhausted spirit.
Playing Reminds Us Not to Take Life Too Seriously
Not everything in life is a joke, but there are appropriate times to let loose and be a little silly. And, once you are married, you will need to make time to be a little silly. Your relationship may seem like all fun and games now, but you are only at the starting line. You haven’t been running together long enough to get tired yet. Somewhere around mile three or four, you are both going to feel drained and need a “water break.”
Date nights, weekend getaways, and random fun activities keep the race from feeling overwhelming. We can all run a marathon if we have adequate rest and recovery time. Grown up responsibilities will demand a lot of your time, so you will have to purposely plan time for fun. Recreation may seem like a want more than a need, especially when your head is swimming with work problems, financial concerns, and child-rearing quandaries; but, having some play time in your relationship is a need. It will rejuvenate you both and help you be better employees, financial stewards, future spouses, and future parents. Rest and recreation has become a lost art!
We Should Enjoy Our Marriages, not Simply Endure Them!
Most everyone who gets married does so with high hopes for the future. Sure, some people may marry out of necessity, and some marriages are still arranged; but, the majority of marriages which take place between two consenting adults are entered into with excitement, anticipation, and a lot of great plans.
Sadly, many marriages lose heart early in the race. Unrealistic expectations, financial problems, uncovered addictions, and foolish pride can all lead a happy couple down a dark and scary road. For the couples who choose to stay together and ride out the storm, they often find themselves in survival mode. Just make it through. Just deal with it. Just take it a day at the time. But, I think God not only intended marriage to be a means for intense spiritual growth, but also something to be enjoyed.
The person you marry will be your teammate until one of you dies. That will be a long time from now, Lord willing, so make sure you take time to play and experience life. Your knight or damsel will occasionally annoy you, but the good news is you will annoy him or her too. ~smile~ The sooner you get past those minor aggravations and invest in ways to enjoy each other, the happier your marriage will be!
Forging a strong play ethic in your marriage is a tremendously effective way to maintain a strong emotional connection. Even if you both share passions for important causes like feeding the hungry and sharing the gospel with unreached people groups, you still need to relax, unwind, and have fun together. We are in human bodies and we have human limitations. Some recreation helps us to refocus, regroup, and prepare for the next battle.
What do you and your sweetie do for fun now, and how will you make recreation a consistent part of your future marriage?