Ordinary Is Where Marriage Thrives
By: Heather Riggleman
“There are three things that amaze me—no, four things that I don't understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman." - Proverbs 30:18-19.
As the fireworks burst in the jet-black sky around us, I marveled how our date night was perfectly ordinary. We had been given the chance to get dressed up and make the best of the Fourth of July, since my in-laws had the kids for the evening. Instead, we found ourselves in t-shirts and jean shorts, cruising our small town in search of Poke stops and gyms.
Barefoot in the grass, we made our way to a “gym” in our Pokémon Go App before hopping back in the truck in order to drive to another one in town. I loved every moment of our perfectly ordinary evening. There was no champagne, fancy clothes, or violins serenading us in the background. There was no hype, glitz or glamour. It was a perfectly ordinary moment in the dark.
This seems to be the secret to being married for twenty years: cultivating ordinary moments into the life you want to live with your spouse. These little moments seem to be what holds us together, more so than any big moments in our marriage.
Everyone looks forward to their wedding day, the honeymoon, your first home, your first child, or landing the dream job. Everyone tends to focus on the things you’ll “do” together instead of the ordinary. Sure, you’ll do all sorts of wild and amazing things with your spouse, but the truth is this: marriage is ‘real life’ spent in the company of another person. God created us to live together through everyday ordinary and ordained married moments.
This means dishes, bills, laundry, oil changes, grocery shopping, making dinner, parenting and the list goes on. I’m looking forward to walking thousands of more times around the sun with my husband because he makes the mundane, magical.
Do you look forward to ordinary moments? Do you purposely cultivate these moments with your spouse? The world tells us that if our marriage isn’t filled with big moments of erotic sex, clubbing, and other Hollywood-ized moments, then our marriage is headed for divorce. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Ordinary is where sexy lives. Ordinary is where love lives. God created us to want a love that can be touched and held and to laugh out loud. He created marriage to hold hopes, dreams, socks on the floor, late night milk runs, Sunday afternoon budget talks and a place to warm your cold feet under the covers at midnight. God created marriage for waists shaped by children, wrinkled brows, pizza take out nights and Sunday morning teamwork to get to church on time.
This is the essence of love. Ask yourself, do you look forward to the big moments in marriage or the ordinary moments? Do you look forward to folding laundry with your spouse or grocery shopping? What’s missing to make the ordinary moments thrive in your marriage?
Heather Riggleman calls Nebraska home (hey, it’s not for everyone) with her three kids and husband of 20 years. She writes to bring bold truths to marriage, career, mental health, depression, faith, relationships, celebration and heartache. Heather is a former national award-winning journalist and is the author of Mama Needs a Time Out and Let’s Talk About Prayer. Her work has been featured on Proverbs 31 Ministries, MOPS, Today's Christian Woman and Focus On the Family. You can find her at heatherriggleman.com.
It's time we get real about marriage & relationships! Join marriage coach, Dana Che, as she and her guests deliver witty, inspirational, real relationship talk from a faith-based perspective. New episodes of the Real Relationship Talk Podcast drop every Tuesday.
Originally published Wednesday, 11 October 2023.