February 10, 2005
Encouragement for Today
By Susanne Scheppmann, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
"But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful." Psalm 68:3 (NIV)
My girlfriend, Connie, has a hilarious husband. With complete love and tenderness in his voice, he will holler for her, "Spouse!" To the ear of those who do not know this couple, such a request may seem rude and obnoxious.
However, their relationship exhibits joy, love, and fun. So much so, that my husband and I have started to call to each other with "Hey, Spouse!" It's fun. Many times after years of marriage, fun seems to disappear like mousse-gel in wet hair. We know we need it, but where does it go?
After almost 20 years of marriage, I realize that if I want to laugh and have fun, then I will need to plan and create it. I began to discover wonderful ideas by watching other couples. Connie's husband will grab her in the grocery store and dance her down the aisle. Embarrassing? Maybe. Fun? Absolutely. There is not a woman in the produce section that does not envy that woman waltzing past the purplish eggplants.
God never intended for any of our relationships to be dour and lackluster. He designed marriage for companionship. Do you recall what he said after he created Adam? The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper for him.' (Genesis 2:18 NIV) I believe he intended for the wife to be a helper in several ways, but especially in the ability to create laughter and fun in the family.
One way to rekindle the fun in your marriage is by remembering what you did when you dated. Perhaps it was going to the park to swing. Maybe you picnicked by the local lake. Could you do similar things now? Of course. Only now, they could be even better because you are married. Could you pitch a tent in the backyard; picnic; and then enjoy a warm summer night under the stars? Use your imagination to pick the perfect fun-filled activity for you and your spouse. If you need to, ask your friends what they do to promote laughter and fun in their marriage.
Excuse me. I have to go now. I hear my husband calling, "Spouse!" We are going to the local home improvement store. I not only plan to improve my house, but my marriage. Yes, I think I will dance with him down the plumbing aisle or perhaps ride piggyback through the lumber department.
"I'm on my way, dear!"
My Prayer for today:
Father, I ask for renewed joy, fun, and laughter in my marriage. Give me ideas to create times of laughter and enjoyment in which both my husband and I will delight. Father, not only do I ask for the ideas, but give me the desire and energy to implement them into our home daily. Amen.
Make a list of things that both you and your husband enjoy doing together. List fun activities you did while dating. After looking at both lists, decide to implement one thing this week that will make you both laugh and have fun together.
How often do I laugh with my husband?
How often do I laugh with my children?
How often do I laugh with my friends and family?
How often do I think God would like me to laugh and have fun?
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit." Proverbs 15:13 (NIV)
"So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun." Ecclesiastes 8:15 (NIV)
"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." 1 Timothy 6:17 (NIV)
"A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance." Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NIV)
Coming out of the Dark by Mary Southerland
Capture His Heart by Lysa Terkeurst
A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life: Finding God's Refreshing Priorities for You by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes
New! Message of the Month Club by Proverbs 31 Speaker Team
Originally published Thursday, 10 February 2005.