We host our e-group from church almost every week at our house. This is basically a “community group”, whose purpose is to practice the “one-another’s” of scripture, by embracing one another, loving one another, encouraging one another.. you get the picture.
One of the couples in our group recently got married after returning from the mission-field of Madagascar. Their romance was unlike many in that they hadn’t been able to date while there. They only “knew” that they felt so many feelings toward one another, but weren’t able to act on any of them until they were back in the United States. The tension between them rivaled only the best love stories and mimicked those of your favorite romance novel. But, they faithfully waited until the time was right and then chose not to wait much longer. In what most would call a whirlwind of wedding planning, only six weeks after their engagement, they were married. Our group wanted to celebrate this beautiful couple…and celebrate we did!
One of the ladies in our group brought the party to my house. With decorations and gifts, it was an instant celebration. She pulled a “Jenga” game out of her party bag and instructed all of the women who are married to write hints, notes, or ideas to the newly married couple on each game piece. They will be able to have a date night at home, pulling out our ideas and perhaps choose to put one into practice.
With colorful markers in hand, we sat around my table and got to work. We laughed and smirked and showed each other our best work and all the while had great conversation about married life and things we do to keep it interesting.
See, unfortunately, even within the church, marriages are falling apart at a staggering rate. There are many reasons for this. Selfishness and unrepentant sin are among the top. There’s dishonesty and a lack of real friendship, but in contrast, for many of us, there’s years of hard work and intentional effort to dig in deep and make our marriages the picture of Christ’s love that he intended it to be. We don’t claim perfection; we claim his persistence for us. We want our marriages to be a reflection of Christ’s pursuit of us.
Our list was fun and honest. It might stretch any newly married couple and of course is meant to simply encourage their new life together.
I thought I’d offer you the opportunity to see some of what was on that list. Obviously, I’m only encouraging married couples to use it. But do use it! Any relationship takes effort and intentionality. I hope these will spark other ideas for you and you’ll pass this on to your friends so that they can benefit as well.
- Go on walks together.
- Be spontaneous.
- Make a plan for date nights.
- Stay up late and watch movies.
- Take hot baths together. Two warm bodies + lots of soapy suds= a great time. You can do the math.. and thank me later!
- Hold hands.
- Take long drives.
- Listen to each other dream.
- Find hobbies that you can do together.
- Ladies-Wear your apron (only) for more than cooking in the kitchen. He’ll never think about pot roast the same again!
- Leave the lights on…sometimes.
- Hug often.
- Call each other during the day.
- Make his friendship your most important.
- Value your spouse’s opinion.
- Kiss every time you see each other!
- Laugh a lot!
- Guys, flowers are always a good idea.
- Make up quickly.
- Go on “dress-up” dates.
- Just say, “Yes!” Don’t be quick to say “no” to your spouse’s ideas.
- Write love notes.
- Be quick to forgive.
And on that note, I’ll end our advice. As a group of women who love Jesus and love our husbands, we hope our list encouraged you and made you laugh (or blush) just a little bit. But more than anything, we hope your marriage will flourish to be the picture of Christ’s deep and intimate love for his church that it was intended to be.
Maybe you’ll decide to make a Jenga game like this for one of your soon-to-be married friends or make one as a gift for your husband. Have fun!