Honeymoon stage. A term we hear often. But I think we shouldn’t, and here’s why…
I recently read John Macarthur’s Found: God’s Will. It speaks quite a bit about being filled with the Holy Spirit. About how we, as christians, often ask for strength, etc, in our prayers that we already have. That the Holy Spirit doesn’t come in ebbs and flows, but rather lives within us always. When those “ebbs” come, they tend to be when we’ve neglected our Bibles, or have grown comfortable in our own mundane patterns, forsaking or quenching the Spirit. When we stop giving and seeking.
I used to be afraid that the pitter patter of my hearts desires toward Scott would wane. That they were built on emotions that would subside in time. That our life would become so patterned that we’d fall into periods of lulls in our relationship. That the emotional high that came with loving Scott would dissipate. Just as the Holy Spirit is in me forever, my marriage is forever.
Sure, our lives have had many seasons of slow, with mediocre routines and contentedness, if you will. But it never applied to our marriage. Our goal has always been more. More sharing, more caring, more giving… more.
I used to feel guilty and psycho-analyze why we never lost that “honeymoon stage” that people – even christians – said most assuredly always ends. I used to think that the reason ours stayed vibrant was because I knew Scott had this looming medical issue that left our relationship so intensely purposeful.
Maybe it was true.
“Someone is walking on the water!” Sure enough, with robes flowing in the wind, here came Jesus, walking arose the whitecaps.
Peter cried out, “Is that You, Lord?”
The Lord answered, “Yes, it is Me.”
Peter said, “Can I come out to You?”
You may wander why Peter said that. Why didn’t he wait in the boat till Jesus got there? But that wouldn’t have been like Peter. He said to himself, “Jesus is over there. I am over here. That is not good. I must go over there.” It never entered his mind that normally he was not able to walk on water. That was not even a problem. When he saw Jesus, he had such a desire to be with Him that he went.
Knowing full well that he is a flawed man that isn’t perfect by any stretch, I want to share my all with Scott. My longing is for him. I adore him completely. I admire him and respect him. And I’m blessed beyond measure to be the mother to his children, his wife and lover.
Perhaps it was the more obvious reminder (his health) that he may not always be here with me… Anymore, though, I don’t believe that is why we are still in the honeymoon stage. Instead, I give all thanks to God, for I believe He has given us the blessing of constant desire for each other. Just as He gives us perpetual desire for Him. Never waning if we allow Him to bless us so.
I challenge you: Consider that God’s desire is for your relationship to be in the “honeymoon stage” all of life long. Consider accepting that the stage of fresh adoration for your wife/husband may be a life long possibility.
As a marriage is an emulation of Christ and the church, there is no room for finding any amount of comfort in accepting less. Just as being filled with the Holy Spirit can (should) be perpetually exciting or advancing personally if we allow Him to work in us constantly, so ought a marriage.
How does a Spirit-filled life express itself? “In psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the father.” (Eph. 5:19-20)
That sounds pretty honeymoon-like to me! What utter joy to follow my Savior! What a witness to the world a church is who has fervor for it’s God! Just as the church and christian individuals should be set apart from the world, so should our marriages be!
Sure, we’re going to fight. There will be grumpy times. There will be frustrating times. But they won’t characterize our marriage. What will? The honeymoon stage, Lord willing.
I no longer fear that our marriage will end up stuck in a rut. Just as I no longer fear that the fire that started in my heart for my God will die. I don’t fear because God promises He is faithful and rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Heb. 11:6, Jeremiah 29:13, James 1:5 come to mind). And I truly believe God means for marriage to be more than mundane – even thriving, joyous, and, well, honeymoon-like.
If my fervor wanes, or discontentment arises, it is by my own fault (and wrong). We pray often that neither of us will allow that in our marriage. We pray that we will always be on fire for each other. That we will never allow our relationship to wander or drift. That life never gets so ‘big’ that we lose track. That we will always allow Christ to be our center. That our marriage may be a good testimony of God’s unending love, and a light to the world.
Today we celebrate 15 years of marriage. Fifteen years of change. Of hurt, anger, pain, fear, excitement, joy, peace… But most importantly, love. Lasting love.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:2
It is by God’s grace and mercy that we celebrate this day. Earlier this year we weren’t sure we’d be on this earth together for this anniversary. But truly, we still do not know the days we will have together, for life is fleeting. Celebrate every day. And please, I urge you, never give in to the “norm”. Don’t quench your marriage. Cultivate it continually. Honor and praise God in your life-lasting honeymoon with your spouse!