“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 me 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.
Boring is beautiful. Boring is ordinary.
While my husband hasn’t chased me down in an airport to profess his undying love for me or shown up at my door in a limo prepared to fly me away from reality, he has walked with me hand in hand thousands of times around the sun. He’s gone to Wal-Mart at Mid-night for milk. He’s helped clean up puke and put money into savings instead towards his dream boat.
Chris and I met in high school. We sat next to each other in home economics and started dating when I was 15. We got married two weeks after my 18th birthday and it still feels like it was yesterday.
We work 8 to 5, raise three kids together, we talk about what we’re planning for dinner, or if we’re going to meet at the gym. Once we get through the typical night of dinner, kids, chores, and the bedtime routine, we find ourselves going for a walk talking about anything and everything. This boring, unremarkable love spends Friday nights at one of three places in our small-town community, dancing to an indie band, watching movies with our kids, or eating sushi at one of our favorite places. It’s always one of the three or sometimes all three.
Whether I’m dressed to the nines in a little black dress or wearing a sports bra with no makeup, I won’t find myself crying, hurt, or insecure because I don’t have to worry catching his eyes traveling over another woman’s body. Sadly enough, many couples who end their marriage do so because one of the partners “got bored.”
Our culture is saturated with the message that marriages need to spiced up, kinky, or full of drama. Watch any movie that has a relationship plot. We’re force fed to believe that unless our relationships are filled with action, intense passion and drama like the movies Titanic, 27 Dresses, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, etc. then we must do something to save it before it ends in divorce.
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 the 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?