Something is different. I’m different. Chris is different. Not wrong–just different. To be honest, marriage has been tough lately. When we were teenagers, it was “us” tackling the world together. Now it’s like, “You wanna what? Have you lost your mind?”
When I was dating Chris, I loved being “Chris’ girl,” I dreamed of memory making moments: we would sip wine on the back porch as our kids slept soundly. He would always share his deepest secrets and I would always look ready to roll in the sheets. Well… let’s just say it’s not that way 24-7. Instead, we have kids with special needs and don’t sleep soundly. I don’t want to roll in the sheets because I’m not fond of being a size 10 or the fact that I’m tired, stretch marked and want to write.
These moments are rare, but rare is what we look forward to. It’s the inbetween everyday moments that get to us. We know marriage takes work and sometimes we aren’t sure where to start. One must have in any marriage is tools. Good tools, like this new book we are reading together.
This week, Chris and I are reading Love to Stay by Adam Hamilton, author of several other books and Pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leafwood Kansas ( a fellow mid-west dude, awesome :-)). His previous books include, Forgiveness. Why? and The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus.
Here’s a few things Pastor Adam poses:
What’s the secret to a long-lasting marriage? Whether you explain it in psychological or spiritual terms, there is a connection between God and marital happiness. There’s even a connection between sexual frequency and prayer.
Hamilton explores why some marriages flourish and some fizzle. With divorce rates between 40 and 50 percent, many of today’s couples struggle with not only staying married, but also staying happily married.
In this eye-opening book, Love to Stay: Sex, Grace, and Commitment , best-selling author Hamilton delves into issues and sensitive topics faced by real people and real couples, “We live in a culture where people are used to seeking out things that make their daily duties fast and easy. But one of the most important things about love, marriage and sexual intimacy is that it’s hard work,” says Hamilton. “When we fall in love, it seems so easy. But maintaining love over decades – that’s another story. Most couples have seasons when they fall out of love. Most report that their sex life seems boring at times. Nearly every couple has times when they think about calling it quits. Most fight fairly regularly. But those who don’t give up, who work on their marriage find profound rewards.”
As he wrote Love to Stay and developed the companion DVD study and guide, Hamilton drew on several sources: Biblical scripture; advice from leading relationship experts; wisdom gleaned from the real life experiences of hundreds of couples who have discussed their marriages with him over the years; and the personal, and often humorous, experiences from his own marriage. Love to Stay also features exclusive research findings from Hamilton’s Love, Sex, and Marriage survey, which invited both single and married participants to describe highs, and lows, in the areas of love, sex, and marriage. The more than 5,000 respondents answered questions on everything from cause of conflict to frequency of sexual intimacy across each decade of marriage.
Doesn’t he look thrilled? Chris actually likes the book but despised cameras 🙂 At least that’s how we felt until we read the first few pages. I’ll let you know my thoughts on Friday when I give away a copy, but I can tell you, I’ve highlighted, dog-eared and circled phrases that have been eye-opening already. Here are some questions for you?
Are you disillusioned with marriage?
What do you struggle with?
Can you have a grace-based marriage?
What’s the best advice you have ever recieved for your marriage?