“How was your time last night?”
Christopher’s face lit up like a thousand fireflies as he recounted the people he’d met, the board games he’d played, and the strategy he was able to execute perfectly.
His passion for people and board games flowed out of him as he talked, permeating the room like brownies baking in the oven.
My words slipped into the space he left behind as I explained the mind-bending plot twist in the novel I’d just finished, while we watched Isaiah zoom his cars along the floor.
Sometimes I tell him about the premise of the sweet romance I watched with friends. Or I get to talking about my own novel I’m writing, as I’ve discovered new depths to my characters’ interests and motivations.
It feels a little like when we were dating—when we couldn’t wait to see each other again and catch up on the details of our lives as if we were going to be tested on them.
Much-Needed Marriage Advice
One of the best pieces of marriage advice I received before my wedding came from my sister-in-law, Queena. She encouraged me to support my husband in something he enjoys doing without me.
What? But won’t our relationship grow better if we’re together? He is at work all day, after all.
As a new bride, it was easy for me to want my husband with me all the time. We had a number of shared interests and enjoyed being together.
I felt safe with him, and I didn’t have to make the effort to call anyone else or risk the rejection I felt if they declined.
The problem was, Christopher couldn’t meet all of my needs, because it’s impossible for one person to do.
I’m so thankful for the times when our family does do things together, but living with two members of the opposite gender, I realized I needed some time with the gender that thinks a little more like me.
Someone who understands when hormones cloud my logical thinking–and knows how to make sympathetic sounds and nod at the right time.
And as I share life with friends, I can learn about their passions. Sometimes, I’ll ask a question like, “What are you enjoying about life?” to get the conversation going.
The Universe-Shaper God created us in His image, like the different colors and pieces in a stained-glass window. How could we not want to explore and appreciate each tiny pane?
My time apart from Christopher has also caused me to look at myself and discover which creative pursuits energize me. (You can read more here.)
Working Out Expectations
There have been times when life’s been moving so fast, we’ve needed to guard our time with each other. Sometimes our expectations haven’t matched up, and we’ve needed to be honest with each other about feeling smothered or distant.
I know my husband will always feel energized by being with people on Friday nights (or singing with his barbershop quartet). Sometimes I get together with a friend while he’s away, but other times I’d rather just lose myself in a novel.
Then, when we come back together, we have more to give. We don’t have to be as concerned about getting all our relational needs filled from each other.
When we have people over as a couple, we can delight in practicing hospitality together, adding our individual interests and passions to the conversation.
Plus, Isaiah gets to see his mommy and daddy enjoying life (and learn that it doesn’t all revolve around him).
When Christopher and I are excited about life, our passions curl us even closer together, like a blanket. And when I just don’t get the draw of a space-themed strategy game he played with one of his friends, I can still delight in his joy (and the way his eyes squint when he’s happy).
What is your husband passionate about? I’d love to hear!
9 thoughts on “How to Add More Relational Passion to Your Marriage”
What a great reminder, Alicia, for all of us at any stage in our marriage. It reminds me of the truth that “the greatest gift you can give your children is to be a growing person yourself.” And I’ve seen the played out beautifully in your marriage as you and Christopher have given each other the freedom to be the unique people God has created you to be and to enjoy your different pursuits, as well as finding ways to grow and serve together. Thanks for letting the Lord guide you each week into sharing so many great discoveries with the rest of us!
Thanks so much for your encouragement! It’s been a learning process these past five years, but so worth it. Thanks for the example of faithfulness you and Dad have shown to us.
I think you know what Jason likes to do in his spare time. Christopher and him are two peas in a pod when it comes to their passions and interests! Question for you: Do you have any good book recommendations for me? I need something that is engaging and easy to read. 🙂 thanks!
I sent you a personal message with some recommendations. 🙂
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