One of my greatest fears in marriage is becoming simply roommates. A married couple becomes roommates when the intimacy disappears and they are simply existing, much like friends, under the same roof. The unique trio of an emotional, physical and spiritual connection is what makes a marriage different than a roommate situation. Unlike roommates, a happy and well-connected married couple is also focused on serving one another as they grow in their marriage. Unfortunately, marriage does not come with a motor. So, positive growth is not automatic. You literally have to push to make it work, through acts of love, sacrifice and service.
In a recent discussion with my husband, I had a moment of clarity as we attempted to describe "qualifying acts of work". At the core, serving your spouse or investing in your marriage is done by doing things that you wouldn’t necessarily do if you didn’t have a spouse. Stay with me! While single, my husband and I would go to work, pay our bills, clean our individual houses, cook dinner for ourselves, etc. Essentially, we took care of our responsibilities for all matters that directly pertained to our individual lives. Now fast forward to being married, I cannot take the cheap route and say I am serving my husband by only doing things that really involve no extra work for me (i.e. things I would do if he wasn’t even in the picture). Though taking care of these normal duties is necessary, these actions, in and of themselves, are not what make a marriage thrive. A marriage thrives when a husband and wife find intentional ways to serve one another on very regular basis. This is where the work comes in. Yes, it gets tiring having to do normal life then having to put in extra work to invest in your marriage, but it’s the only way to make this thing work. I can assure you that just because I keep a decent house and cook dinner nightly, it does not mean I am in the clear. Investing in my marriage involves much more making Pinterest meals and washing pots.
There are may times I wish marriage was a self-propelling machine. If after saying "I Do", the rest took care of itself, divorce would never be a thing. Instead, just like people invest in their career by going back to school, or gaining a new certification, investing in your marriage is quite similar. It runs off our investments. Just keep pushing!