Forgive the cheesiness of the title, friends, but I really think we need to nurture FUN in our marriages. Am I right? This applies whether you’ve been married for twenty-nine hours or twenty-nine years… we are the latter! I think we all agree that any marriage (or relationship) requires hard work, and it seems to me that the bulk of that work is serious, sensible stuff—so I’m here to focus on the fun. You’re welcome 🙂
Quite honestly, the reason I’m all about the fun right now is because Lyndon and I just got back from a week in San Francisco, where we celebrated our wedding anniversary. TWENTY-NINE YEARS. Craziness. Clearly, we must have been mere children when we married. For anyone who has visited the home of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and cable cars on vertical streets, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say we chased the fun all week long! We slept in as long as we liked, ate wherever, whenever, and whatever suited us, did all the touristy things, laughed a lot, read, watched sunsets, and hardly consulted our watches at all. It was beyond awesome.
“So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:15
Amen! So I’m still bathing in the afterglow of vacation mode right now, and wondering how to keep the fun punctuating the everyday, because you know—work and family and responsibilities and such. Like most things, it’s all about the balance: the Thomas household is not a bouncy castle full of giggling clowns. Clowns freak me out. But I also dread the thought of our home being all beige and boring and bland. Having an English bulldog definitely is a constant source of amusement, but what about maintaining joy and delight and laughter between husband and wife?
I recall certain moments in our marriage where we have done fun well:
- Like the time I surprised my man with a bungee jump for his birthday.
- When we swam with dolphins with our boys (even though I was absolutely petrified.)
- The evening we talked about dreams and he convinced me I could be a writer.
- Heck, how about the crazy experience of bundling up our two year-old daughter and emigrating from the UK to start a new adventure in Canada? F-U-N!
These are some fairly meaty fun-chasing activities, but life is short. Our days are precious. Most of our time (especially as parents) we are required to be sensible, routine-followers, planners, generally kinda un-fun. But think back to those distant pre-kid memories where life was somewhat spontaneous, and fun bubbled effortlessly in the fountain of your marriage…
Reclaim that fun.
If you have a houseful of kids, I think you’ll find “fun” is the name of their game. They’ll find a measure of reassurance and comfort in seeing mommy and daddy chasing the fun, even if it’s chasing each other around the kitchen with a dishtowel. And should the fun spill over and include the whole family (ice-cream sundaes on the deck, anyone?) then you’ve hit the jackpot right there.
If you’re empty nesters or, like us, heading there at alarming speed—you NEED to find the fun with your hun. Seriously. When it’s just the two of you rattling around in the empty house, the joy and laughter is down to the two of you. The good news is now you get to be all spontaneous again—eat at nine in the evening, go away for the weekend, have your fun friends over to belly laugh over drinks, go out dancing together… channel all those dreams you had when you were up to your armpits in diapers!
Here are a few suggestions to spice up the fun-ometer:
DATE NIGHTS: These are precious. Whether you meet for lunch while the kids are at school, grab a coffee and go for a long walk along the beach, splurge on a fancy dinner all dressed up, or plan a cozy night in for just the two of you—make it a priority and make it fun!
LAUGH: There’s much to be serious about, and a time for intense conversations for sure, but there’s nothing better than laughing together! Reminiscing on yesteryear, watching a hilarious movie together, gathering with a great group of friends, or laughing at the antics of your kids/ gross bulldog… let loose and give a guffaw!
DREAM: Dreaming together is so beneficial. Even when you think you know your other half better than anyone else in the world, it’s refreshing to share hopes and dreams. Maybe make some fun plans for the future together.
TRAVEL: There’s nothing better than exploring a new city or mountain or beach or country together. I’ve travelled without my man on occasion and it’s just not the same… you miss the inside jokes, the initial surprise of being somewhere new and seeing unexpected sights, the memories that are better shared. A day trip or a world trip—do it together and chase the fun.
SERVE TOGETHER: Is there somewhere you can serve as a couple? Volunteering in church or the community is always worthwhile, but so much more fun when you do it shoulder-to-shoulder with your love!
EAT: Yeah, food is the best! We all have to partake of it regularly, so why not make it fun rather than mundane? Cook something together and have some fun in the kitchen or experiment with a take-out from an ethnic cuisine you’ve never tried before. Experiment and expand the ho-hum regular rotation and laugh at your unsuccessful attempts!
“What marriage is for: It is a way for two spiritual friends to help each other on their journey to become the persons God designed them to be.” Timothy J. Keller
Don’t you just love that? Let’s make the marriage journey one of deep joy and throw in a good helping of fun along the way!
P.S. Here’s my marriage book for newlyweds… or those wanting to work on their marriage.
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! check them out: