Poetry penned in black ink captivated me with each line. It was as if God whispered beauty, inspiring my love to write. Only God knew words were the song of my love language. Only He knew I'd cherish them so. My love continued his pursuit with wildflowers, an array of them adorned a vase one day. Each one expressed affections, declaring his love for me. I was smitten even before we went on our first date. This guy from Michigan, with a long last name, won my heart.
Now, years after our season of courtship, my love continues to romance me. Some days, his affections are contained in a serenade on his guitar. Other days, he pens eloquent words, just as he did before. But then there are days when his “I love you” is contained in the intentional sacrifices of everyday life. Like on the days when he makes a pile of dishes turn into a spotless kitchen. Or on the days when he offers to fold and put away laundry.
My husband affirms his commitment to me, as I do to him. And for every declaration of love, there are sacrifices—more than young love ever required. But with each sacrifice, we guard our marriage from complacency.
Because complacency is the subtle threat to every marriage.
It begins as a thought, it grows in the heart, and it shows itself as “good enough” in marriages.
We guard ourselves from it by affirming our love for each other—
In responding (i.e. Acknowledging him when he loads the dishwasher, even if it's loaded differently than I'd load it.)
By initiating (i.e. Thinking of different things I can do to say “I love you” to him.)
Think of your own marriage. How can you affirm your love for your spouse? In what ways can you respond or initiate with him?
This week we will conclude our two-week study of Song of Songs. Please click here to download the reading guide. Let's begin by reading a passage from chapter 5.
“I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My lover is knocking: 'Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.' I have taken off my robe–must I put it on again? I have washed my feet–must I soil them again? My lover thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him. I arose to open for my lover and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh, on the handles of the lock. I opened for my lover, but my lover had left; he was gone. My heart sank at his departure. I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer.” Song of Songs 5:2-6, NIV
As you read this passage, consider the following questions:
Why did the woman not respond right away? What was she doing?
What does “slumber” look like in your marriage?
Think of one practical way you can guard your marriage against complacency.
Photo: Scott Webb