Learning to Love the Seasons of Marriage and Life
As a young girl I remember singing James Taylor songs with my daddy. I love to sing still to this day and I often find Taylor’s song “Fire and Rain” playing around in my head. He talks about having “sunny days that I thought would never end” and so many other visuals of seasons and relationships. There are multiple correlations between the natural seasons and relationships. I suspect the reason for this is they both are forms of processes one experiences daily in life to some degree. Let’s look deeper at each one of these.
Does your winter allow you to feel dreary that all of your dreams were going to take “a long time” to accomplish. Maybe knee-deep in sorting through the rules and beliefs that had been passed down and finding what you wanted to keep and what you are willing to let go by the way side. This is the best time to work on yourself and become a healthy individual in all forms of your life (emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually).
Do you connect with an awakening of being your own adult and eager to start “adulting” as the term is used today? Maybe you are experiencing the rain showers of your choices and the accountability for what you have done. At times I felt as though my life was in a floodplain like we are have here in Ohio. The debris and currents were harsh and strong. The only lifeline I had was to reach out to Jesus! He again was faithful to be there for me, with love, compassion and gentle convictions. He always uses a currency of courtesy, honor and respect never condemnation!
My summer season was all dreamy of what would or could be in the future. As I grew older I still loved summer but realized it was not as carefree as it was when I was a child. Start now to learn your love language and the other forms of love language. You will need this in every relationship you have.
How has this prepared your heart for the fall season in your life? You may feel like you’re in a fog from all that had transpired in your life. Do you need to prune your life? Analyze your activities, thoughts and beliefs to evaluate what you have harvested in your life.This season is ideal to find healthy role models and establish accountability relationships in your lives.
My winter came early in this season, these icebergs I believed could drown me for sure. This can be a time when one get so focused on the everyday life and problems and end up being stay stuck. Research shows that the average married couple only spends four minutes a day of alone time together. Find the aroma of evergreens (promises of God) as they start to appear. It is prudent to start protecting your marriage now and establishing this as healthy habit.
Many find hope springing up within them with all of the new beginnings and boundless energy of all the possibilities before them. But many don't see or understand the importance of protecting what they worked so hard to have, their marriage. Be cautious of a slow fade from the busyness of starting our careers or adult life. Start protecting and investing in our marriages then when the storms come rolling in faster than expected we will not be stuck living in survival mode. Refresh your marriage by starting to have three 15 second kisses and then work up to at least 10 a day!
The fun of summer can be a time of learning to have deeper friendships and connect with God. But don’t forget to keep applying “sunscreen” per-say to your relationships. We need to protect our marriages and our lives. Find mentors who will help are a little farther along in their marriage or life and let them help you with the good news in this season. We wished we had done this much earlier in our marriage.
Fall in this season can be like the weather in Ohio. You can have a wide range of temperatures and weather in a short amount of time. Some may feel they are wilting under to pressure to have a good marriage, to be a good spouse/person or lost within this maze of marriage/life. I felt as if I was trapped in the overgrowth (thoughts, behaviors and beliefs) and I had not taken off my masks I had up. This is a great season to find a book about marriage, each of you read a chapter then discuss it honestly. You’re planting seeds for a strong marriage.
Married with Children
Winter in this season of life is crazy. There will be times you feel as warm and cozy as a hot chocolate on a bitter cold day. The joy of the season of Christmas and the hope this brings to us and our families. This season can also drench your marriage and life with all the “to do’s” and traditions. If you had not started on protecting your marriage in the season before, it can be extremely difficult to do so at this time. Your marriage and life can quickly become like frostbite and having hypothermia.
Spring is a vibrant and enjoyable time within your family and life. It is also important to keep tilling your ground of your marriage and life. Even if its sharing child care services with a neighbor or friend, so you can pollinate your marriage with date nights, 10-15 minuets of daily face to face conversation to reconnect with one another and keep your marriage and life rejuvenated.
Just as fun as family vacations can be, so it can getting away for one to two days. This is a vacation from family, work, and daily life to just focus on each other. Find way to bring the lush, lovely and steamy back into your marriage. Send a text during the day to say “I’m thinking of you” or if one of you is more schedule oriented, schedule your sexual intimacy times. Research shows that for marriages to be healthy and satisfied, your intimacy should be at least 2-3 times a week.
Now I know there are fall seasons when this might be difficult, but again you need to prioritize your marriage right under God. If work or issues cause a break in this schedule make sure to be purposeful to get back on schedule. Your marriage is worth it!
Grandparents and Empty Nesters
You have already worked through so many issues and deeply know each other. Stay focused on what you have not what you are missing. Don’t be disorientated from storms or issues of life that you forget to identify anything intruding into your marriage relationship that you might need to create boundaries to protect “your time.” This can mean protecting from over watching your grandchildren, to the point you are sacrificing your marriage time together. It’s good to help your adult children create their marriage time together but not to the point where you lose yours.
Relive the memories that you had in dating, make sure you are actively dating still. Just like you use to go away for spring break, take your spouse away for a week to reconnect. Create your marriage bucket lists of activities you would want to do together.
Be the physical and emotional safety for your spouse just as a tree is for us from the heat of summer. Dwell on the positives of your spouse and your marriage/life. Refresh your marriage/life vision as it will have changed once the kids are gone. Consider handwriting a love letter to your spouse.
As you care for a harvest, so care for your spouse. Ask clarifying questions to show interest in the other. List your spouse’s positive traits and read them out-loud once a week. Create a play list in your app that are of beautiful love songs to listen to as you get ready. These could be from all the different special moments you have shared together and when you were dating. These help you remember your special love that you have nurtured together.
Philippians 4:8-14 The Message (MSG)
8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.