Honeymoon Phase

“Hey, would you wanna go do something after we get back?”

Heck yeah! Of course! Definitely! 

Jay just asked me on a date.

He did mean a date, right? 

I wanted to jump up and down like a little girl walking into Disney World.

Then I remembered I was thirty-seven, not five.

I couldn’t stop my heart racing or my hands shaking, but I put on my best casual smile. “Yeah. Sounds good.”

“I mean, like a date. Do you want to go out on a date?”

And he clarified. Positively a date.

A billboard sign flashing “YES!” would too much, right?

My casual smile involuntarily spread to my whole face. “Definitely. I’d love to.”

That was two years ago today. We’ve been married almost five months now. And if you ask me about Jay today, a smile is still going to spread across my face. Sorry. I just can’t help it. (Okay. I’m not really sorry.)

This is where you all say in unison, “Just wait. You’re newlyweds, still in the honeymoon phase. It’ll change.”

Guess what? I’m good with being in the honeymoon phase. I plan on enjoying every minute of it and staying in this wonderful phase as long as we can.

I’m not naive though. We’ve each been married before. I know we’re living on a high right now. At some point, he’ll get on my nerves. Something I do will drive him crazy. Stress will invade. We’re not perfect, and our marriage won’t be either.

I don’t expect perfect, but I want a good marriage. No, I want amazing, and I don’t think we have to settle for less.

At a wedding shower I attended years ago, the bride-to-be came up to me with tears in her eyes, thanking me for what I wrote in my card. Yep, you heard right. Not for my present, but my card. Puzzled, I thought of what I wrote, “I hope you’re marriage is as happy as mine and Randy’s.” She went on to explain that most people’s comments on marriage were negative and depressing. My simple words gave her hope.

How sad is that? But it is the reality we live in. After Randy’s death, I even had someone tell me that the kind of marriage Randy and I had was rare, and I shouldn’t expect to have that again.

So we’re supposed to lower our expectations? Settle for mediocre?

Heck no! We’re supposed to work at our relationships, fight for our marriages. I’ll never forget a statement I heard before Randy and I married, “Love isn’t a feeling. It’s an action.”

It made me think of the lovers in Song of Solomon. God put that book in the bible for a reason, so I went searching, and I found these verses:

Friends

9 How is your beloved better than others,
most beautiful of women?
How is your beloved better than others,
that you so charge us?

She

10 My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
outstanding among ten thousand.
11 His head is purest gold;
his hair is wavy
and black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves
by the water streams,
washed in milk,
mounted like jewels.
13 His cheeks are like beds of spice
yielding perfume.
His lips are like lilies
dripping with myrrh.
14 His arms are rods of gold
set with topaz.
His body is like polished ivory
decorated with lapis lazuli.
15 His legs are pillars of marble
set on bases of pure gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
choice as its cedars.
16 His mouth is sweetness itself;
he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved, this is my friend,
daughters of Jerusalem.

Song of Solomon 5:9-16 (NIV)

Here’s a confession. When I’ve read Song of Solomon in the past, I always focused on the words the man was saying. I wanted to hear those words said about me. (Maybe not that my hair is like a flock of goats, but you know what I mean.)

But when I read this part today, something hit me. Look at how she’s bragging about her man!

Now, I’m still in the “honeymoon phase,” so if you ask me how Jay is better than others, grab a drink and get cozy. We’ll be here a while.

But then I thought back and wondered how I would’ve answered that question after eight years of marriage to Randy. I’m ashamed to say, the list wouldn’t have been as long. Not because Randy wasn’t a great husband, he was. The problem was me. After years of doing life together, I let myself focus on the few things he did that annoyed me instead of on his many good qualities.

If you skim through Song of Solomon, you’ll find a whole lot of husband raving about his wonderful wife, wife going on and on about her hunk of a husband, and both talking about how much they miss each other and can’t wait to be together again.

They spend so much time listing each individual thing they love about the other person, it seems they don’t see any negative.

Or maybe, by focusing on the good in their spouse, all the little annoying things are simply overshadowed.

You know what? That’s how I want to be, how I want to stay. I’m not perfect and neither is Jay. But God is perfect, and He made us for each other. When life gets tough, as I know it will, I want to remember back to now. Back to our wedding day. To our first date. I want to focus on the reasons I fell in love with him and all of the things, little and big, that made our love grow deeper.

After eight years of marriage, or ten, or thirty, when someone asks how Jay is better than others, I want my answer to be, “Grab a drink and get cozy. We’ll be here a while.” I think that’s what amazing looks like.

I pray people look at us in our eighties and think we’re honeymooners. I hope your marriage looks like that now, but if life has crept in and the bad is overshadowing the good, resist rolling your eyes at the “newlywed living in fantasyland.” Refuse to settle for mediocre. God can remind you of all the reason you fell in love. Just ask Him.

So, I’m asking you. Why is your spouse better than others? Please share. Leave a comment. Brag away.

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