My title sounds like the beginning to a bad joke! Anyway, my husband, DD, and I love to make our dates a fun night for the both of us. On some of our date nights we go out to dinner and to a movie as our date. On the other hand the vast majority of our dates are spent doing something we both enjoy. When we were dating in college and newly married we were broke so our dates entailed us going to play basketball at the park, swinging on the swings at the park, checking out the new toys on the Wal-Mart isles, riding 4-wheelers (especially in the mud) and driving around looking at cows. We have been married 11 years now and our dates have not changed much, other than we have added go cart riding to the mix. Romantic, I know, my sweet mother-in-law tells us we are not romantic!
We have just always made it a point to do things that the both of us enjoy doing. Recently DD and I just finished up a marriage enrichment study with our life group at church by Dr. Terry Hargrave and Dr. Shawn Stoever titled 5 Days to a New Marriage. In the curriculum the instructors taught us about the concept of “us-ness” within each marriage. Us-ness is what DD and I are when we are together. DD has his own likes and dislikes and I have my own likes and dislikes but when we are together we are like another person who has there own likes and dislikes. The instructor said to consider our “us-ness” as our first born child. Your children have there own likes and dislikes, so “us” will have them too. With each child there is nurturing and care taking that has to be given. If we transform our thinking to considering our “us” as another child, when I look at the nurturing and care taking side I realize that we don’t nurture “us” quite enough.
Not nurturing “us” happens a lot in marriages. Especially when we get so caught up in work schedules, and school schedules and extracurricular activities. We load our weeks with so many activities (which could be good activities) that we end up not leaving room to take care of “us.” If you have children you have probably experienced what it is like when one child feels like you are paying more attention to another one of your children. That child gets their feelings hurt and they may act out in many ways for a while trying to get attention but eventually they withdraw. When we consider our relationship with our spouse as our “us child” we may begin to see where we could be acting out just like our physical children when they need attention.
When I graduated college I moved to North Carolina for a while to work at South Mountain Baptist Camp. I had worked there over my summers while in college but I moved there after college for an internship. I had the pleasure of living with the camp director and his wife and their lovely daughters. They are my North Carolina family! While I was living there I was taught a valuable lesson on what the principle “us” looks like. The director and his wife every week made a point to go out on a date. It was never up for debate as to if they were going, Monday night was date night for them. Continually and consistently investing in their relationship with each other was a top priority! I had never seen anything like that before. Sure my parents loved each other, that was obvious, but rarely did I see my parents take a date night. Like most of us I know my parents probably desired a date night, but busyness often robbed them of that night.
DD and I have tried to be intentional just like my North Carolina parents in investing in our “us.” So now back to my title, about marriage and monster trucks. Lately when DD and I have been together enjoying something we have said to each other, “”us” likes this!” This past Friday DD called me and sounded like a giddy school girl and said “Monster Jam is in town!” Now I cannot say that I was giddy but because he was excited about “Monster Jam” I thought it would be fun to go. So as we are in the middle of watching Grave Digger jump over a obstacle I turned to DD and said “”us” likes this!” I wish you could have seen the look on his face! He laughed and agreed that “us” really did like “Monster Jam.”
I don’t know how many more “Monster Jam’s” we will be going to but I know I can file that event in my memory for future reference for what “us” likes. It’s a joy and a blessing to take care of “us.” Take time to be intentional in taking care of your “us.” You will not regret it!