Thursday, April 09, 2009

degrees of learning

While attending a wedding, one of the guests talked about how he just returned from a trip to Hawaii. There, he came across some honeymooners and asked the man, "Have you ever asked her what makes her feel loved?" This couple was astonished that they had gotten married without investigating such an important piece of information. How many people have been married for years and still cannot answer that question?


(The source escapes me now, but please forgive me that I do not give proper credit on account of a lapse in memory... but) I seem to recall a recent discussion about marriage, and someone left an impression on me about "studying" their spouse. When we go into a vocation, job, or hobby, we pour lots of time and effort into manuals or textbooks or whatever. For me, it could be fishing, theology, or photography. I have been married over 20 years. If I had given that kind of attention to studying my own wife... learning what makes her tick, asking her to tell me what she's thinking and how she feels about stuff... and then really listening, because I want to know... Man, I'd have the equivalent of several PhD's about her today!


If you are married, here's what I want to say to you: Today's honeymooners may be having a wonderful time together, and I don't take any of that away from them. But marriage is not just a "long-term relationship," it's a "life-time covenant." If we practice continuing education, living for our mate and intentionally growing in our expertise... the result will be a level of maturity and intimacy that honeymooners could only wish for! Stuff of dreams, I tell you! Study your spouse.


imac said...

Hi my friend, You might not like my comment/question, and if you wish to delete, thats ok.

What happens if you are married and you meet( and are sue about this) your soul mate?.
I did and got divorced, we married and are truly happy and in love.

lime said...

this is excellent advice. oh, that more put it into practice.

Craver Vii said...

Thanks, Lime. Pray that I always heed this advice in my own marriage. I forget sometimes, being selfish, and neglect the treasure God allowed in my life.

Thanks for trusting our friendship to ask a sensitive question, Imac. That is a fair question. If you were not yet divorced, I would not endorse leaving the one you married. But now that you are divorced and remarried, you must never leave the one you are with... not even to go back to your first marriage. Be decent and civil with your ex, but love your wife and cling to her.

Okay, here's the hard part: (You're already divorced and remarried, so this part is not for you.) If someone told me that they are united in marriage to somebody who is not their soul mate, and they want out... regardless of whether they found someone else, I would likely rebuke them. It doesn't matter how sure they think they are, marriage is a life-long covenant. In fact, the closer I am to this individual, the more likely that my rebuke would be harsh. There is no expiration date on marriage licenses, and the best pre-nup agreement is "till death do us part."

Make sure this union does not end like the last one. Enjoy the wife you have today. Know her love language. Study her, and make her happy to be your wife.

Every Square Inch said...

I'll have to ask my wife how I'm doing in studying her. What do you think is the evidence that we're passing or even excelling? After all, in school when we study, we take quizzes, tests, exams.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Maybe we should give you guys quizes - what do you think?

Craver Vii said...

ESI, you answered your own question, didn't you? "How am I doing?" and then, "Tell me how I can do this better." The better you respond to her coaching, the better the recommendations.

Craver Vii said...

Only one tutor for me. Too many teachers makes me gassy.

mommanator said...

AH, I was married for almost 40 years before my darling passed.
I feel I knew him. We only had about 3 actual dates in the 4 years before we married! He was in the army in Japan, we corresponded for all those years. I feel I knew him better than someone might have that had seen each other every day.
Til the day he died his motto to me was "I love you more today than yesterday and a little less than tomorrow" Ah yes a romantic.
With this said I feel the best way to a wonderful married life is to keep open lines of communication and never go to bed angry-get it straightened ouit before sleeping on it! AND more important to keep God in the center of your marriage

Shiloh Guy said...

Hiya Craver!

I think you know that my wife and I were both widowed rather young. We spent almost every minute before we were married talking and asking questions about just about every aspect of life and relationship you can imagine. When we finally married we had a solid foundation based not on mere feelings but on knowledge and intelligent commitment. Our marriage is wonderful because we know each other and choose to love each other every day! I wish I could explain this to young couples who are planning on marriage.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

A joy-filled Easter friend. He is RISEN!

Andrew said...


What a great and timely post! (Was that my wedding you were referring to?) I'm glad our wedding pics got to grace your blog. I have sort of had to learn this the hard way, in that I'm already finding out things that Olivia had previously told me about herself and her life, yet I've quickly forgotten them. (Was I really listening to begin with?) Maybe I should start a "Book of Olivia" and write down everything I think about her and learn about her. Maybe that might get me into trouble some days, but it sounds like a not-too-bad idea.

And FYI, the "Andrew" who has recently appeared on Susan's blog is not me.