Moving Toward Empty



This picture saddens my heart.  My wife and I had the joy of going out for breakfast before attending church while on vacation.  That is a special treat because we love the breakfasts at the Golden Griddle Restaurant in North Myrtle Beach, and we do not have time to go out in our regular ministry routine on Sunday mornings here at home.

So what made my heart sad?  Well, it was the older married couple that occupied those seats before I took the snapshot. They were dressed for church, had a bountiful breakfast, but . . . they never said a word to each other during their whole meal.  She ate her meal in silence, and he ate his meal in silence.  The stillness was broken when the server brought their check.  The wife looked at her husband as she grabbed the ticket and said, “Ready?”  He nodded, and they slid out of their seats as she proceeded to the counter to pay.  Now, let me make a disclaimer that I obviously do not know what was going in their lives which may have led to their silence.  But, what makes me sad is how many couples, especially those who appear to be have been married awhile I see in restaurants sharing a meal but not sharing their lives in conversation.

Have they just gotten used to each other?  Are they taking each other for granted?  Perhaps, could they be bitter against one another?  And, how about you?  Do you and your spouse really carrying on intimate conversations at the restaurant, at home, in the car, etc.?  I realize this is a challenge if you have children around, but my thoughts in this blog are directed toward couples who have been married a long time, the kids perhaps are gone and your marriage is moving toward empty like the conversation at the restaurant.

May I suggest some tips to help your marriage be full and not moving toward empty?

  1. Determine by God’s grace to work at your marriage every day.
  • Let marriage be held in honor among all (Hebrews 13:4)
  1. Make even the most mundane tasks an event of romance, fun, and togetherness!
  • Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth (Proverbs 5:18)
  • Stop for ice cream along the way to the grocery store and share a cone. Swap kisses in between licks while you are sitting in your car, under a shade tree, and enjoying each other’s company.
  • Hold hands in the car, play some old dating music, and finger dance while buzzing down the road!
  • Make your meals at home a time of conversation by asking questions, sharing burdens, and having fun. By the way men, seat your wife at the table and kiss her before you sit down.
  • Don’t always eat inside; go outside on the patio or have a picnic on the blanket in the backyard.
  1. Use the YouVersion Bible app or a Kindle book, and read a marriage devotional plus the Bible reading to each other. Then have prayer together. 
  • Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word (Ephesians 5:25-26).
  1. Set the goal of growing old gracefully together and not grumpily or crabbily. May Ephesians 4:29-32 be fleshed-out in your marriage. 
  • Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

As Dennis Swanberg asks, “Is your love tank full or running on empty?”  Do not be the married couple in the restaurant booth.  Enjoy the gift of marriage. Grace is able to empower and overcome the deepest of sins and sorrows.  Make more deposits in your marriage today than withdrawals. You won’t be moving toward empty.

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