We are in the middle of roommate mania in our house. Our daughter is headed to college in August and is in the process of choosing a roommate. Evidently, a lot has changed in the roommate selection process since I was in college. Student housing is no longer randomly assigned (Although I am pretty sure “social experiment” was the process at my school.). Instead the students are put through a matchmaking process so they know if potential roommates are a 100% match or merely a 50% match. Supposedly, this results in very happy roommates, who become friends for life.
The whole process made me wonder. How many of us are raising kids we would’t want to room with, much less marry? Sounds a little crazy, but hang with me. The husband who drives his wife crazy and constantly fights with her about dirty clothes making it into the clothes hamper is probably the same child who had clothes all over his bedroom floor as a child. The wife demanding constant expensive presents from her husband is the same little girl who always had to have the latest doll and all of her accessories.
Normally, these blog entries flow easily. Honestly, I hesitated before even agreeing to do this one. The idea of talking to Christian moms about romance novels and erotica seemed questionable at best. Then I remembered my teen years. A friend at school introduced me to romance novels. Pretty innocent seeming ones, especially compared to 50 Shades of Gray (which I haven’t read).
Over time though, I realized they were creating an image of the perfect man, one which didn’t exist. I was subconsciously comparing the men portrayed in these books to the actual men I encountered. Not surprisingly, the real men weren’t nearly as intuitive and romantic as these fictional men.
Eventually, I stopped reading romance novels and met and married my husband. I thought it was interesting that after I met my husband, I wasn’t even tempted to read a romance novel. I always thought it was strange until I read the book Pulling Back the Shades by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery.
If you knew your marriage would improve by thanking your husband for unloading the dishwasher or going to work each day, would you do it? If your husband knew you would be happier if he just put his arm around you in Church or held your hand, what would he do? What if you knew your marriage would be happier if you and your husband just spent more time doing things together?
Have you ever listened to various groups of people talk? Listen to a group of old people for very long and inevitably you start hearing conversations about various physical ailments. Men? It doesn’t take long for the talk to become sports oriented. Women? Well if they are married, once they finish discussing the kids and/or grandkids, often the talk turns to their husbands. And very often the talk is not at all positive. Complaints, derisive humor, anger and disdain often pepper these conversations.
Surely, that’s not what God intended for our conversations about our marriages to become? Yet, women believe they have a right to criticize and complain. And honestly, many of them are at least partially right. Their husbands are not at all acting the way God intended for husbands to act. Yet even when that is true, I don’t think the Bible condones our constant complaining and whining about our husbands.
Do you remember dating your spouse? If you were like us, there was some attempt to be creative and interesting on dates. After all, we were trying to impress each other. Fast forward a few years and with children, you are lucky if you even have a date night. When you do, who has the energy to be creative? So, most of us end up eating out and talking about the kids and what needs to be repaired or falling asleep in a movie theater.
The set-up is a little unique compared to similar books. Each date has a theme, but most include several suggestions for where to have the date. My favorites were the ones that encouraged the couple to step out of their comfort zones during their time together. They even suggested some specific activities and one-time classes if you have trouble thinking of ideas within a category. (They even have ideas for “at home – no money” dates).