But the cold means we have really enjoyed our morning fires and that last cup of steaming coffee. The smell of wood smoke and the crisp air that nips your nose and chaps your legs even through pants make them all that more enjoyable. And despite that cold we seem to sit even longer while our cheeks turn red from the heat of the flames as, conversely, our toes slowly freeze into ice cubes inside our socks. Chloe has even perked up, despite turning 14 this winter and feeling the effects of both arthritis and cataracts. So between tossing her treats and guzzling the warm dark liquid, we talk.
And talk and talk and talk—sometimes as much as an hour. Many a good teaching technique and blog post have come to mind as we bounce ideas off one another. I ask for help with studies that are more in Keith's area and he asks for help for those I might possibly know more about—which is certainly not many. Together we hope that our resulting classes are easier for others to listen to and absorb. Isn't that what Christian couples are supposed to do?
I In our earlier years, when sitting by the fire for a cup of coffee was only a Saturday event due to work and children, we also talked about child raising. As a stay-at-home mom with a home-based music studio, I could watch firsthand our boys' progress, could see any problems that might be developing in their characters, and could then pass that on to Keith so we could brainstorm ideas for correcting those things. I could correct immediate things and then report to their father what happened. The father is the spiritual leader of the home and more often than not must delegate some of that authority to the mother because she is with the children more hours than he. So our talks often centered around the spiritual atmosphere of our home then, but we did talk, even if it meant waiting until the little guys were in bed. Isn't that what Christian couples are supposed to do?
We share any problems we have with others and ask one another for advice. We share experiences and look for support. We share memories and build our love. Isn't that what Christian couples are supposed to do?
Sometimes I wonder how many out there actually do these things. More than once I have mentioned something to one spouse, knowing the other already knew about it, only to have that spouse say, "What are you talking about?" because the information had not been shared. If somehow these two do have time together, what do they talk about? Do spiritual things matter at all, or is it just the mundane? Do they ever work on building their faith, share a Biblical discovery, make a plan for how to serve others that week, or schedule some family time? Do they ever sit and just have a good discussion about a Bible topic, with neither one allowed to get upset if he is disagreed with? Aren't Christian couples supposed to do those kinds of things?
If you are dating a young man and find that you cannot talk about spiritual things, maybe you should take a second look. You should certainly talk about how your living will be made, where you will live, and how you will raise your children. Those can have spiritual ramifications—but if you are only talking about the standard of living you expect, about the number of children you want and your worldly ambitions for them while your hopes for their spiritual destiny never enters the conversation, something is out of whack. Marrying a man who has no interest in spiritual things at all, who, if he attends services at all, sits there bored with the sermon, never sings a hymn, and gets impatient if you want to attend a women's study, will be the worst mistake of your life.
If you are both Christians and you have never had conversations like those we have mentioned, now is the time to start. It may not be too late to make a difference in your marriage and in the lives of your children. At this point, you will probably need to plan it—make it part of a date night if it takes that, and do it just like any other important appointment you keep no matter what. It is important. More than you ever imagined.
For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit (Rom 8:5).