Monday, March 26, 2012

Getting Sloppy In Marriage

Comfort. It’s something we all seek. Whether it’s comfort in a group of people, comfort on a vacation, or comfort in our homes. Comfort is something that helps us feel secure, safe, and relaxed. So it’s no surprise then, that we seek comfort in our marriages either. As we should.

It is so neat to know that I can say certain things and not face condemnation from my spouse. He gives me comfort in those times. And it’s so “comfortable” to know that wherever we go, we have certain preferences that fit just “us.” We like to sit in certain spots at church, the movies, or a ball game. We like to eat at certain times or keep the temperature in our house at a certain level. It’s a comfort that is needed – because it helps us feel focused, safe, and well….comfortable! You can face so much more of life with a positive outlook when you feel comfortable with who you are.

But there is also a side of “comfort” that I think is overlooked in a marriage. The level of “comfort” that gets distracted, and a bit sloppy.  These are the things and areas where you start forgetting that you need to be intentional about someone else’s feelings, thoughts, and preferences. It’s actually about respect.

When couples are first married, most details are paid attention to. You pay extra special notice to picking things up around the house, tidying up after yourself, and making sure you look nice for each other. As time goes on, the “comfort” eases in and you start to slack a little bit. The nice nightgown turns into flannel, the time you spend grooming yourself is done a little bit less privately, and things are more out in the open.

This can kill romance.

We forget to think about what our spouse might be thinking about. What do they think when they see our personal things sitting out openly in the trash? What do they think when our dirty laundry is no longer discreetly put in a hamper but is carelessly left in the open? How about our lack of attention to what we wear or how we wear it?

Comfort is good on a lot of levels – but it also can be sloppy and inconsiderate if we’re not careful.  It’s good to give ourselves “spot checks” at times and reevaluate how we behave compared with the beginning of our marriage. If we no longer give sweet gestures to our spouse, kindly pay attention to details that might be embarrassing, or figure our spouse doesn’t care how we look anymore – then maybe it’s time to make some adjustments.

In this day and age, no marriage is exempt from temptation. No marriage is solid enough that we can keep one another’s affection and desire without some extra work here and there. It takes effort.  And in the process, a lot of romance, spark, and excitement can be recharged and brought back into your lives.

Comfort is good. Comfort is actually, great. But let’s not let the gift of comfort grow into something that is sloppy. For if we do, instead of bringing us security and joy, it just might rob us of something even greater.

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