March 7, 2016

Something New

Gary Thomas — 


Something New (2)There are oceans of marriage experiences out there just waiting to be explored. Too many of us keep swimming in the same kiddie pool.

Danger Mouse (a producer and musician from LA) was in a bar shooting pool when he heard a song come over the speakers that mesmerized him. “I just sat and listened and listened and listened. It was so beautiful, with this long, big guitar part.”

Since music was Danger Mouse’s thing, he had to know what he was listening to. He asked the bartender, who smirked at him—was it really possible this guy had never heard of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond?”

Danger Mouse had heard of Pink Floyd and had “seen the name on T-shirts.” But that led him to believe they were just a “loud rock n’ roll band.” He had never listened to them because “it wouldn’t have been cool for me in high school to listen to Pink Floyd. But this music just blew me away.”

Says Danger Mouse, “The next day I turned in my hip hop stuff and got every Pink Floyd CD I could.”

That led him to ask a bigger question: “How many other things have I been missing because it wouldn’t fit with me socially? That moment changed the way I saw the world. What food had I not eaten because it looked a certain way? What people had I not hung out with because they dressed differently?”

Years later, having played or produced top acts like The Black Keys and U2, Danger Mouse is reaping the rewards of stepping beyond his comfortable world of hip hop.

How many marriages are stuck in similar ruts: you go to the same restaurants, make love on the same day in the same place, spend weekends in the same routine, and your evenings are as informally regimented (by habit) as an NFL training camp is by a drill sergeant of a head coach?beach

Consider this post an invitation to do something different. What if you and your spouse said:

  • Once every week, we’re going to change one thing—the time we eat dinner or where we eat dinner or what we eat for dinner.
  • One weekend a month is going to be different from the norm. We’ll go to church on Saturday instead of Sunday, we’ll do something different Friday evening.
  • One time a month we’ll make love in a different way.
  • At least every couple months, we’re going to get together with a new couple or social group, just to see what it feels like.
  • Once every couple years, we’re going to do a completely different type of vacation.

If you occasionally change your schedule and routine like this, you won’t be as likely to feel like the thing you need to change is your spouse. Instead, change your schedule, your patterns, see a new world, and watch your marriage blossom.

This is one of the reasons Lisa and I are so fond of international travel. It does something to your marriage when you’re in a completely foreign place you’ve never seen before and you’re dependent on each other. It took us decades before we could afford to do this, however, so we completely understand when your “foreign travel” has to be to Austin (if you live in Texas), Portland OR (if you live in the Northwest) or some other funky U.S. destination.

Print out this blog, take it on a date night, and dream. Then, if you remember, when you’ve done something new, log back onto this post and share what you did differently. We’d love to hear about it, and maybe even try out a few of your ideas. I’m hoping this can be an “evergreen” post where people keep coming back for the comments even more than the blog post.

Oh, yeah: if you’ve never heard Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” it’s a very long song (about twenty-five minutes, if you listen to all nine parts) that you could dance to. Or do other things to (if you’re looking for a something new idea)…

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5 responses to Something New

  1. My Bible study friend mentioned to me a Christian subscription called Marriage Supply’s Date Nite Box which is a monthly box that comes in the mail for about $25. Every month consists of 3 new surprises to try together as a married couple. It’s to freshen things up in the bedroom- I’m glad it’s a Christian website because it alleviates the fear of pornography all over the site, and just feels like they are spirit led in their mission to invigorate marriages!

    It can get boring: Monday we see the counselor, Tuesday Bible study, Wednesday we help out at the church youth group, Friday watch a movie at home, Saturday go to the gym, Sunday go to church…

    We are going to try the museum in Kansas City this Friday for a free show with live music and Rembrandt’s work. I’m excited! Last month, for Valentines Day we did a Rumba dance class and I had a blast while my husband felt very out of his comfort zone- but it meant the world to me.

    It’s good to be reminded we have to keep trying new things together and not get into ruts!

  2. ContentinChrist March 9, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I’ve been feeling restless and bored and just commented to my husband the other day that I’d like to just do something different – something that makes me feel alive!! At the time, we were driving by a horse pasture and I had a desire to just jump on a horse and go as fast and as far as I could, wild and free! 🙂

    I’m realizing that we are in a season of needing to be intentional about connecting with each other and part of that was me considering how I could enter into some of his passions. (Watch out NASCAR, a new fan is coming..or maybe God will be merciful to me and steer me in another direction – no pun intended!)

    A couple of Sundays ago, my husband and I got out for a few days. The weather was beautiful and we walked on some secluded riverfront property – just enjoyed talking and reconnecting.

    This past weekend, we spent a lot of time dreaming about places we want to visit when our children are older.

    This post is a confirmation of those thoughts and stirrings.

    Sandy, your comment is so sweet and encouraging! One of my fears is that we will not have much in common and will drift apart as our children start to leave….my husband is an unbeliever and at times, it feels we don’t have much in common. I’m encouraged to go forward in these areas with hope!

  3. My husband and I raised five kids for almost 35 years before this last August when we became empty nesters for the first time. As the last one moved out, the burden of a third college payment came in. We are like newlyweds as we try to figure out how to pay for three degrees simultaneously, cook at home, have long, uninterrupted conversations and enjoy a new level of intimacy that I never dreamed would be ours. It’s a different season–something new–and we’ve never been happier.

    • We’ve been through the “three college degrees simultaneously” bit as well. It’s amazing how much richer you feel when you finally graduate from the final college payment.