“Joy is the Serious Business of Heaven.” – CS Lewis
My dad is from Sri Lanka and grew up dirt poor. Not the Western type of poor where you still have food to eat, sleep on a bed and go to school. My dad and his family of five lived in a tiny one room hut in a village in Sri Lanka. Education, however, was highly valued and his parents ensured they did whatever was possible to enable their children to go to school. Once he graduated he saved enough money to buy a one-way ticket on a ship. He then worked on the ships around the world, stopping in Singapore to visit his brother who was studying nursing. While there, he met and fell in love with my mother who worked as a nurse alongside his brother.
Mum and Dad moved to Melbourne and got married. The few photos of their wedding snapped by my Uncle Romel, shows my mother radiant in her 30 dollar second-hand wedding dress. Their reception had all of 10 guests sitting on the floor of their rented home, eating off paper plates from the pot luck lunch that the guests had brought themselves.
As newlyweds my parents were incredibly happy, but like many immigrants worked tirelessly. Dad started his own lawn mowing business and got a second job on the side. He mowed lawns during the day and worked as a cleaner at night. My mother worked as a nurse and joined him in the evenings to clean. Within a year they had saved up enough to buy their first home.
This is a little snapshot of my parents’ work ethic. They are without doubt the most hardworking people I know.
Work and discipline were highly prioritised and instilled in us from a young age. At age five I remember being given a piece of sandpaper to help out on the house my dad was working on at the time. Sleeping in, even on holidays, was deemed lazy. Well before I was a legal working age my dad had scored me a job at the local bakery. Rest and recreation were not values which were instilled in us and considered more of a luxury than a pursuit.
Due to my upbringing and my personality since I was very young, I have been disciplined and regimented in work, study, exercise and in everything I do. This has had profound benefits throughout my life, and has enabled me to achieve a lot over the years. Although I am a huge believer in working hard, I have realised however, that resting, digesting and having some simple, senseless fun is also a vital part of life. Moreover it is a vital part of marriage.
Do Not Underestimate The Importance of Fun
In our marriage we have learned the incredible importance of having fun. Fun without an agenda; fun for no other reason then – to have fun. Mark and I like to have fun together without anyone else. There is something so deeply important about building memories of having fun together without friends, family or children; just the two of us having fun.
What The Greenwoods do for Fun
We love to go on huge walks and talk about everything. Correction, we love to go on huge walks while I talk about everything and Mark occasionally contributes. I like to tell him all about my day. Including every, single, little thought. Mark loves it. It is unfiltered glory and I tell him he is blessed to be privy to it! Occasionally as a treat, I let him preach to me for one minute; five minutes if I am feeling ultra-spiritual and generous.
Movie and Wine Nights
We love to have movie nights at home and hide away in bed with treats. My treats include those incredible Berry Cashew bliss balls which I have recently discovered can be purchased from Aldi for $2.50! Slightly obsessed with Aldi right now. Mark’s treats are wine, dark chocolate and pistachios. The salted ones. I always fall asleep half way the movie leaving poor Mark watching a Christine friendly movie far into the night.
My favourite thing to do is to go shopping and dress Mark up! I seriously get so much joy out of this. It’s a little weird. You should see us. We save up money, then I pile up shirts, pants, sunglasses and everything in between and dress him up and down. It’s like he is my own personal project. From the fitting room you will hear all sort of comments:
“Gosh, you look fabulous.”
“You’re so blessed to have a long torso.” “I don’t care what you think.”
“In this situation your opinion is irrelevant.”
“Oh you actually look a little chunky in that. Need to lay off on the Nando’s darling.”
“Get that off it’s making me nauseous.”
“Absolutely, that is so gorgeous, I would mortgage our house to buy it.” (For the record we don’t own a house yet. This statement is hypothetical).
Surely to “Reign in Life” is to prioritise Fun within our marriages.
Let’s instil some Fun
The last month has been absolutely manic. It has been so busy that it feels like ‘fun’ has made its way South on our priority list.
So here are some questions that I pose to all of us, including myself to think about this week.
What is one example of a way you and your partner have fun? Can you do that this week?
What is one new way you and your partner could have more fun in your marriage? When can you schedule this into your calendar?
This week I want to intentionally put some ‘fun’ into our schedules. It has been WAY too long and to be honest my spirit is weary. I know that laughter is the remedy for this.
Beloveds this week let’s instil some fun in our marriages together. Let us try a new way to have fun within our marriages this week.
For as CS Lewis used to say.
‘Joy is the serious business of heaven.’
Until next time,
You are deeply loved and richly cherished.
Reign in Life
Wink – For the record, Christine friendly movies includes Cinderella, Despicable Me, Julie and Julia, Chef and Notting Hill. Oh, and the Devil Wears Prada. You know, all those deep thinking, action packed, life changing movies that the highly intellectual people enjoy.
PS Like this blog? You would LOVE my marriage book: 7 Thoughts on marriage.
PPS Read about last week’s Thought on Marriage: Playing to each other’s strengths.