Written by Aaron & April Jacob
Let's take a trip down memory lane together, shall we? Do you remember swinging on the swings at the park, as a child? Do you remember when you would be swinging next to someone of the opposite sex, and you would start to swing in rhythm? Do you remember how you would tease each other and call out in delighted voices, "WE'RE MARRIED!"?
Well, as silly as it sounds, that childhood game may have a lot of insight to offer you in your marriage today.
A few years ago I was at the park pushing our young son on a swing. There was a father next to me pushing his young daughter, as well. We exchanged a few pleasantries and found out that my son and his daughter were just a few weeks apart in age. As we pushed our children on the swings, side-by-side, the children started to "swing together," in the same rhythm.
Joking, I said out loud, "When we were kids, we used to call that getting married!" The man next to me responded, "If only it was that easy." He proceeded to tell me that he was divorced and that he wished it were easy to "swing together," and not to speed up or get left behind.
From a child's second home, the playground, this analogy of "getting in swing," can offer each of us a few lessons about marriage that can help us "get in swing," with our spouses.
1) Slow down.
There are hundreds of ways that we, as individuals, can fly high and fast with or without realizing that we are leaving our spouses behind. Some of the ways this may happen include being too independent in our marriage relationship, pursuing hobbies, goals, and interests at the expense of our marriage, or only focusing on what we want and need.
READ: 36 QUESTIONS THAT WILL HELP YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR SPOUSE AGAIN
If you are the fast-paced, march-to-your-own-beat, kind of spouse, then slow down. Think about your spouse and his or her needs. Offer words of encouragement to your spouse. Let them know that you need them, and that you don't enjoy swinging alone.
Just as a kid on a swing needs to learn how to pump, and practice pumping, show your spouse (figuratively) how to pump a little more in life. Support your spouse in their efforts. Start over with your spouse. Figuratively count to three, push reset, and start pumping together. You can do this.
Oh, and please remember to be patient. Give your spouse every chance possible to get into swing. In the process of forgetting yourself, you will remember how much more fun it is to swing with someone by your side than to fly high all alone.
2) Put forth more effort.
It is easy to start to lag behind in the marriage relationship and to lose all desire to swing high, or to even swing at all. If you feel like your marriage is in a precarious place, do something about it. You can change! Evaluate what you are doing, or not doing, and take baby steps in the right direction.
You can do this. Decide that your marriage is worth it. Start with small things. Say, "I love you." Do the dishes. Hold your spouse's hand. Kiss your spouse when she walks in the door. Text him and hint at a fun evening together.
READ: 3 SECRETS TO A HAPPY MARRIAGE
It is going to take effort and practice to learn to get in-sync with your spouse again, to learn to "swing together." Stop sitting on your swing complaining that you need someone to push you, or whining about the fact that swings make you dizzy! Make an effort to do YOUR part in the marriage relationship. Step it up.
Remember your wife's birthday. Compliment your husband. Clean out the garage. Help fold the laundry. Write her a note. Buy him that gadget he has been eying. Hug her for a long time, just because. In these ways, and more, you figuratively start pumping and keep pumping.
3) Swing together.
You see, a marriage really works best when you are swinging together - side by side. It works when you are both putting forth the effort to pump and swing alone, but together.
Now, swinging together requires that both of you are doing your part - pumping and staying in swing. As you learn to swing together, you become more unified, and more in-sync as a couple. You find your rhythm. By doing your part, and helping your spouse do theirs, you can swing side-by-side through life and see eye-to-eye on all those things that matter most.
Once you start to swing together, it is much, much easier to stay in swing. It's a simply analogy really, but one that can motivate you to ask a few self-evaluating questions:
1. Are my spouse and I swinging together?
2. Do I need to slow down?
3. Do I need to put forth more effort?
As you evaluate how you are doing, ideas will come to you that you should then implement in your marriage this week. As you make small changes, and "get in swing," with your spouse, you will find more happiness, fulfillment, and joy than you can imagine.
NEXT: 3 WAYS TO NURTURE HOPE IN A DYING MARRIAGE
Photo Credit Bottom Photo: Ashley Swenson Photo
You may also enjoy 3 Ways to Improve Sexual Intimacy and 10 Surprisingly Real Marriage Tips from People Just Like You
"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly."
You Know You Want to Read
Everybody Loves These