Love + Fun = ?

I teach carpentry to high school boys (mostly) in New Jersey.  The questions I get asked most often are not regarding anything to do with the curriculum.  The questions I get asked most often are about relationships.  While we’re cutting 2×4’s for wall framing, they want to know things like, “How did you know she was the one?”, “How long did you date before you got married?”, and the most oft-asked question, “How can you stay with one girl for so long?”  This question is often asked in complete disbelief and with a sense that it’s just absurd.  To be honest, at this moment I’m not sure if they ask me with the intent to ridicule or if they really want to know.  Knowing them, it’s both!  Their unbelief is indicative of the culture we live in today.

But, the answer I give to my students goes something like this: “I’m blessed.  My wife and I have a lot in common and we have a lot of fun in our marriage.”  One thing that has forged many bonds between us is our love of music.  We play together all the time and it’s something that we can do together even when one of us is frustrated with the other because it actually draws us together.  Playing music is a lot of fun (and some hard work).  Playing music with someone you really care about and respect is even more fun and more rewarding.  

A recent study suggests that couples that play together stay together.  Now, I don’t think they actually meant playing music – it just so happens that’s part of our story.  The point is, that couples who do fun things together build important bonds between them and stay together.  Their research “suggests” that couples who, “play together feel closer, experience more positive emotions, and as a result are happier together.”

Marla and I have been married for almost 20 years.  Our dating years were full of peaks and valleys and our marriage has been no different – except that there are much higher peaks and much lower valleys.  If you’ve been in a relationship for a while then you’ve had a similar experience!   And, if you’re like us, the things you’ve experienced together have made you more understanding and gracious, brought you some humility, and made your relationship deeper, richer, more loving, and maybe (at this point) even more enjoyable.  

What fun things are you and your spouse doing together?  Is it music, is it dancing, is it simply playing a board game or swimming in the ocean?  Whatever it is, make time for it.  Here’s a list of novel and fun things to do together, some zanier than others!
If you haven’t heard our song Longer I Love, listen here.  It’s a song about how love gets better with time!

-Ben

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