“The Seasons of Marriage”…

Life is full of unanticipated changes. Our only choice as couples is in how we will respond. Gary Chapman

Meditation: Rarely couples acknowledge and talk about their marriage going through seasons. However, to me this is a helpful concept. We all know spring and summer, and we usually enjoy those spring years of getting to know each other deeply, and of expressing admiration and love. And then we cherish also the summer years of building things together, maybe a home, a business or a family. However, fall and winter are seasons that enter more mature marriages, and those provide for more challenging emotions and experiences. The fall season often brings storms of change and interruptions. Existential and also very concrete anxieties surface. We are challenged with how to manage those feelings individually and as a couple. When winter arrives, it strips our love at times to its bare bones. Some of the emotions of winter are hurt, anger, and disappointment. Those feelings are often accompanied by loneliness and a sense of rejection. Fall and winter are also deeply spiritual times when we learn how to pray more often and differently than ever before.

Prayer: God of love, when we go through fall and winter times in our marriages, we struggle. Your Spirit is present through these darker, colder times and comforts us in reassuring us that these are necessary phases and natural developments. The notion of seasons gives us hope that there will be another spring one day. We can accept the winter season of marriage better when we prayerfully accept it as a growing phase. Winter feelings can be: “I still love my partner, but right now I do not like him or her.” God, help us to allow for all seasons and for all feelings to find room in our marriage. And we are grateful. Amen

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7