In just four (hopefully short) days, the wife and I are heading to a small boutique hotel in Playa Del Carmen, MX to enjoy some much-needed relaxation time. We are both second-year interns at a fast-growing mega church in the Twin Cities, and on top of that have full-time jobs. In essence, we both have two full-time jobs, and only get paid for one of them.
The point is… we’ve allowed ourselves to take a break. And what better way to enjoy Mexico than to sit on the beach, sipping a Piña colada (that’s what they drink down their, right?), and reading a good book.
Well, one of the good books I intend to bring down to Meh-heek-oh is The Journals of Jim Elliot, written by his widow Elisabeth Elliot. If you don’t know who Jim is, he was one of the missionaries whose martyrdom was visually depicted in the movie End of The Spear. For a few years now I’ve been fascinated by the story of Jim Elliot, the man of God he was, and the impact he had not only on his family and friends, but on an entire world of Christian believers. I recommend everyone become a student of Jim Elliot.
What does this have to do with the title of the post?
As I was browsing through this book tonight, in anticipation of reading it during my vacation, I turned all the way to the back… to the last “journal entry” recorded from Jim Elliot before he was martyred. It was a short post, rather unrelated to his ministry, and seemingly venting about the frustrations of marriage and sin. Here is the full quote that this post’s title is derived from:
“Marriage is divorce from the privacy a man loves, but there is some privacy nothing can share.”
When I first read that, I couldn’t help but giggle. As a man, I tend to favor quotes that reassure my actions or thoughts that seem “too manly” to some people. But to read this quote from one of the great Christian fathers of the Twentieth Century… well, that was a great. But, once the giggles wore off… I started to ponder the meaning of the quote.
You know, it’s true. Most men I know have some form of solitude they seek on a regular basis. Whether they admit to it or even are aware of it, they all have a tendency to want privacy. And as most married men can attest, wives tend to suck that privacy right out of your life. You no longer have the ability to just sit in your bed and think about the day… in quiet. You no longer have the ability to duck out of a social gathering on your own terms. You no longer have the right to have a dirty apartment when no one is coming over any time soon. Nope. You gave up those rights when you decided to spend the REST OF YOUR LIFE with another human being.
Sometimes Marriage is Difficult.
Just tonight… me and @mrshodgett were laying in bed after a rather long day (as Sundays usually are for us). We were in rather good spirits, having random conversations about random events that occurred yesterday, or the week prior. But, even before we got home, I told my wife that I especially wanted some time to be able to just sit, relax, and read the most recent copy of Inc. Magazine that’s been sitting at my bedside for almost a week now. After our conversation seemed to have died down, and she was apparently “resting” on her side of the bed, I quietly picked up the magazine to start reading the article I had left off a few minutes earlier.
She would have nothing of it. She got in her “I’m tired and all I want to do is tickle you” mood, and started distracting me from my reading. Now, in most circumstances, I respect her desire for affection, stop whatever it is that I’m doing, and give her my undivided attention. But, sometimes, I’m not in the “goofy” mood, and I need my space.
Every guy needs their space. Women, if you want one tip from me on how to understand a guy, GIVE HIM HIS SPACE! Luckily, my wife is getting better at this. She knows that when I’m not in a “goofy” mood, that trying to tickle me actually doesn’t make me laugh, but rather irritates me. On the other hand, I’ve learned that trying to be sexy around my wife doesn’t always mean she’ll want to make love with me, especially when she’s not in “the mood.”
Is this making sense? I hope so. I love my wife, and she loves me… but we’re learning that it’s not easy to live with someone, all the time, without a break. But we need to take breaks.
I urge you to take the time to fully realize what your break looks like for you – a run, a pre-sleep book, Facebook, walking the dog. And, LEARN YOUR SPOUSE’S BREAK NEEDS! We all have different needs for space. Learn them for the people around you, and be respectful of their needs.
That’s it. Love.