For 20 years now, my life has been spent journeying with the same woman, two souls intertwined in life, love, sorrow, grief, joy, and family. This weekend she went away for a three day cruise with some of her best lady friends. A ladies weekend away to the Bahamas.
This month our church has been collectively doing a fast. I didn’t feel like fasting this month. A friend of mine, whose wife is also gone this weekend with my wife on their ladies weekend, mentioned that he is (in a way) “fasting” from his wife.
I guess that’s what I’m doing too. Fasting from my Spouse.
THE SPOUSE FAST
If you’ve never thought of this before, you’re in good company. Neither had I. But I think there is value in giving each of yourselves a break from each other. Taking a break from someone you spend your every waking moment with, does a few things to you. I want to explore those feelings with you today.
The most prominent thing it has done to me this weekend is realize how much I really do love my wife.
Here’s what fasting from your spouse for a few days will do for you.
- Gives you perspective. It really is true. You don’t know a good thing until it’s actually gone. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder and time away from each other puts a lot of things into perspective. Namely, how co-dependant or not you really are on someone. This weekend I’ve realized that I have put too much dependance upon my wife to make my life happy or not happy. I truly love her, not because of what she can do for me, but because she is worth loving. Her story, her life, her beauty, her soul, her personality, her art, her spirit, and her very being are all worth being loved. I miss her laugh. I miss her smile. The smell of her hair. The scent of her perfume. I miss her tender heart. I miss her presence. I miss everything about her when she is gone. I love her because of who she is, not for how she makes me feel or what she does for me. I love her for her. This is an important perspective to have.
- Creates a greater heart of appreciation. My wife really works hard at what she does. She is a self-employed photographer with hundreds of clients all counting on her to make time for them, give them a great set of pictures, and provide exceptional service to their every photography need. She is a full time mom of our four children as well. Constantly rushing back and forth, shuttling kids everywhere, all the while trying to make time to edit pictures and continue to offer the same kind of quality experience for both her kids and her clients. I realized how much time she had been working and how little time she actually gets for herself. But I want to give her more time to herself. Taking this time to fast from my wife has taught me how grateful I am for all that she does to make our home operate smoothly.
- Teaches me how to love my kids better. I know it goes without saying, but I love my kids too. Spending time with each of them, trying to support them and be present with them is extremely difficult work. There are constantly a hundred different things competing for my time and attention to our children. It’s easy to just pass the buck when it comes to being there for my kids. Sometimes the days just drag on, with complaining, arguing, fighting, and emotional instability of four awesome, hormonal, growing rugrats. I find myself often occupying my time with other things, just letting my wife handle the children, when I need to be just as, if not more engaged with them as she is. Time away from each other has taught me how to love my kids more and with a greater quality of love. Presence of mind, emotion, and proximity are all important to my kids. This weekend has helped me to remember to love them well.
- Reminds me to shift my dependence from my wife to God. Our spouses were not meant to bear the weight of God-like status in our lives. No matter how much I love my wife, she cannot handle the stress, the burden, and the worship that I often give to her instead of to God. (What wife doesn’t want us to worship the ground she walks on, right?) My happiness cannot be tied, linked, or otherwise heavily attached to my wife. Naturally, I think we all do this with our spouses. We assign too much expectation on them that only God can satisfy. She cannot carry the weight of all my dreams, hopes, aspirations, desires, and wants. She is only human, and I need to remember to stop putting so much on her shoulders. Honestly, if she is going to survive life with me, I need to shift my dependence from her to someone who can truly handle it all. And only God can beat that weight. (The same is true for your kids as well. They cannot bear the weight of your need to worship something.)
That about wraps up my thoughts on this today.
Fasting from my wife has served to give me greater perspective, taught me to be thankful for the time I have with her, given me lessons on how to love my children better, and reminded me to shift my dependence from her to the Lord. It has show me how much I truly am still madly, deeply in love with her.
Why do I love my wife? Because she is all these things and more and because she really is my better half.
Now if only I could learn how to cook like she does.
Well, at least she comes home tonight. 🙂