My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, Song of Solomon 2:10 (ESV)
Among my Cuba souvenirs is some jewelry. A bracelet made of an old fork whose tines have been twisted to hold a polished stone and the handle shaped to fit around the wrist. A wooden necklace made of smoothly carved circles and beads. They intrigued me, reminded me of Cuba, and were cheap enough. So I bought them. I didn’t need any more jewelry. I have beaded bracelets and necklaces from Guatemala. Gold and diamond pendants received as anniversary and birthday presents. Costume jewelry bought on clearance at department stores. Pearls purchased by my parents in Singapore. Silver dangly earrings, gold hoops, tiny gold balls, brightly colored wires and beads. I tend to find something and wear it exclusively until something else catches my eye, then, I over wear it. Honestly, I don’t pay much attention to my wardrobe and just reach for whatever I had on the day before. My favorites become the things I wear most often until I switch to something different and then, that becomes my favorite. I was thinking about favorites as I thought about marriage. So many couples I know are struggling right now. Perhaps it is because it is a new year and people were hoping something would change for the better. They are now disappointed that two months in, it’s the same ole same ole. They contemplate changing partners like one would switch out a pair of earrings. But, what I have come to see is that time spent together can’t be thrown away like a cheap discount store necklace. Just as a piece of jewelry becomes my favorite because I have worn it a lot, a marriage benefits from time invested into the relationship. I hear complaints about a spouse and my first response is to ask, “When was the last time you did something fun together?” When did you leave the kids or pets with a babysitter and go for a walk with nothing to distract you from really listening to each other? When was the last time you went away for the night? Sat quietly under the stars? Ate a meal without cutting up someone’s food? Turned off the computer and played a game together? Investing time in your marriage is a better investment than jewelry, no matter how expensive it is.