Wisdom for the Seasons of Life: Dating and Marriage
Contributor: A. Dorcent
What is your favorite season? For me, my favorites change as I do. When I was a child, my favorite season was summer! School was out, and we played all day. In high school, my focus changed to learning and observing. I enjoyed the newness of spring. As I moved into my forties, I learned weathered things develop character. My favorite season was fall. I love a beautiful seasoned fall tree. Now, moving into age fifty, winter is my favorite season. During the festive holiday season, I settle down, enjoy family, good food, and a cozy fireplace.
After twenty-eight years of marriage, we have learned our relationship goes through seasons as well. Our needs and desires determine our season. Things change. We change.
Here’s what I mean:
Spring – This was our dating season — a blooming season for us. During our spring, we learned about each other. Of course, we learned mainly the good things. We naively thought, “Wow, you’re nearly perfect!” I remember us having the discussion that we could never make the other upset. Boy, were we wrong! We loved spring, but we learned it was only a season.
Fall – This was our “I see you” season — the leaves changed. In our fall season, still dating, we learned neither one of us was perfect. We saw each other’s true colors. The worst of us can reveal itself when we become angry. We had to learn how to communicate and give each other space to think about our words and actions. I must admit, in this season, I wasn’t very good. I learned anyone could end the argument by remaining silent, praying, and finding the time and place to address the issue later.
Summer – This was our passion season — “we want to get married” season. During this season, we had grown out of the dating season. We wanted to be married. The great thing about the passion season, we can raise the temperature at will any season of our marriage. If the passion-meter isn’t at a desirable temperature, find ways to raise the temperature. For us, a weekend getaway works wonders — no work, no children, no housework.
Winter – Our rest season — cuddle up and pull a throw over us. I’ll never forget when we reached this stage. At the end of the day, my husband and I were sitting on the couch watching television. He asked, “Ready to go to sleep?” He could have announced he was going to bed. Instead, he invited me to rest with him. In this season, we rest in the beauty of the relationship. We reflect on our couple’s accomplishments. We enjoy the family and treasure each moment. However, we don’t consider the road has ended. We also dream.
We are looking forward to our retirement — possibly retiring on a Caribbean Island. It’s a pretty big dream. However, we believe when two people walk in agreement and serve a very big God, all things are possible.
Things change. We change. What’s your favorite season?