One of my greatest regrets is how I spoiled our honeymoon. We had a two week trip planned to the Colorado Rockies in a small camper. It was a beautiful fall morning when we took off from our “bridal suite” where we’d spent the first few nights after our wedding. We headed about a thousand miles northwest. We didn’t want to waste much time in the flat planes of Oklahoma and Kansas, so we drove hard to make it into the mountains in a day! We stopped late and crawled up into the loft bed, tucked over the driver’s cockpit, and looked out the windows to see a sky blazing—full of stars. It was a cozy romantic spot and I snuggled up close to my new husband, excited about another night of cuddling and intimacy.
And then I noticed. He was snoring. Loudly.
We’d barely bedded down, this was only our fourth night to sleep together, but the problem was . . . he viewed bed-time as an opportunity to actually sleep and I saw it as an opportunity for night-time romance!
Now, before you think the worst of LeRoy, I need to add some context to this story:
I didn’t think about the fact that he had driven hard all day—while I napped.
He wasn’t intending to hurt my feelings by falling asleep before we kissed goodnight.
Sometimes men need sleep even more than they need physical intimacy!
But alas, I didn’t think of any of that. I was young, immature, and definitely selfish. I took his snoring as rejection and also a sign that I must not be too desirable. And I started crying. Yep, I did. Pathetic, I know. But the tears just kept coming, and the more I thought about it and considered that I’d given myself to a man who might not even care too much for me . . . the louder my crying (more like bawling now) grew.
Finally, my heartbroken condition woke LeRoy and he asked what was wrong. When I explained what hurt me so much, he didn’t respond the way I hoped. He didn’t passionately take me in his arms and begin reassuring me of his love with deep kisses and a strong embrace. That would’ve been too much like the perfect romance novel.
Nope, he just mumbled something about being dead from driving all day (in a pretty irritated voice) and rolled over to resume snoring.
The worst part of the story, though, is how I responded to my man’s need. I pouted. I let him know that I was hurt and I pouted all the next day—which led to another night of no intimacy and tears. We were getting off to a rough start and I was sure it was all his fault. I saw him as selfish and mean, he probably viewed me as a spoiled brat (which was pretty accurate).
When I look back now, I think about how many beautiful days on that trip were wasted by my petty reactions. We saw some incredible scenery, hiked some unbelievable trails, and had several romantic evenings by the campfire (eventually), but throughout the honeymoon and early years of our marriage my selfishness spoiled many enjoyable adventures.
This week, as we celebrate thirty-five years of marriage, we’re on another adventure to the Rockies, but this time it’s the Canadian Rockies!
We’ve changed a lot since those honeymoon days. We’re older, but wiser, and we’ve weathered many storms together. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s more important to give love than to grasp for love. LeRoy and I both understand and appreciate each other more. And we look to God’s grace for help, rather than thinking we can fix our problems ourselves!
We love sharing our story with couples and letting them know the practical lessons that God has taught us. We’re in Canada primarily for the marriage conference we led last weekend (thank you for praying—God was gracious to meet with us!), but also for the opportunity to “re-do” that honeymoon. So, I’ll be a little quiet on the blog this week as we focus on spending time together . . . but hopefully I’ll have a few gorgeous pictures to share with you when I return.
So grateful for God’s grace, and for the opportunity to be literally “loving life” and living out this promise of good days:
[box]“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.” (1 Peter 3:10–12)[/box]
Image courtesy of akephotograph at www.freedigitalphotos.net