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Monday, January 14, 2013

Goodbye, Tropical Honeymoon... Hello, Love Shack!

imageWhile each of our six homes has its memories and advantages, the mobile home was just that: a trailer. The four of us moved in: Colleen, Megan, Wade and I. My mind swims with tender memories of that place. 

Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Love: Who will I spend my life with?

Goodbye, Tropical Honeymoon... Hello, Love Shack!


By Evan Nehring


Goodbye, Tropical Honeymoon...

Colleen and I left the Beachcomber Inn in Daytona Beach and caught our plane from Orlando to Detroit. The hazards of returning from a January honeymoon included waiting to have our puddle jumper aircraft de-iced in Michigan. While I understand the necessity of that procedure, it seemed a bit strange as we took off in a whiteout and never passed out of the blizzard the entire flight to the Central Wisconsin Airport.
 
I fly pretty well, but I was white-knuckling as our plane jumped, dropped and fishtailed (literally) in the whirling turbulence above the death-water of Lake Michigan. We made it home and began our married life together in a modest mobile home on the south side of Stevens Point. Despite the inauspicious beginning, our hearts were filled with hope for a lifetime of love together.
 
Evan and Colleen starting life together
 

...Hello, Love Shack!

While each of our six homes has its memories and advantages, the mobile home was just that: a trailer. The four of us moved in: Colleen, Megan, Wade and I. My mind swims with tender memories of that place. (Wish I had more pictures!)
  • The long hallway where the kids would run.
  • Roasting mini-marshmallows over candles with toothpicks.
  • Being the only people in the entire park who seeded grass, watered, and used fertilizer.
  • Taking video of the day both Megan and Wade learned to ride bikes without training wheels.
 
Megan, Wade and Pebbles in our first home
 

The Bedroom

Our bedroom had a quiet peacefulness. We received as wedding gifts a down comforter and white, lacy duvet cover. (Guys, that’s like a fancy blanket.) There were more white, lacy things in the bedroom: pillows, lamp shades, dresser runners, and even little container covers. All of these brought to mind the beauty of Colleen’s wedding dress and the memories of January 13, 1996—our wedding day.
 
Privacy comes at a premium when you marry with kids. But we learned that elementary age kids sleep a couple more hours each night than we do. Alone time was as comfortable as the fluffy white bedding. We would read devotional passages together. We would talk about the good and bad of our day. We would dream of the future. But marriage is more than talk.
He
15 How beautiful you are, my darling!
   Oh, how beautiful!
   Your eyes are doves.
She
16 How handsome you are, my beloved!
   Oh, how charming!
   And our bed is verdant. (Song of Solomon 1:15-16)
Intimacy is amazing. Intimacy is union. It’s man and woman, in that moment, becoming emotionally, spiritually and physically one. It’s offering ourselves to each other, trusting each other, treasuring each other. For just a moment, “you and I” becomes “we”.
 
Intimacy is one-on-one, jealous as love, unyielding as the grave. Intimacy is the marital seal that says, “I place my fragile, glass heart into your hands to treasure, trade or trash.” Love always protects.
 
Getting an intimacy manual isn’t a bad idea. Walking into a porn shop, though, isn’t a great option for Jesus-followers. There are a couple of classics worth perusing to understand each other in the bedroom.
  • The Act of Marriage. Tim and Beverly LaHaye. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976).
  • Intended for Pleasure. Ed and Gaye Wheat. (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1976).
 
It’s been said that sex starts in the kitchen. There’s no question that all of the rooms of a marriage relationship interact. Living room, dining room, office, garage: they all come into play. But since we’ve gotten the bedroom before the kitchen, let’s go there soon.
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