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A Little Marital Advice

            I’ve been happily married for more than 33 years.  A constant counsel for success in marriage is that couples need to be together.  Genesis 2:18 says that God made Adam “a helper fit for him.”  Based upon this scriptural passage and the lovely evening I had with my wife last night, I’d like to suggest that it’s not just that we need to be together.  We need to do things together.

            Sunday a lady from our church was giving away eggplants.  Most people didn’t know what to do with them, but we did.  Mary and I said, “We’re going to make moussaka,” a Greek eggplant dish with lamb and lots of cheese.  Tuesday night Mary got home from work raring to cook.  I had purchased some ground lamb, parmesan and feta cheeses and tomato sauce.  Working with three recipes, Mary pulled out seemingly every spice we had—oregano, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, parsley, bay leaves, lemons, onions, allspice, nutmeg and, of course, salt, pepper and olive oil.     While Mary broiled the eggplant slices and prepared the meat sauce, I mixed up a béchamel cheese sauce.  Mary then layered the egg plant, meat sauce and feta and parmesan cheeses.  I poured over it the béchamel sauce.  While we baked the moussaka for about 40 minutes and let it cool for another 15, we continued reading the novel that we’re reading together.  I uncorked a bottle of a robust Chilean cabernet sauvignon, and we had a wonderful and very romantic supper. 

            Last night was special because we took the time to do something together.  By doing something together, I don’t mean that we went out to dinner or a movie.  Those activities can be healthy for a marriage as well, but we weren’t being entertained, although the evening was quite entertaining. Mutual entertainment is not the idea here.  We did something quite ancient together.  We cooked a meal that we ate. 

            Why would fulfilling a basic human necessity draw us closer together?  Why would an activity that required a great deal of time (3+ hours) and work have a deeply satisfying relational effect?  The answer is in Genesis.  God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and care for it.  He gave him a wife to share that labor with him.  We were made to work.  We can find joy in work, if we have the right attitude, and married couples especially can find joy as they work together.  It doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal (and ours was gourmet, believe me!).  It could be other mutually performed tasks. 

            What do you think?  Do you have any suggestions for shared labor that can help us have stronger marriages?  Let me and the other readers know what they are.

4 thoughts on “A Little Marital Advice

  1. Cleaning the house? You have the same elements as cooking (a task few people really want to do, for example) and if you do it together you have the benefit of getting it done faster. Building things, or repairing things around the house could work.

    1. Good idea, Roberto, although I’m no good with building or repairing things and I must disagree about cooking. I can’t say that I love it, but I certainly enjoy the results!

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