As a little girl growing up the in the 70s and 80s, I often thought of my future groom. I dreamed about the wedding, but sometimes I forgot about the marriage to follow. There are days I’m awed with the fact that I’m 36-years-old … and that I’ve already been married 18 years! At times I feel like the unsure newlywed who felt like I was playing house.
During the 80s, there were lots of songs about love. I clearly remember the episode of Days of Our Lives when Bo and Hope slept together and the song, “Friends and Lovers” played. I thought it was the most romantic thing in the world. Of course, I didn’t think much about commitment or years and years of being with just one person. Love was more of a feeling, than something real. And … like most people in my generation, I followed that feeling and ended up sleeping with my boyfriends. I didn’t think much of it, which saddens me now.
Yet, once I found the man I wanted to spend my life with, I grew serious. I’m not alone. For Gen Xers, divorce skyrocketed during our growing-up years. We grew up in families with stepmoms and half-siblings and living every other weekend with a different parent—how could this not affect our marriages? I can relate. That was my life, I didn’t want the same for my family. I wanted to do things better.
And you know what? Looking around, I see that there are a lot of people like me. The generation that once bore labels such as ‘slacker’ and ‘grungy’ has gone G-rated. Once we got serious bout life, family now means the most to us. And marriage matters. We don’t want an OK marriage. We want one filled with love, commitment, and care.
When writing my book Generation NeXt Marriage, I wanted to connect with fellow Gen Xers in a medium we would all understand … 80s music. Here are some chapter titles: White Wedding (sung by Billy Idol, of course), Together Forever (by Rick Astley, remember him?), and I Think We’re Alone Now (the song sung by Tiffany—the teen idol every girl wanted to be). Does that take you back?
In addition to sharing how God has molded me in marriage, I also included comments from other Gen Xers. And you can be sure we don’t dance around the issues, it’s soul-bearing stuff.
Does this sound like a book for you? If so, it may take you a few days to order in your copy from Amazon.com, or to run down to your local bookstore. In the meantime, here are some tips to tide you over until then:
Discover your God-given dreams together. Couples are happiest when we’re following God’s purposes for our lives. Be your spouse’s biggest fan.
Find Balance. Put first things first. Plug in the most important stuff into your calendar first, then fill in around it.
Nix the Unrealistic Expectations. Marriage is different than dating. We cannot change the other person. Look in the mirror first. Love your spouse anyway.
Don’t be afraid to fight. Romans 5:3-4 says, “Let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings.” It’s better to engage than to give up. Author Madeleine L’Engle once said, “There are a lot of marriages today that break up just at the point where they could mature and deepen.” Pain makes us take note at the problem. We are forced to pray and repent and try again.
Stop Lurking! Every week I will draw names for a free Tricia Goyer book from those who comment on my blogs. Winner’s choice! Tell your friends.