Monday, March 19, 2012

Marriage Mondays: Bottoms Up!

June traditionally has the most weddings, which means we're right on the doorstep of bridal shower season. I got TWELVE glass pitchers as wedding gifts! Isn't it strange that we spend so much time registering for, acquiring, and arranging things to make our "happily ever after" look good on top, but we don't do much to build its foundation? I don't think I've ever seen a single book on a gift list, and no one has EVER asked for $ towards a first marriage retreat. I shudder to think of the ratio of time spent on pre-marital counseling compared to time spent shopping, in showers, registering, and wedding planning. I could do a lot of pouring drinks when I got married, but I don't think I had much of a clue about how to refresh my husband's spirit. Why don't we invest more in the foundations of marriage?

Saturday night Jeff and I were invited over to our friends' home for a cookout. After dinner we toured the "man cave," where our Mr. Friend has just started building a boat (Mrs. Friend is totally supportive, so stay with me). When we opened the door to the shop, I expected to see a frame that said, "Boat." Instead, I saw some odd looking boards and architectural drawings. Closer inspection and lots of questions revealed that you build a boat from the bottom up. In fact, he'll build the bottom and then flip it to build top later. Turns out that the most important part of building a boat is the bottom, even though what we see is everything on top.

Our friends have invited us to come and go on a boat ride ... in 3 years when the boat is done. I'm really glad he's giving so much time and attention to the bottom, because even if a boat looks good on top, a weak bottomed boat is destined to sink. In the same way, a weak bottomed marriage is headed for a rough ride and possible sinking.

Is a wedding or a shower is on your calendar, leading up to the "most married month" of the year, I want to encourage you to give a gift that contributes to a strong bottom in the marriage. And if you feel like it doesn't look very "fun," wrap it in a glass pitcher. :)

Here are a few books I think make great gifts for engaged or newly married couples:

(I am linked as an Amazon affiliate, so if you make a purchase after clicking from Come Have a Peace, I do get a small % to help with blog costs.)

6 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Katie Montgomery said...


Thanks for this!  It's a great reminder to me to not lose perspective as the details of the wedding start heating up.  Most importantly we are preparing for a lifetime of marriage not a 1 day wedding.  Good perspective shift!

Julie_Sanders said...

Katie, I know the bottom of your marriage is going to be solid and ready for a great journey together! I'll be praying for you as your start. You're so ready that you're getting ready for a lot more than just that one day. That "day" is wonderful in so many ways, but it's just the beginning. Happy sailing to you, friend.
Julie Sanders

Mary Joy Pershing said...

I am standing up...clapping...and shouting bravo, Julie!!!

I completely agree with you!  In fact, Will and I were very blessed by his best friend who gave us a stack of wonderful books as a gift during the weeks before our marriage began.  Some of them were for him and some were for me.  We began reading immediately and are still reading them.  They are the most precious gifts we were given for our marriage from friends or family.  

In fact, we each did ask for certain books for gifts.  I think it may have more to do with the fact that this is not a first marriage for either of us.  We both went through very painful previous marriages and knew that what was important was the marriage we were preparing for instead of spending so much time and money on the wedding.  In fact, we each bought more books and resources to help us as an engaged and newly married couple and then as parents and blending family helps than wedding prep books.  We still go back and read them and read new ones we buy each year when we need some help or need to grow in an area of our relationship.

We actually decided to have a quieter, subdued wedding/church elopement and focus on what came after that day.  We are going to have a special renewal of vows ceremony for our 5th wedding anniversary and invite all the family and friends to that instead.  

I am so glad to see your wonderful illustration of the boat building...building a marriage  from the bottom up!  And I actually do choose to purchase helpful books for shower and wedding gifts...I started doing this about five years ago.  You can give a few books and stack them and wrap them up really pretty with a a fru fru bow tying them all together...and a note that shares the importance of and the joy that will come from taking the time to prepare for the marriage before and during their marriage.

Any way...I've gone on long enough!  Thanks again for this post!  You are doing awesome work!

Growing in His Grace,

Mary Joy

Sandie C said...

Thanks, Julie for the book ideas.  I had been wondering about some good devotionals for Rob and I to do when he moves back home. 

Julie_Sanders said...

Perfect timing, then. :) You are at a great time to be making some investments in building from the bottom up! Blessings to you and Rob as you build.
Julie Sanders

Julie_Sanders said...

I loved your testimony of how you DID ask for valuable books (You go, girl!) and how they've helped you build your marriage. Those were gifts that keep giving, and now you are duplicating the blessing. I love hearing about that, Mary.
Blessings to you and Will!

Julie Sanders