There are simple joys to marriage that I didn’t count on. They are pleasant surprises, especially since there are common difficulties that I didn’t count on either. My wife and I do not have children yet, so we are still in this quasi-newlywed phase. No, we’re not gooey in public like some newlyweds. But there are times when it just feels great to be a married adult.

Believe it or not, one of my favorite moments is in church. Heather and I have a special bond when we are in a worship service. She frequently leans her head to rest on my shoulder. I put my arm around her and lean my head a little until it rests against hers. A community of worshippers brings such peace to the surrounding atmosphere that it is the perfect place to find a moment’s rest and truly exhale from the soul. Unexpectedly, we have been approached by women who tell us their teenage daughters watch the way Heather and I express affection in church and those girls delight in it and hope to experience the same some day.

Friday nights have a whole new meaning to me. Friday nights have always been my absolute favorite time of the week. It is the time furthest from the work week, which means there is no stress of certain responsibilities pressing upon me. Friday night was always my movie night.

Outside of Siskel, Roeper, and a few other psychopaths out there, I don’t know of anyone who watches more movies than me. That has changed somewhat – I watch most new films at the Dollar Movie Theater three to six months after release so I can save money. I check out older movies from the public library for free instead of visiting Hollywood Video Store on a biweekly basis. I’ve gotten sidetracked, but my point was about Friday nights.

I love spending the evening with my wife, whether it’s watching tv, going out to a restaurant, or spending the evening at home just focusing on each other. There is something so much more carefree about it than I can imagine my parents experiencing when they were my age. That is what this all boils down to. I think about my parents a lot lately. Partly because my wife and I are just about ready to have children. Regardless, I find myself unconsciously comparing my marriage with what I know of my parents as far back as I can remember. Of course, if I can remember it, that means they already had children. So there are some obvious and unavoidable differences.

The world was more peaceful even 20 years ago. But I wonder how much differently I feel than my father felt at my age. I wonder how much different was their marriage from mine. I wonder if we are doing as well, better, or worse. Not because I need to win anything, but because comparison is one of the primary ways we mark progress.

At this time of our lives, where I work mostly from home and my wife drives to work, I love kissing her goodbye each day and loving the fact that she’s only a short 8-10 minute drive away from home. I love seeing her every day for lunch. I love being silly and goofing off around her – especially at those miraculous times when she thinks I’m funny. I love the light-hearted side of marriage so much. In fact, I think it must be more vital than I realized. Just thinking of funny and silly moments lifts my spirits and my heart feels lighter. Heather, if you’re reading this, I think I’m going to be even sillier.

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