Editors Share | First Dance Songs

The first dance as husband and wife is often the most awaited part of a wedding reception. It is a special and romantic moment between the newlyweds and it highlights the unique personality of the couple.

In this month’s Editors Share, our team remembers their first dance and explains why they chose their song.

PHOTOGRAPHY :  MEL WATSON PHOTOGRAPHY
 

Stephanie Calis, Co-founder & Editor in Chief

My husband and I danced to the song “You are the One” by Matt Hires, which had come on my iPod as we drove to a holy hour one night during our engagement. It’s a sweet, simple song that still brings back precious memories, but the truth is, we were too shy to set our first dance to the one we truly felt defined us! The ideal selection, for us, was “In My Arms” by Jon Foreman, the lead singer of Switchfoot. Despite our love for it we ultimately felt too shy to use such a quiet song, with such intimate lyrics, in front of all our guests. For any couples like us hesitating to choose particular reception music because of self-consciousness, I’d encourage you to communicate and discern what you’re comfortable with and to pray for a sense of freedom with the necessary attention your wedding day brings!

 

Andi Compton, Business Director

We chose Matt Maher’s version of “Set Me As A Seal” because we simply liked the song. I wish I had a deeper explanation, but we both just felt like it was the right song. We ended up having a dance choreographed. If you know my husband, you know that we’re complete opposites. I love to dance, he likes to not dance. But for me he was willing to take ballroom dancing lessons and perform in front of our families..

 

Jiza Zito, Co-Founder and Creative Director

My husband and I chose “Accidentally in Love” by Counting Crows. Mark and I had a stressful engagement since he was serving overseas with his military command, all up until a few days before the wedding, so we wanted something fun and upbeat. Mark was also an avid swing dancer during his college years at the United States Naval Academy, which we got to enjoy together a few times during our courtship, so we wanted to share that part of our relationship with our friends and family on our wedding day as well.

 

Stephanie Fries, Associate Editor

For our first dance, we moved in sync with Michale Buble’s “Hold On.” My husband suggested many ideas for our first dance song, but many focused on the beauty of the bride or the groom’s love for his bride; I was uncomfortable choosing a wedding song about the bride. This song was a great fit because it captures the essence of the mutual and reciprocal love of a married couple. The lyrics also serve as a reminder to grow in affirming physical touch in the midst of stress, frustration, sadness, and joy. Although physical touch is not my number one love language, a good hug often breaks through heavy emotional tension. As this song builds up to its finale, it reinforces the power of holding onto love in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, ‘till death do us part.

Though we both enjoy jumping around during spontaneous dance parties, neither of us are organized dancers. With that in mind, we invested in dance classes at a local studio—and loved every second. Beyond the benefits of feeling confident in our plan for our first dance, lessons were also a special opportunity to learn something new, be challenged, move our bodies and laugh together in preparation for our wedding day.

 

Mariah Maza, Features Editor

Our first dance song was “God Gave Me You,” the version performed by Blake Shelton. My husband and I first met when we were 14 and high school sweethearts, and we were a country couple. On our first date he drove me to dinner in his white Chevy pickup truck in blue jeans, boots, and all. Many, many years and a wedding later, we still own that truck!

When we decided to pick “our song” for our relationship (which was definitely inspired by Taylor Swift’s 2009 single by the same name — released only the year before!), we decided on two requirements: the melody needed to mention God and needed to be a country song. I suggested “God Gave Me You,” and it became the song we grew up with together, from the age of 14 to (now) 23.

A couple years before we got married, I taught my husband how to country dance, and it is now one of our favorite things to do together. So when our wedding day finally arrived, seven years after we met, we country danced to the song we fell in love to as high school freshmen.

 

Carissa Pluta, Editor at Large

My husband and I chose the song “God Moves Through You” by Jason Mraz for our first dance. My husband has been a Mraz fan for a long time, which is how he first heard this song; Jason Mraz actually wrote it for his sister’s wedding so it’s not on any of his albums. It’s a really beautiful song, and was adapted from a collection of poems by Kahlil Gibran.

One of my favorite lines from the song is: “Let the wind of heaven dance between you too/Allow the space and time to bring you closer to everlasting love.” The song speaks of the love between a husband and a wife being a movement of God, a grace working in your life. We also loved that it also speaks of children as a gift.

Since it isn’t on an album, our friend Steve the Missionary offered to play it on his ukulele and sing it live during our reception. It was such a memorable moment from that day.

 

Mary Wilmot, Social Media Manager

In the last couple weeks before our wedding, Patrick and I decided we really needed to sit down and make a decision on our first dance song. We never really had a song in the five years of our friendship/dating relationship, so we didn’t have too many ideas. One afternoon, while hanging out in my parents’ kitchen, we ended up Googling “First Dance Song Ideas” and decided to just go through the list until something resonated with us. We stumbled across “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding and both really liked it.

I love that it’s soulful and with a beat, but still a slow song that makes it easy to dance and sing along to. We actually ended up taking a couple of dance classes at Fred Astaire with a Groupon I had purchased. In the end, I think we just decided to sway to the music, not worrying about counting steps, but it was still fun!

I have no regrets about our choice, but funnily enough, we were just talking a couple weeks ago about our first dance. We said we probably would have picked the 1998 classic “All My Life” by K-Ci and JoJo if we had thought of it at the time!

 

Danielle Rother, Pinterest Manager

Our first dance was inspired by the waltz in Disney’s live-action Cinderella, where Ella greets the Prince on the dance floor in her beautiful blue ballgown for the first time. Since we wanted to dance a traditional waltz we looked through a variety of instrumental songs that had the right ¾ time signature we needed for the dance. As I was searching for songs I came across, "The Princess Diaries Waltz," by John Debney from the score of The Princess Diaries. After listening to it I knew, in my heart, it was the right song for us.

The Princess Diaries is a favorite childhood movie I watched growing up with my maternal grandmother, who passed away in 2012. One of her biggest dreams was to see me get married. While I wish she had lived longer to see me take my marriage vows, this song made me feel close to her on our special day.

Dancing a waltz at our wedding was an incredible experience and it was everything I had hoped for. Jeff and I had practiced dancing for many hours during our engagement and it certainly paid off! During the dance, I felt like I was flying and it was truly magical.

Now that we are married, I am still practicing the art of dance through life as a married couple. It may not always be as graceful as it was on our wedding day. Occasionally we may stumble. But it’s good to know that as long as we have each other we can make it through anything together.

 

Tasha Johnson, Administrative Assistant

A couple of years ago, I got to fly across the country to attend the wedding of two former missionary teammates of mine. I served with the husband my first year and the wife my second, so I had really gotten to know them separately, and it was such a joy to finally see them together.

Their choice of Matt Maher’s “Hold Us Together” was a perfect fit for their small, intimate wedding, because it was so evident that their love for each other was already something fruitful; it really spoke to the care they had taken to welcome all of us to share life with them throughout their courtship, and even especially in the days leading up to the wedding! It was definitely a fun song to watch them twirl and dip to, but it was even more so a reminder of the ways their relationship had already served as a shelter, both for them and for those of us who had the honor of walking through life’s storms with them. It was an absolutely beautiful theme for the first day of the rest of their lives!

Grief + Grace: Suffering a Miscarriage as Newlyweds

KATE THIBODEAU

 

As newlyweds, we approach our first years of marriage in a blissful state of faith and hope. We make vows to our spouses to remain with them for better or worse, richer or poorer, till death do us part.

I specifically remember the utter happiness of my wedding day--the very best day of my life--with no thought that sadness could so easily creep into these early days of joy and peace.

God gifts to married couples a specific store of grace to carry them through the learning curves and the hardships of creating a life together. These graces  help us to learn sacrifice and charity and to offer ourselves and our desires up for the better of our spouse.

It is through these graces we are able to heal from wounds given to each other, the daily hardships we encounter, and for my husband and I, the greatest trial of all--the loss of our children.

 A few months into our very ordinary and blissful marriage, my husband and I suffered the miscarriage of our first baby. We had not planned for this little one; in fact, we had prayed for clarity in our decision to start our family and discerned that waiting was in God’s plan for us. However, the short duration of our unexpected baby girl’s life tugged at our heart strings. Despite God’s prudence to call her home so soon, we grieved the loss of his gift.

In our sorrow, I remember both a spiritual darkness and an overwhelming shower of grace that affected not merely my personal grief, but our marriage. My husband and I were called to grieve together; to openly suffer and mourn in a new way.

I remember thinking the honeymoon phase was officially over as I sat speechless, watching my husband sob for our baby girl.

There was no more need for blithely skirting around each other and putting on a happy face, confident our love would overcome hardship. Our strength now was found in experiencing, together, God’s change of plan for our lives.  

Sorrow and tears were followed by anger with God, frustration with my body, and an overwhelming sense of questioning our loss. I found myself sitting in the confessional, telling the priest through tears that I struggled with doubt in God’s decision, failing to understand how his sense of timing could be just or correct.

I fought fears that my husband could not suffer in communion with me, as he did not physically carry our child as I did. I listened to songs that made me think of my girl. I wrote letters to her that she would never read, bought a Christmas ornament to suffer through the holidays without her, and I cried through the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary, searching for the joy in my life.

My husband and I sought out the sacraments for graces and worked together to grow through our loss. We prayed a novena for answers, we picked a name for our little one (Charlotte Rose), inspired by St. Therese, who gave us great peace. We asked Charlotte’s intercession in her closeness to Jesus, that she may petition for the safety of her brothers and sisters to come. My husband and I prayed together through the tears and questions.

Our miscarriage journey is the greatest test of our faith as a couple so far: faith in our strength as a team, faith in our Catholic family, and most importantly, faith in God’s ultimate timing in our lives. 

We are daily showered in grace upon grace. We are gifted humility in trust of God’s plan and his full control of our family. We are gifted patience as we yearn for another child following baby Charlotte Rose. We are gifted contentment in approaching our newlywed existence sobered and stronger to pursue God’s mission for our family.

In sharing our loss with other newlyweds, I hear a common cry of families who suffer their losses both in silence and in community. Their relationships are tried by fire and strengthened by God’s infinite store of grace given through the sacrament of marriage. God calls couples to the joy and pain of marriage together. He does not give us tasks that are beyond our reckoning.

While there is no deadline to the grief that comes with the loss of our child, my husband and I are still learning to grow as one in our suffering, having found a new depth in dependence on each other and God’s mercy.

With the blessing of our “rainbow baby” to come this fall, I am daily reminded of the gifts of life and love to marriages, and those that are taken too soon.

May we always keep those couples suffering in our prayers, that they may not lose faith in God’s timing, but to be encouraged to look for the grace and strength that follows the storm. May we ask our angel babies to intercede for us from their blessed seat with God. May we ask Mary to bring joy into our newlywed struggles and fill us with restored hope.


About the Author: Recently married to her best friend and partner towards salvation, Kate Thibodeau is learning how to best serve her vocation as a wife while using her God-given talents. Mama to angel baby, Charlotte Rose, and soon-to-arrive Baby Thibs, Kate has an English degree from Benedictine College, and strives to live in the Benedictine motto: that in all things, God may be glorified. Kate loves literature, romance, beautiful music, pretty things, wedding planning, and building a community of strong Catholic women.

FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

Love is Accountability, but Accountability is Not Always Love.

STEPHANIE FRIES

 

Holding someone accountable can be an act of love, but loving someone does’t always include strict accountability. At times, there is an intersection between spousal love and accountability. How do you and your spouse hold each other accountable for virtue while maintaining free, total, faithful, and fruitful love?

Imagine, for example, if my husband sets a goal and asks me to hold him to not eat dessert for three months. Because I love him and want to support his ambition for a greater good, I would do everything in my power to limit the temptations. I wouldn’t make his favorite chocolate chip cookies, I wouldn’t eat dessert in front of him (or if I did indulge myself, I would not tempt him with an offer). Maybe I would consider joining him for part of the fast as a partner along the journey.

But perhaps the cravings become too much to bear and my spouse ends his plan early. If he makes up his mind and calls it quits, I arrive at the crossroad: do I respond as his accountability partner or his spouse?

As an accountability partner, detached from marital love, I would remain in encouragement mode. I would pull out all the tricks to help him stay the course and, if necessary, use a stern approach of tough love, set towards fulfilling my role in holding him to his plan.

The reaction must shift, in some ways, when I see his struggle and love him as my husband. In the shared journey toward sanctification, I will initially encourage my spouse to fight through temptation toward a greater good—to a point. Eventually, we have to let our loved ones make their own choices. In these moments, we are called to prudence and self-control to uphold our spouse’s freedom.

The 1968 Encyclical Letter, “Humane Vitae,” defines four core adjectives of pure love: free, total, faithful, and fruitful. Fruitful love is open to new life—in parenthood, virtue, or spiritual fruits of the Holy Spirit. Faithful love echoes the marital vows, “I promise to be true to you, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer; I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.” For love to be total, it is an absolute gift of self—mind, body, and spirit—from one person to another.

Love is free in how it is given and received. Pure love is a free gift without expectation to receive anything in return. There is no room for manipulation or coercion. Free love grows through the virtue of complete generosity.

In some ways, loving someone with freedom can pose an obstacle in holding someone accountable when we surrender our mission of accountability in order to respect their free will. When we love someone, we don’t want to see them fail or fall, especially when we have been tasked with supporting them. Yet with a purity of heart, we must honor the freedom of the other. In marriage, the crossroad between love and accountability is where God must enter, filling our hearts with trust, peace, and hope.

We look to the way God loves us to understand how to love our spouse with a pure heart. From the beginning of time, God offers every human autonomy and free will in decision making with a promise of unconditional love. When we reach to him as our divine accountability partner, he provides grace and encouragement, but his steadfast love will never force us to make a choice against our personal freedom.

His example of perfect, unconditional love models the balance between serving your spouse solely as an accountability partner and loving your spouse as your beloved.

By rooting ourselves and our marriages in Christ’s love, we can hold our spouse accountable yet show them mercy when they fall to temptation. We can ask God for prudence and wisdom through the challenges of marital love. We can confidently hope for redemption and sanctification.

Holiness does not look like one spouse dragging the other to the gate of heaven, against their will. Holiness is remaining side-by-side, though perhaps several miles away from heaven’s gate—loving through freedom, for freedom, and by the power of free love. In the pure and holy spousal union, God’s mercy reaches beyond our human limitations, redeems our brokenness, and carries us to his infinite peace. ”This love… is an act of free will, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul, and together attain their human fulfillment.”

I encourage you to reflect on past or current circumstances where the responsibilities as a spouse intersect with the responsibilities as your spouse’s accountability partner. Let us grow in love as we discern the opportunities to love with greater freedom, deeper mercy, and stronger hope in the journey toward sanctification.

When have you and your spouse held each other accountable while maintaining free, total, faithful, and fruitful love? What circumstances bring you to the crossroad between accountability and freedom? Share your story with our community on Facebook or Instagram.


About the Author: Stephanie Fries is Spoken Bride’s Associate Editor. Stephanie’s perfect day would include a slow morning and quality time with her husband, Geoff, a strong cup of coffee, and a homemade meal (…with dessert). Read more

INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

Finding Heaven in a One-Bedroom Apartment

CARISSA PLUTA

 

Throughout engagement my husband and I dreamed of the home we desired to live in—a cozy little home on a nice plot of land. There would be a garden and some chickens and room for our many children to explore. It would be filled with fresh cut flowers and fresh baked bread, and the kettle would never be cold.

PHOTOGRAPHY:    AN ENDLESS PURSUIT

PHOTOGRAPHY: AN ENDLESS PURSUIT

As I write this I am surrounded by piles of moving boxes preparing to move to our third apartment home in three years of marriage (not to mention the countless places we stayed while we couch-surfed for the first three months of our marriage).

We are city-dwellers and renters. We’ve yet to have a yard, and unless the little flower pot on our patio counts, we haven’t had a garden. We don’t live in a permanent residence, and won’t for at least another year or so.

We still occasionally catch ourselves dreaming about that home we envisioned for our family, but whether or not that dream is ever actualized remains to be seen.

The desire for a place that my husband and I can call our own finds its roots in the Garden. God entrusted the care of a place to the first man and woman.

After the Fall, Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, and the loss of this place was a reminder of an even greater loss--the loss of unity with God and eternal paradise.

This scene in Genesis teaches a deeper reality contained in the idea of “home.”

Home is a foreshadowing of heaven.

The space you inhabit, big or small, is sacred. And like our first parents, husbands and wives are entrusted with the divine duty of placemaking.

Being made in the image and likeness of the God who made heaven and earth, we are called to be “co-creators” of a little Heaven.

Whether you find yourself in your forever home, a small studio apartment, or a spare room at your in-laws’ house, you are called to cultivate a place of beauty and communion.

Our tiny, one-bedroom apartments have each been filled with just as much life as the farmhouse we once dreamt of.

Between Bible studies and dinner parties, Sunday morning breakfasts and afternoon tea, the lives of so many people have intersected in our little living spaces.

They are often filled with fresh flowers and fresh bread, and usually bursting at the seams with music and laughter.

In them, we have encountered God and his immense love for us, and facilitated that encounter for others.

Even amid changes and transitions, trials and hardships, the little home we created together serves as a constant, unchanging reminder of our eternal home.


About the Author: Carissa Pluta is Spoken Bride’s Editor at Large. She is the author of the blog The Myth Retold. Read more

BLOG | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

Tips for Forgiving Your Spouse

CARISSA PLUTA

 

Forgiveness plays a huge role in any healthy relationship, especially your marriage. But as most of us know, forgiveness is often easier said than done.

Every couple knows that disputes and miscommunications will happen in even the best of marriages. And when they arise, it can be easy to shift blame or hold grudges.

I personally am often stubborn and slow to forgive. I prefer to nurse my hurt feelings and hold on to anger longer than I should. But married life has challenged me to let go of my harmful pride and more readily extend forgiveness.

Keep in mind these tips are for “minor” marital disputes and issues. Consider counseling if there are more serious problems or issues that need attention.

Give them the benefit of the doubt

When arguing with your spouse, it’s easy to assume the worst in them. More often than not, the problem is caused by a lack of communication or a moment of immaturity than viciousness or spite.

Remembering that your husband is on your team and ultimately desires your good helps you listen with more fairness and understanding. It’s not meant to undermine the harm done, but helps you approach the situation with more clarity and trust.

Switch perspectives

When you start to get frustrated or angry, it is helpful to try to put the shoe on the other foot. Try to ask yourself: “how would I want him to respond if I was apologizing for the same thing?” We would want to be forgiven, of course!

Viewing the situation with this mindset can help soften your heart and put you in a disposition to forgive.

Pray

There is nothing wrong with admitting that you need a little extra grace when it comes to forgiving your spouse.

Saying a prayer like the “Our Father” or the Jesus Prayer can help prevent your feelings of frustration from escalating. It can calm you and recenter you on what is truly important.

But you don’t have to wait until the moment you need the grace the most to ask for it! Ask God daily to help you be more forgiving so, when the opportunity arises, you are more prepared.

Say it Aloud

Saying the words “I forgive you” are more than a formality, it is actually a major part of the forgiveness process.

This phrase is far more powerful than saying “It’s OK” to someone’s apology. It not only recognizes and affirms that a wrong has occurred but also makes your forgiveness more tangible. It’s humbling, not only for the person you are forgiving, but for yourself as you make the choice to live out your vows.

These words are empowering to both hear and say, as they restore trust and love within your relationship


About the Author: Carissa Pluta is Spoken Bride’s Editor at Large. She is the author of the blog The Myth Retold. Read more

BLOG | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

Love and Sacrifice Say the Same Thing.

STEPHANIE CALIS

 

What is beautiful draws our senses to the sacred. At a recent wedding I attended, a harp, organ, and choir lifted their melodies to the heights. The groomsmen wore tailcoats; the bridesmaids, embellished gowns the color of jade. Even these breathtaking details, however, were nothing compared to the radiance of the liturgy, or the couple themselves.

After a tear-filled procession and Liturgy of the Word, the celebrant’s homily illuminated an essential truth of our vocations, one embodied in a particularly tangible way through the call to marriage: love and sacrifice say the same thing, but only to the extent that we embrace them.

“You love,” he said, “as much as you sacrifice, and you sacrifice as much as you love.”

What does this mean?

As a wedding guest, I took these words as a prayer for the couple about to become one, that they might spend their lifetime willing one another’s good and fulfillment.

On a personal level, I heard them as a call, insistent and clear: along this path, my husband’s and my pilgrimage to the eternal wedding feast, our vows merit that we love with the entirety of our hearts, even when emotion runs dry and when we’d prefer not to make the effort. That we embrace the good times and bad, knowing that in making a gift of our actions, time, and entire selves to one another, we’re free from enslavement to self-serving desires.

I often consider the link between the words integration and integrity when it comes to relationships. That is, the times when the complementary parts of who I am--body and soul, reason and emotion, and more--are well-integrated and not in conflict with each other, are the times I find myself treating my husband with the greatest sense of integrity.

These are the times when my love for him and the sacrifices I’m willing to make for him--taking on extra chores when he’s busy, respecting our budget, putting our kids to bed on the nights he has to bring work home--speak a language of wholeness and good will.

When our hearts are integrated, love and sacrifice say the same thing: I give of myself to you, I place your present wants and needs before my own, I enter into your burdens and carry them alongside you.

In the times I turn to my own selfishness, preferring personal convenience or comfort above what’s best for my marriage and family, I see our relationships being chipped away at. I see them quite literally dis-integrate.

Thanks to grace and mercy, these breaks can be restored to something like their former wholeness, and only in eternity will they be brought to perfection.

Only in eternity. The words of this wedding homily, an occasion of such heavenly rejoicing, drew my attention down to earth and to the tension we live out in our vocations. We are earthly and imperfect, yet our call is focused on eternal life; on bringing our spouses and children (biological or spiritual) to the banquet by way of love.

And how to pour out that love? Through our acts of sacrifice. Saint John Paul II said, “There is no place for selfishness and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice.”

By praying for your spouse, by serving and assisting him without keeping score, by keeping your shared goal of each other’s fulfillment and salvation at the forefront--even when it feels too hard--you become living icons of self-emptying love, bearing Christ to the world.


About the Author: Stephanie Calis is Spoken Bride's Editor in Chief and Co-Founder. She is the author of INVITED: The Ultimate Catholic Wedding Planner (Pauline, 2016). Read more

BOOKINSTAGRAM

The Power of Childlike Play in Marriage

STEPHANIE FRIES

 

“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.”

These words of Christ are not a call to be childish, immature, or irresponsible throughout our lives. As we progress from childhood to adulthood, in every dimension of development, we are encouraged to maintain or re-develop a humble, receptive, trusting, childlike spirit.

PHOTOGRAPHY:   MEL WATSON PHOTOGRAPHY

What does it mean to become childlike?

I consider the qualities of children I most admire: to share an unbridled expression of wonder and awe; to love without judgement and to be loved without fear; to trust a caregiver to provide basic needs; to harness an infinite imagination; to play without need for gain, but for the sole purpose of play itself.

Through a child’s innate freedom to love and play, they show adults how to be childlike. In many ways, children are models for a holy life, icons to help us understand how to live as adopted sons and daughters—children—of God.

Progressing through adulthood is marked by innumerable milestones. Oftentimes, each milestone comes with a new set of responsibilities. For example, buying a car, getting a job, buying a house, or starting a family. With a quick glance at the culture of our society, it is easy to see where grown-ups of all ages lose their childlike spirit in the demands of “adulting.”

Yet over and over, time and again, Christ invites us to be childlike. And many great saints, such as Therese of Lisieux and Catherine of Siena, teach us the goodness of being little, of fully embracing our identity as a child of God.

As you move with your spouse in a daily pursuit toward the narrow gate of heaven, how do you embody a childlike spirit in your marriage?

We can draw connections between many childlike qualities and their virtuous fruits. For example, expressing wonder and awe yields fear of the Lord. Freely loving and being loved is charity, the pure love of God. Trusting our basic needs will be met is surrender and abandonment to God. Engaging the imagination fulfills the call to live in the image of God as creator.

But to play for the sake of play. It begins and ends with play. Grown adults may ask, “what’s the point?” Play may be perceived as childish rather than childlike—a waste of time. Yet, in truth, when idle time is filled only with tasks and responsibilities, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to reach beyond boredom to the depths of creative and joyful intimacy within ourselves, with others, and with God.

Through playing together, we discover the gifts of being present. Playing without purpose is rich with communication, collaboration, community and freedom; being stretched outside our comfort zones often leads to surprises of joyful laughter and deepening relationship. For the single, consecrated, or married person, the emotional and spiritual benefits of a childlike spirit are innumerable.

Though often initiated without a specific end in mind, those who engage in play eventually—and unknowingly—create meaning in their shared experience. Creating meaning in the monotony of daily life is to transcend from human nature to a divine essence of faith, hope, and love. Sharing a reaction of wonder or laughter contributes to an ever-deepening friendship and affectionate intimacy within the marital embrace.

Here’s the catch of play: there is no how-to guide, no right or wrong, no age limit. Play sounds like funny nicknames or nonsensical stories. Play looks like pick-up soccer games or spontaneous dance parties. Play feels like letting your guard down or being courageous.  

When a marriage embodies a childlike spirit—even if only for a moment—two adults grow in humility, simplicity, and joy. Despite the ongoing throes of a career, family life, or personal struggle, a childlike spirit creates an opportunity to be nourished by God’s love, experience the fruits of grace, and enter into a quiet, peaceful presence with our Heavenly Father.

I challenge you to follow the example of a child, answer the call to be childlike, and bring a humble spirit of wonder and joy to your marriage through the power of play.

What are some ways you and your spouse play together? We invite you to share your story with our community on Facebook or Instagram.


About the Author: Stephanie Fries is Spoken Bride’s Associate Editor. Stephanie’s perfect day would include a slow morning and quality time with her husband, Geoff, a strong cup of coffee, and a homemade meal (…with dessert). Read more

INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK