The first year David and I were married, he was not allowed to work whilst we waited for the government to issue him a work visa. (He immigrated from England.) Of course, this was a big financial strain on things. I was working a pretty good, flexible, full-time job, but David — being the hard-working man he is — was fit to be tied over his mandatory unemployment situation. I tried to remind him often that he would soon be working too much and wishing for his "pre-employment" days to come back!
So, we tried to forget about the finances and enjoy the extra time we had together. And what wonderful times those were! I was working as a Director of Music in a church about 90 minutes from our home, so we would make the drive together three or four times a week. While I was working in my office, David would read or surf the internet. We got to go to lunch every day, have long walks and talks, and just generally enjoy each other’s company.
Now that David works more than eight hours a day and we have kids, I realize what a huge asset those months were. All that time together strengthened the bond of our relationship and prepared us for life as we now know it. I think that could be why God instructed the Israelites to treat newlyweds in a special way: "If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married." (vs 5)
I just love this. Bring happiness to his wife. I remind my husband that it really doesn’t say anything about the wife bringing happiness to the husband. Here, God places the duty of happiness squarely on the man’s shoulders. However, I suppose men probably know by now that when they love their wives, they’re really loving themselves. When mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.
God is a master of relationships. And He knows that one of the major things a good relationship requires is time. That’s why He ordered a one-year honeymoon for newlyweds. That’s why He gave us a weekly day to stop and spend time with Him. We serve a God who is all about relationships, and He knows how to make them great!