Glory days. If you’re a Bruce Springsteen fan, those words will automatically bring a great song to mind. But the concept of glory days has been around much longer than Springsteen.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines glory days as a period of time when someone was very successful. You might hear someone talk about their glory days on the high school football team. And a business might refer to their glory days as a time when sales and profits were very high. In other words, glory days refers to a time when things were very good.
But how does the concept of glory days apply to marriage?
THE GLORY DAYS OF MARRIAGE.
For some spouses, if you mention their glory days, they would immediately think of their honeymoon years and the fun and the adventure they had when it was just the two of them.
For others, mention glory days and they think of their current situation. The good jobs that they have. Their nice house. Their wonderful kids. Their community involvement. For some couples, these are the glory days.
Other spouses feel like their glory days are ahead of them. They look to the days when they are empty-nesters, when their kids are happily married, when they can enjoy their grandchildren, or when they finally are able to retire and travel.
But here’s the problem. For the first group, their glory days are already behind them. So they have nothing to look forward to. For the second group, they may be experiencing their glory days, but they can’t hang onto them, so those glory days won’t last. And for the third group, their glory days are beyond their reach…and may not even come. And all of these takes on glory days are dependent on the circumstances being good.
Consequently, these three views make the glory days temporary at best and unattainable at worst.
Maybe we need a better way to achieve our glory days in marriage.
A NEW APPROACH TO GLORY DAYS.
Before my children were born I made a commitment to myself to make the most of every age and stage they went through. I wanted to drink in everything at every age and stage, so I didn’t look back and think I missed something. And for the most part, I was able to do just that. (Although, I will admit, this was slightly harder to do during their teen years. But only a little.)
That was a good strategy for parenting. But now, at 60+ years of age and 40+ years of marriage, I’m beginning to think that drinking in and making the most of every age and stage is not only a good strategy for parenting. It’s also a good strategy for marriage.
What if our strategy for marriage was to make the most of every age and stage of marriage – whether easy or hard – so that we didn’t have to look back and say we missed something? What if we learned to drink in every stage of our marriage…whether as young couples romping in our honeymoon bed, or senior adults holding hands over the rail of the hospital bed?
If we took this approach to marriage, it would probably change our view on glory days. Glory days would be…
- Less about circumstances and more about commitment.
- Less about how good things are for us and more about how good we are for each other.
- Less about having what we want and more about having who we want.
- Less about the road we travel and more about our traveling companion.
A FINAL THOUGHT…
Intentionally drinking in and making the most of every age and stage of marriage could lead you to turn your current moments into glory days. (Wouldn’t that be something?!)
So stop wistfully looking to the glory days of the past. Stop grieving the glory days you can’t hold on to. And stop longing for the glory days that may or may not come. Take each moment you have with your spouse…whether easy or difficult…and make the most of it. Drink it in and see how many glory days you can actually make!