This weekend we had zero plans, so with my ample free time I ended up watching three whole movies. I do LOVE movies, but I rarely get to see them anymore. We have Netflix, but I am bad about keeping my queue up to date, and I keep forgetting about the whole instant play feature. We had gotten Syriana and United 93 in the mail and I sat on them because they both looked so depressing. So Friday night I popped in Syriana, and I was right, it was awful. Not only was it incredibly slow, with intricate plots and tons of subtitles, it had multiple scenes that were so disturbing even my jaded eyes turned away. Blech.
Then I remembered the whole Netflix instant download thing, and I found The Proposal was available. I definitely had been wanting to see that, since I love Sandra Bullock AND Ryan Reynolds. This movie really was entertaining, with a great plot, great dialogue, and breath-taking scenery to boot. But as is typical with most Hollywood movies, it makes a mockery of the sacred institution of marriage.
Then I found that Julie and Julia was also available for instant download, so I spent my Sunday afternoon watching that while everyone napped. I had heard it was very uplifting, and indeed it was. Unlike any secular movie I’d seen in ages, Julie and Julia is a true celebration of marriage. It follows the lives of both the blogger Julie Powell and Julia Child. Both women had husbands that were strong, supportive of their wives and deeply in love. For the first time in a movie, no one cheated on anyone else, the men were not doormats and the women were not either, and their relationships portrayed exactly the kind of interdependency and conflict resolution I believe God intended for married couples. Both the men and the women give ample public credit to their spouses. I absolutely LOVED this movie and highly recommend it to anyone.
I’m really blessed to have the strong and happy marriage that I have, but of course it takes work to keep it that way. We keep our focus on the Lord, work on keeping communication constantly flowing, and we brush up on our skills with seminars, books and Bible studies about marriage every now and then. One of the best things I think we ever did was attend a Family Life Weekend to Remember back before we had kids.
I picked up two pieces of advice that I have never forgotten. One is, always remember that you are on the same team. A good practice when conflict arises is to take a pillow, throw it across the room, and remember that the pillow is whatever issue you are arguing about, but you two are battling the pillow together. On the same team. You verses the universe, so to speak.
The second thing I took to heart was the “Marriage is not 50/50” advice. Everyone in our society thinks marriage should be fair, a partnership of equals where each partner does their “fair share”, or 50% of the chores, etc. That’s exactly the WRONG way to look at it. Marriage is 100/100…give everything for you spouse. If you are waiting around for him/her to pick up the slack and do their fair share, you will never be happy. If you are willing to do it all, give 100%, your spouse will see that and give back. Before we heard that advice we often talked about who wasn’t doing “their fair share”. Now that never comes up anymore, and we are MUCH happier.
Got any good movie recommendations or marriage advice to share? I’m sure we would all benefit!