As it is in the natural world, there is a similar phenomenon often found in marriage, and the Dog Days of Marriage become those seasons when one or both of us feel the emotional air thickening in our relationship, and we may allow the discomfort we feel to turn to stagnation and inactivity. Many of us react to the Dog Days of Marriage in similar fashion to our reaction to the Dog Days of Summer - by trying to "endure them".
"Enduring them" does not work in relationships, but the resolution of Marital Dog Days is really quite simple, making it a short season, and unlike natures season, very preventable in the future. There are two key factors.
If we peel ourselves down to the core, it's really our attitude that can get us through the summer doldrums, and it is in our attitude that our marriages can soar or sour. We all married someone we thought more of than anyone else, and while we may have put on a few pounds and become more selfish, as we turn to God's Word and learn of His plan is for us, we'll continue to discover the wisdom He had in our being together. God's design is for each of us to grow beyond serving ourselves by learning how to serve others. The beauty of marriage is that it is in our Christ-like Character before Him and one another that we discover the most important factors in joy, and such joy is not seasonal.
I believe that God in His infinite wisdom has given us the Dog Days of Marriage, not as punishment or to be mean, but to help grow us into godliness. By the way that same wisdom has also allowed us to learn how to take Algae and Duckweed and turn them into helpful things like biofuels and food.
Last month we shared ideas for Date Nights with you because marriage studies report that the happiest marriages invest in fun things and fun time together. Because we are now in the Dog Days of Summer, some of us may need to retreat to cooler places for fun - but even staying home and playing games, reading the Bible or a book together, or downloading our favorite movies work well too. If desired by both of you, pillow or water balloon fights also can be great ways to laugh our way through the muggy days keeping mugginess in our marriage at bay, turning them into opportunities for selfless growth and godliness.
At the end of summer you will have enjoyed the Dog Days of Summer as you prevent the Dog Days of Marriage by checking your attitude, having a regular Date Night, and thriving as God gives you renewed vision for your marriage.