Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Watercolor Print by Deborah Cavenaugh $30

Watercolor Print by Deborah Cavenaugh $30

We’ve all heard this song, and now thanks to ME you’ll be singing it all day. Sorry. That wasn’t my intention with our next metaphor, but it comes with it I’m afraid.

Metaphor #3

Imagine you and your spouse are enjoying a day on a row boat. The water is crystal clear reflecting the clear blue sky. The stream is flowing gently, so you both decide to stop rowing for awhile. You get to talking and forget completely about your need to row. Without warning your boat heads right into some bullrushes on the river’s edge. Now one of you has to get out of the boat in order to free the boat from the cypress knees hidden under the water. It takes a lot of work and by the time your both back in the boat, you’re ready to call it a day. So much for a relaxing date on the water.

If we look more closely at this metaphor, the boat represents the marriage relationship. The couple were both sharing the rowing, which is comparable to both doing their part to make sure the marriage is on track. When one stops rowing, the one left doing all the work only goes in circles. When both stop rowing the marriage will certainly drift into an area where it will take extreme effort on both the husband and wife’s part to get “unstuck.”

It’s better by far to keep on rowing.

How do we do this? By talking regularly, dating often, engaging your spouse in your life and ambitions. Too many couples think once they’ve said, I Do, that they can drift. The truth is, marriage takes work. You can choose to work on keeping it healthy and strong (rowing) or by working to save it from harm. The choice is yours!

How have you found this to be true in your marriage? Have you found yourself on the bank wondering how you got there? What did it take to start rowing again? 

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This is post #3 in the challenge to post everyday in April.

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About Debi Walter

Face it, marriage is hard work. But when cultivated daily the fruit produced will satisfy for a lifetime. We're here to help with ideas and encouragement along the way. Having been married 36 years and counting, we share what we've learned with practical tips, Biblical Truths, Date night ideas to help you plow your own vineyard for God's glory.
This entry was posted in Boredom, Christian Marriage, communication, Conflict, Growing Strong Marriages, Seasons of Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Row, Row, Row Your Boat

  1. Rosanna says:

    I’m not married, but I think your suggestions apply to all relationships.

  2. Carol says:

    It is easy to think you are on the same page when you aren’t talking about things. The other day my husband and I were on a day-long drive.There were lots of silent spots; that is what we are like. As we were heading back home, I asked what he had been thinking about. So he started talking about ideas of what he’d like to do if he retired early. Some of those ideas required a lot of support and help. I hadn’t thought about what he would be doing in our retirement years. I had just been thinking about what I’d like to do once I was free of legal parental responsiblilty (our youngest is 7 🙂 ). So I had to rethink things. Retirement (even early retirement) is a few years away (he is 52), but if we don’t start planning together and talk things through, It just won’t go well. (Stuck on the cypress knees!)

    • Debi Walter says:

      Carol,
      You are SO right. You need to be talking about your dreams for retirement and make sure you’re both on the same page. Too many couples are content to drive along in a quiet car and never ask the question you did. A simple, “What are you thinking right now?” Opens the door to all kinds of unexpected conversations. Great job that you asked. That’s the first push off of those pesky knees.

  3. Great metaphor, pulling together in one boat. I’ve been married 25 years and we are so laid back we have probably done a lot of drifting rather than rowing and it’s just luck that has meant we haven’t got stuck. I’d like to think you don’t have to work at marriage all the time like it was a chore, but i do think you have to watch out when something rocks the boat especially during those inevitable life changes like when kids come along or you retire.

    • Debi Walter says:

      Ana,
      You are right–marriage isn’t all work, but you have to keep an eye opened at all times for the dangers of drifting. Those who don’t pay attention daily have to work harder to get back on course when the life changes hit. Wouldn’t you agree?

      • Yes, I agree – it’s better to be constantly vigilant than trust to luck. With divorce rates as they are, trusting to luck is not a good idea but I think that’s what most people do and many couples get stuck in the reeds at some point.

      • Debi Walter says:

        Ana, We agree completely with your statement, “it’s better to be constantly vigilant than trust to luck.” Nothing left to itself becomes better over time–deterioration sets in, and this includes our relationships. Thanks for joining the conversation!

  4. Sharon O says:

    wonderful note, we are heading into a four day canoe trip in July and yes it takes a lot of work and patience but when it is done and done well we so enjoy the view and the journey. Not too different than a marriage.

    • Debi Walter says:

      Sharon,
      Exactly. Enjoying the journey is what God wants us to do. And it brings Him glory when we notice the views along the way. Sounds like a fun and memorable vacation. Just don’t tip the canoe.

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