I need to preface this post with a confession: I am a go-go-go person. Anyone who’s known me for short period of time knows I slow down just long enough to smell the roses… before deciding to pick them…and arrange them in a vase…take them to a friend… whose house I will offer to clean…while preparing dinner. : )
“I will get your attention.” God spoke those words to my heart in 2009 and I will never forget them.
“Dear God, I prayed, all unafraid (as we’re inclined to do), I do not need a handsome man but let him be like You; I do not need one big and strong nor yet so very tall, nor need he be some genius, or wealthy, Lord, at all; but let his head be high, dear God, and let his eye be clear, his shoulders straight, whate’er his state, whate’er his earthly sphere; and let his face have character, a ruggedness if soul, and let his whole life show, dear God, a singleness of goal; then when he comes (as he will come) with quiet eyes aglow, I’ll understand that he’s the man I prayed for long ago.” ~ Ruth Bell Graham
Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love
Edmund O’Neill (b. 1929)
Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent or child.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.
When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill.
“Sweetie, did you take out the trash? You know tomorrow is trash day.”
“No, but I will.”
“I’ll take it out when a commercial comes on. Okay!”
(Insert clenched jaws—both characters)
“Honey, did you make that appointment?”
“No, but I will.”
“First thing Monday morning. Okay!”
(Insert eyes rolling—both characters.)
“Darling, I thought you said you were going to wash the car today.”
“No, I said I’d wash it on the weekend—the weekend’s not over.”
“But when over the weekend?”
“I said I’ll do it—I’ll do it. Okay!”
(Insert exasperated sighs.)
“Sweetie, I’ve had a long day. Is dinner ready?”
“No, but I’ll throw something together in a minute.”
“But when? I’m hungry now.
“Soon. By the way, I’ve had a long day, too. Okay!”
(Insert furrowed brows—both characters.)
“Honey, are you ready?”
“No, but I’ll be ready quicker—if you stop asking me, ‘Are you ready?’
“Fine. But when do you think you might be ready?”
“Are you trying to make me mad? I’ll be ready when I’m ready. Okay!”
(Insert foot tapping—both characters.)
“Darling, I don’t think you should eat another piece of cake. What do you think?”
“No, I probably shouldn’t; however, do you think you should monitor what I eat?”
“No, but when you ask me, ‘do I look fat in these jeans?’ What am I supposed to say?”
“You’re supposed to… I don’t know what you’re supposed to say. Okay!”
(Insert exasperated sighs—both characters.)
Gal 6:7 7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (KJV)
Question for you… Are you sick and tired of going around the same emotional mountain? Do you long for a different outcome? Insanity is doing the same thing the same way, but expecting a different result.
Marriage is more about giving than receiving. Seek to show tenderness rather than demanding. Love realistically. Jesus did not have any illusions as to who we were… He knew our faults and loved us in spite of them. He did not wait until we attained some standard. He loved us as we were and sought to move us forward. In the same way, a spouse is to love their spouse for who they are. Pray with and for your spouse about the godly changes you would like to see in your marriage. In the meantime, talk about your spouse’s good points to others. When an issue does arise, share your feelings without attacking (this makes a person defensive and may cause withdrawal). Turn to each other for help, which is better than attacking one another. Don’t replay failures. No one wants to hear about the mistakes they’ve made over-and-over; instead, underscore what was done well rather than pointing out what was done poorly. Let your spouse know when he/she is doing something right.
Oneness in marriage means caring for your spouse as you care for yourself. We are to love our spouse like we love our own body. As we feed and care for our body so we should give attention to taking care of our spouse. My relationship with my spouse affects my spiritual life. When I am not feeding my marriage, my spiritual life lacks nourishment. My husband recognizes the importance of a healthy marriage (not perfect, but healthy). He readily listens to people talk about their great faith, but what he hungers to know is: how do they treat their spouse? He knows that their actions are a better indication of their faith than their words. He’s right. I’m blessed to be married to him (waving at my loving and supportive husband Ed Hamlin).
Something to chew on. If you prayerfully treat your spouse with love and respect you will get different results. If you show the love of Christ to your spouse you can move mountains; mountains that are often formed out of expectations grounded in selfish needs. Psalm 51 1Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions… Prayed with a sincere heart and a desire for the Lord to show you how to love and respect your spouse is honoring not only to God, but also to your spouse.
The proud try to take care of themselves, but the humble lean on God and get His help.
It is not rude,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Written or otherwise.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects,
That includes the unborn.
At times, with only the faith of a mustard seed.
1 John 4:4
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.