Ah, Marriage. Isn't it Wonderful?
Anniversaries come around once a year. What a perfect excuse to getaway with your spouse and breathe for a bit. What a sweet time to be able to see where you've been over the last year and to reminisce about life together since the beginning. I believe it's so very important to make time for each other. Every. Day. I also believe, no matter how long you've been married, you should have a regular date night. Marriage experts recommend once a week. Even if it's once a month, make it special. Put it on your calendar. Guard that time like it's the most important appointment you've got. Because it is. It doesn't have to be expensive. It's not about that. It's about unplugging from the world, our children, our jobs and everything else and connecting with just our spouse.
Decide together what that looks like.
Giving them undivided attention, uninterrupted. Some of us, I know, have jobs and commitments that require or even demand that we be available practically 24/7. But I believe it's imperative to shut things down for a bit. Decide together what that looks like. On a daily basis. Weekly. Monthly. And most definitely once a year to celebrate your anniversary. Again, I can hear some thoughts already, it doesn't have to be expensive. There are so many ways you could getaway together. Even stay at home if you have the discipline to stay unplugged...and someone to take care of the children.
I am implying that our relationship with our spouse most definitely comes before all other relationships (yes, even our children).
I assure you, the benefits of putting your spouse first will be beyond what you can imagine. (It should go without saying, but I will for those that are struggling....I'm not implying that our spouse is first before our relationship with Christ....I am implying that our relationship with our spouse most definitely comes before all other relationships (yes, even our children).Okay, we can move on now.
Some of you may also be thinking other thoughts about the author of these words...how could she possibly be giving advise about marriage? I don't claim to have all the answers. I'm a child of God, just like you. I'm being sanctified daily, just like you. I'm taking one day at a time, just like you. I am greatly loved by God, just like you. And I'm forgiven, just like you.
God says a great deal about marriage. I couldn't possibly share all of it here, but I encourage you to dig into His Word and see for yourself. The most popular, I suppose, are the verses about love in 1 Corinthians. They're very popular to use at weddings. Have you ever really broken them down for yourself...put yourself into each of those verses?
4 Love is patient [I am calm, forgiving, gentle, quiet, tolerant] and kind [I am affectionate, compassionate, considerate, courteous, friendly, gentle, gracious,respectful]; love does not envy [I do not have hatred, malice, resentment, rivalry] or boast [I do not bully, intimidate, brag, bulldoze, gloat, showoff]; it is not arrogant [I am not bossy, cocky, selfish, overbearing, self-centered] 5 or rude [I am not abusive, blunt, gruff, impolite, insulting]. [I]do not insist on [my] own way; it is not irritable [I am not annoyed, resentful, testy, easily offended, grouchy, complaining] or resentful [I am not bitter, cold, hateful, spiteful] ; 6 [I] do not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices [I enjoy, celebrate, delight] with the truth. 7 Love bears [I carry, take, tote] all things, believes [I accept, admit, consider, understand] all things, hopes [I have confidence, faith, expectation in] all things, endures [I face, go through, ride out, tolerate] all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
to see ourselves filtered through God's Word
Whew. I want to be there. To love. Wholly (fully, perfectly,thoroughly) love. Sometimes we get so comfortable with our spouses that we aren't loving them like we're suppose to. Sometimes, we don't see eye-to-eye. Sometimes it's just hard. Sometimes, we're selfish. Sometimes, we treat others better than our spouses. My goal isn't to cause anyone to feel shamed, but to see ourselves filtered through God's Word. God designed marriage to be a picture...a reflection of His relationship with the church (the Bride of Christ).
especially with Christ at the center
Marriage is suppose to be wonderful! It's suppose to be a beautiful thing. And it is! It's also hard. No doubt about it. But that's a good thing. I can testify, now, to the same things I've heard others says about their marriages after many years...I love my husband so much more today than I did on day one. I couldn't imagine loving him more that day, but I do. It will be the same in the years to come...especially with Christ at the center.
A challenge for all of us: choose today to put your spouse first. Start with the first "love is" and choose to be patient, calm, forgiving, gentle, quiet & tolerant...today.