Wednesday

a little more on marriage...

Internet, I told you I'd have more to say about marriage and relationships....

{PS:  I can't write an entire post about marriage without posting some pictures of my and the hubs.... #sorrynotsorry}


As I've said before-- marriage isn't easy BUT it is totally worth every ounce of effort!

Do any of you have siblings? Can any of you honestly say that you've never disliked them or how they've treated you at one time or another? But do you still love them? Why?... Because we are family and are stuck together? Ok- valid point... But do you see the one I'm making?


Why is it we don't apply THIS type of love to our marriage relationship?  Why don't we see the love within a marriage as 'not-an-option-to-not-love' like we do with a sibling or other family member? Is it because we have let our culture convince us that it IS optional? Or is it that we believe the culture when it tells us that we can fall out of love and therefore we have a free ride to break our covenant with the Lord and our spouse?  Is it because of our fairy tale dreams growing up and marriage just doesn't seem to be like the 2 hour movie?

What do you think?

In my few years of marriage here are some additional things I've learned {and continue to learn} are important for our marriage:

Hold hands. Seems silly and so simple - but never get too old to hold hands.  Please don't get out of control and become 'those people' that can't keep their hands off of each other.  But it is important to hold hands.  You might beg to differ... maybe for you it is important to spend time cuddling on a couch.  Whatever it is for you... it is important to keep doing it.  Keep cuddling - you're never too old and you have never been married for too long to cuddle or hold hands.


Consideration for others is KEY.  Put yourself in the other person's shoes.... try to think how they will percieve the comment/situation... and adjust as necessary.  However - I am not saying you should enable those that are irrationally dramatic and step on egg shells.  I'm suggesting it is appropriate to consider someone else other than yourself.  Even put your spouse's feelings in the forefront of your mind as you say or do things that impact them.  Considering one another first is a sure way to extend grace to one another.


Recognize you're on the same team!  Competitive natures are an ok thing - but they can be dangerous in a marriage.  Scott and I are both very competitive people.  It can be so easy to forget that you're NOT competing with one another.  Go ahead and play games and compete with one another.... BUT realize that in life... you're not competing for who is the best at X.  Realize that you each bring the perfect blend to the marriage - you strengthen one another in areas where you are each weak.


Balance is necessary.  This is very broad but it is true in each sense of the word.  Balance one another - you should rub off on them and they should rub off on you.  Also your time should be balanced.  Be sure to spend time together - JUST THE TWO OF YOU.  This is especially easy for Scott and I right now because we don't have kids yet.  But I know it is essential to a healthy marriage no matter what stage of life you're in together.  But also spend time separate - it is OK and greatly encouraged to spend time with your girlfriends and for your spouse to spend time with his guy friends.  You need this time in community with others outside the relationship setting.  BUT - a warning here - you should never talk about about your spouse behind their back.  Getting together with girlfriends is not a time to bad mouth your spouse for the latest irritation he has caused.

Fun is a requirement.  I know this seems silly... but it is so easy for some to lose sight of the importance of having fun with one another.  Go on dates - have tickle fights - flirt.  Continue to flirt after you're married.  I can't tell you how important it is to be able to have fun with one another AFTER the honeymoon stage of a marriage is over.  The tickle monster, and the singing what a normal human would speak to one another are things that WILL surely stick around our marriage.  If you've spent any length of time around Scott and I - you have probably experienced any combination of these.... and sorry about it but they are here to stay.  I love being goofy with my husband.  It seems silly and simple - but it something I truly treasure.


Document life together.  Enjoy the simple moments - take pictures.  Ok... so this one isn't for everyone... but it IS important to me!  I am a scrapbooker, a memory keeper, a smashbooker, a lover of pictures.  Why, you ask? I don't have the best memory and honestly I love getting to smile when I come across a picture from a fun memory and relive that moment in my head.  I am not convinced I would relive those simple moments that bring me so much joy if I didn't have something like a picture to trigger my memory.  Scott may roll his eyes and give me a hard time about taking pictures when we go out on dates, but I want to relive these moments later in life.


When you say you forgive... actually forgive. When your husband {or wife} says something or does something that really irritates you enough that it keeps bothering you and you realize it is time for a critical conversation.  At the conclusion of that conversation when forgiveness is sought and given freely... be sure to understand what it means to truly forgive.  Don't just say that you forgive him and then continue to bring up that very instance every additional time you get irritated at him.  Don't let the instance continue to bother you - that isn't forgiveness.... that, my friend is a grudge.  This is directly related to the comment I made in my original blog post on marriage - the part about how a marriage is an illustration of Christ's relationship with the church.  We certainly wouldn't want Christ to store up every instance of sin against Him that we commit on a daily basis, would we?  No - we are so thankful for the grace that He continues to show us.  THAT is the way we should treat our spouse.  We should offer that same grace {as best we can being sinful and human}.  This is an image of Christ's love for us {His church}.  He forgave us without question.... yet when we are the one 'sinned' against we suddenly feel entitled to some sort of payment to earn our favor again.  Yeah.... we REALLY need to get a gospel perspective on forgiving one another within a marriage.


I could go on for days... but I'll stop here... for now.

I'd LOVE to hear about some of the most important things you've learned through your marriage or watching your parents' marriage.  What are some of your tricks of the trade?  What are some of the pieces of advice you would give a newly engaged or newly wed couple?


2 comments:

  1. Love this... Seriously- more people need to hear these words!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, friend :) totally agree... wish I could shout from the rooftops! Let's do it.... !!!

      Delete