In nearly 45 years of marriage Cindy and I (Steve) have learned that when life gets busy it’s easy to ignore THE most important relationship in our lives —our marriage. When I “retired” last year I was under the delusion that I wouldn’t be as busy. Ha, ha, ha! Cindy and I are busier than ever. It’s not a bad busy. But it can still take time away from our relationship. And if you have children your busyness goes up exponentially.
So, what can we do to invest in our marriages when we’re busy? Well, you’re already doing one very positive thing. You’re reading this Marriage Insight. One of the main goals of these weekly Insights is to give couples something that takes less than 10 minutes to read. But it has the kind of information that can help you grow in your relationship with one another.
I recently went through the book, Women Are Always Right and Men Are Never Wrong written by Joey O’Connor. I found a lot of great insights. We’d like to share just a few here. They’re short but they can have a positive impact. We hope you don’t view these as “platitudes,” but ask God if there’s anything in them you need to apply.
Here’s a Quote to Prayerfully Consider:
“Everybody makes mistakes. The only marriage without mistakes is a marriage made in heaven. Unfortunately, despite what some people believe, there’s no such thing as a marriage made in heaven. There are only marriages made on earth. But through forgiving one another on a regular basis, that’s bringing heaven to your home.”
How VERY true! Which one of us doesn’t make mistakes and poor choices at times? And which of us doesn’t need forgiveness? That is a continual in marriage. It’s like what Bill and Pam Farrell have written:
“In this life it’s guaranteed you will make mistakes, disappoint one another and make some poor decisions. This is especially true in our marriages. The only way to keep any relationship growing in the midst of our humanity is to forgive. The apostle Paul gave us a staggering challenge in the area of forgiveness. He wrote, ‘Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you’ (Colossians 3:13).
Complications of Forgiveness
“As beautiful as this sounds in Scripture, the concept of forgiveness gets rather complicated in every day life. When we are wronged, emotions run high. We may want to forgive, but feel incapable. Or we may think we have forgiven, only to catch ourselves stewing weeks or even years later. A few situations like this and we start to feel as though genuine forgiveness in marriage is an impossible feat.”
Give grace whenever you can. And keep in mind that you aren’t perfect either.
Here’s another quote to prayerfully consider:
“Making your husband or wife feel appreciated for who they are and what they do is a key ingredient for a happy marriage. Marriage takes work and a great marriage takes a lot of work. By respecting and appreciating what your spouse does, you will fortify the common ground that you share together. Strengthening the common ground in your marriage will take a lot of sweat and tears, but it is definitely worth the work. Even if the kitchen table scratch never gets fixed.”
Strengthen your common ground. But remember, it takes intentionality to do that. Be as intentional in growing your marriage as you are to get other work done. Don’t neglect to grow your love for each other. That kitchen table may seem important, but in the bigger picture your marriage relationship is much more important.
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married for 5 days, 5 years, 15 years, or 50 years, change in marriage is inevitable. Nothing stays static in this world. You change. Your spouse changes, your children change, and your job changes. Your friends change, your family changes, and your family changes. Successful marriages are those that refuse to allow changes and circumstances to erode the common ground upon which the marriage grows and flourishes.”
“Though it’s sometimes a fierce tug of war, fight to make your marriage a great marriage. Focus on the basics. Love, support, serve your spouse as if this were your last day on earth. Do these things extremely well, and you’ll discover that when you’re on common ground, it doesn’t really matter who’s always right and who’s never wrong. All that matters is that you’re both standing together on common ground. Holy ground. And that’s the way marriage is meant to be.”
The reason I chose these quotes is that they reflect things Cindy and I have had to learn and put into practice in our marriage over the years. We challenge you to take just the last quote and make that your mission this year. We can almost guarantee you’ll see a significant improvement in your relationship, no matter how “good” or “bad” it may be right now. God can take a change of heart or attitude and do wonderful things in your marriage.
Steve and Cindy Wright
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