Something that Kevin B Bullard wrote a while ago on the My Marriage Works web site, got my attention. This is because my husband Steve and I have found it to be SO true. Kevin challenges us to make love happen whenever we can. He wrote:
“For as long as you’re alive, you’re going to find yourself being surprised by life’s events. There will always be something unexpected that takes place that threatens the level of teamwork you have with your spouse. It could be an illness that attacks either of you or a family member, a problem with one of your children, a job layoff, a moral failure or any other event that you didn’t have on your radar.
“When life happens, you must determine to make love happen. While love won’t immediately make everything better, it will certainly provide the strength and grace needed to make it through tough times. Moreover, it will reorient you with God’s love for you, and the love you pledged to your spouse.
“When life happens, make love happen.”
Make Love Happen
My husband and I are living that principle right now. And I can personally testify how important it is to give each other grace, which helps to make love happen through tough times. This is not a time to be what I call “picky-anny.” I know that’s not a word. But it’s what seems to describe what we can do in pick, pick, picking away at each other when things are upsetting… “You didn’t do this or you should have done that.”… Blah, blah, blah. Sadly, I confess to you that I’ve been there and have done that, so I know first-hand the damage it can do.
This morning as my husband was pulling out of the driveway, I was thinking of how I wish he would have done this or said that first. This is because of an upsetting situation that’s going on in our lives right now. This morning I particularly felt a need for comfort. But then I caught myself and took “my thoughts captive” as the Bible tells us to do. (I wish I could say that I always do that. But thankfully, I did it this time and instead blew him a kiss good-bye as we always do.)
Steve can’t read my mind. He doesn’t know all that I need. He’s NOT “all-knowing” as our God is. And right now, the last thing he needs is for me to push my expectations on him. He’s grappling with the tough stuff that’s been handed to us, as well. He needs grace, not extra expectations heaped upon him, just as I need that grace from him.
Giving Grace Can Make Love Happen
I love something else I just read that Kevin wrote, “Give your mate the mercy you want.” True, huh?
So I re-directed my thoughts, and said a prayer for him and for the situation. I then said a prayer that God will help us face all of this TOGETHER. Afterward I grabbed onto something else to do rather than filling my mind with something that will only make matters worse, rather than help them.
Thank you Lord that you helped to inspire me to do it right this time… and thankfully I listened!
Steve and I have learned over the years to DETERMINE to support each other through the tough times. We determine not to turn on one another (as we used to do). Life has a way of separating us in different ways. But we are determined to work to be kind, rather than turning on each other. When needed, we try to talk, rather than attack. Other times we give each other grace and space to work out our frustrations in the way that makes the most sense to us. We try not to judge the way the other does this.
Intentionally Make Love Happen
It takes intentionality to catch ourselves sometimes from being judgmental. But when we do… it’s SO much better than being oppositional with each other. And when we come back together, it’s SO much sweeter!
I’m not going to go on and on with this point. But I’m hoping these thoughts will inspire someone who needs to apply this same principle. It’s always good to remember that we’re on the same team, as marriage partners.
Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
“When life happens, make love happen.”
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
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