One of the bloggers I follow regularly (Sheila Wray Gregoire) is teaming up with three others to discuss reviving marriages. Every Monday they are writing on a topic and encouraging others to join them.
The topic today is:
Reviving Your Attitude
You know, when you've been married for awhile it can be easy to start paying attention to everything about your spouse which you find annoying. Mental lists get created with little boxes which it can be so easy to check off with an offense.
The familiar words of 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged," have become almost cliche, but important lessons on maintaining a successful relationship can be found there.
One of those is not keeping a record of wrongs or erasing it when you realize you've created one. It's a fact of married life. Couples will go through periods of time when you and your spouse are not necessarily appealing to one another. That's why marriage should be based on a covenant as opposed to those mythical "in love" (fickle) feelings.
Emotions can change over time. Living with someone day in and out is not easy. The goal in a marriage is to maintain a solid foundation (friendship, love, and mutual respect), but in difficult times (when feelings can take turn toward unhappiness or our spouse seems less attractive) it is cooperation, communication, and remembering the covenant which can see a marriage through to better times.
So what if our list of spousal offenses (real or exaggerated) gets kind of long? We need to do a quick check of our own attitude. Ask God to show us how our own heart can be changed toward our beloved. Think about what drew you to your spouse in the first place. Look at photos and take a walk down memory lane of how you met and courted (yes it's an old fashioned term but it applies).
Most importantly, pray for your spouse. Ask God to place His favor upon him or her. Find one thing which you are thankful for about your spouse (how he helps you around the house, the way she makes you laugh) every single day. Talk about the little things which might be annoyances before they become stumbling blocks between you. Encourage your spouse in these relationship health steps as well.
And understand it's not your spouse's responsibility to make you happy.
Marriage is a life long journey (and partnership). Taking the steps to maintain (or revive) your relationship from time to time will give you and your spouse a much better chance to grow together into a deeper (more satisfying) marriage