When Michael and I were still newlyweds, we’d often look at each other and say, “We’re the happiest couple in the world.”
I really believed that we were. I couldn’t imagine another woman being as happy as I was, and I couldn’t imagine a husband measuring up to Michael.
Then life started to happen. Our days were busy, our nights were exhausting, and I couldn’t imagine another couple being as stressed out as we were.
It was during those years it all started: the cycle of impatience and a lack of respect.
Maybe I did have a reason to grumble at times, but I’ve since come to learn that grumbling doesn’t solve any problems– communication is the best form of action.
Maybe I did have a reason to be angry at Michael, but I’ve since come to learn that vengeance doesn’t change a man’s heart–prayer does.
And maybe I did have a reason to argue my point until he saw things my way, but I’ve since come to learn that being right isn’t worth fighting for–my marriage is.
Looking back on it all, I see where we’ve grown. There’s a maturity in the way that we love.
I see what we do now that we didn’t do then.
1. We pray for each other. I’ve come to learn that prayer is a powerful force that should never be overlooked. Whether I’m asking for something or simply thanking God for my family, I make sure to take frequent stops throughout the day to pray. Sure we used to pray for each other, but the difference now is that we’re fervent about it.
2. We seek to understand each other’s intentions. Even though I don’t understand Michael sometimes, I know that he loves me, and therefore I trust his intentions. His intentions are good and they are noble, but since we’re two different people, he doesn’t always do things my way. That’s okay.
3. We let go of the small stuff. Sometimes the small stuff becomes big stuff when you can’t let it go. I know of one couple who fought over the price of vegetables for three days. It started out small, but since they couldn’t let go of their anger it persisted and grew.
I find myself saying “So what?” a lot more often than I used to. If Michael says or does something I don’t like, so what?
Do I let it go or should I have a chat with him? Most of the time it’s not even worth bringing up again–like the price of vegetables for example. *wink* So what?
4. We listen well. Communication used to be more about talking than it was about listening. I say yes more often than I used to, because I know that if something is important to Michael it should be important to me. I might disagree with him, but if so I still leave the door open for him to decide. Listening to what he says is key to understanding his heart, and I want to do that.
5. Spend time together. Even if we’re doing something as simple as walking to the mailbox or going to Home Depot, we try to carve time out of each day to do something together. That doesn’t mean we can’t involve the kids. In fact most of our nights are family nights.
6. We eliminate pride. I can’t tell you how much I despise pride. It’s a relationship killer. When I feel it coming on, I do my best to choose well and walk humbly.
7. We forgive quickly. I don’t want to argue with Michael for three days. I don’t want to argue with him for three hours. If something is bothering me, I want to go to him right away and make things right. I’m not always perfect in this area. One day last summer I held onto my anger for a couple of hours. I just kept telling myself that it was his turn to apologize.
Where did that thought ever come from? It’s kind of silly when you think of it. Love isn’t a board game where we take turns rolling the dice. Love forgives before we’re forgiven.
Stepping forward in the heat of an argument to tell someone you love them is a sign of strength and courage.
If anyone is keeping score it’s God.
Finally, I’d like to challenge you today to do something that you haven’t been doing so well. Exercise your maturity by choosing a better path. Maybe you need to forgive. Maybe you need to let go of anger. Maybe you need to communicate with your husband… whatever it is, challenge yourself to grow.
The other night I reached out to Michael, grabbed hold of his hand and I said, “You know what hon? I’m the happiest wife in the world.”
That’s another thing I do now, that I didn’t do then.
You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife
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