It’s been said that “A good marriage is the union of two forgivers.” As a wife who is often in need of grace and forgiveness, I couldn’t agree more. I know that my husband forgives me every day, often without telling me. You’d be surprised at the things that need forgiving: little things that I could’ve said better, mostly. It’s amazing to me how I can be the most inconsiderate to the ones I love the most. Ugh. Maybe you can relate.
It’s easy to take our marriage for granted. Over the years, I’ve spoken to many moms about this and it seems to be a common struggle.
Sometimes it’s easier to be kind to the woman in front of me at the check out in WalMart than it is to be tender-hearted toward my own husband. After all, the woman at the store might just haul off and kick me if I’m rude to her, right?!
Surely my husband won’t do the same thing. Why? He’s stuck with me. What is he going to do? Leave? Nah.
Don’t be so sure. It’s just a question of security, really. Most marriages don’t fall apart over night, they dissolve from neglect.
We easily take our most precious relationships for granted because we feel the most comfortable with the ones with whom our relationships are the most secure. Can you feel it? Do you sense it? You know—that pull toward being so comfortable that you can say whatever you want to say without fear of losing your child or your spouse? It’s a universal truth: familiarity breeds contempt. Or rather, it breeds complacency. It’s easy to take a good marriage for granted.
Are you so comfortable that you say things you shouldn’t say? Are you prone to discouraging your husband’s dreams and desires because you think it there won’t be any consequences? Don’t fall for it. Complacency in marriage is a key ingredient in a marriage that’s doomed to failure. Add in a little discontent and a wandering eye … and—you guessed it—trouble is sure to follow.
Are you that person who suffers from complacency? Maybe you’re the wife who needs to lay down your pride and ask for forgiveness. If you’ve been ungrateful or unkind toward your husband, stop and think. What message are you sending to your children? Chances are very good that they know exactly what is going on, even if they can’t articulate it.
I’m so tired of hearing people say that marriage doesn’t matter and that divorce is just part of life today. It’s painful to read articles about Hollywood celebrities and how their divorces made them “better people.” How short-sighted! I realize that we live in a broken world, and that sometimes, it can’t be avoided. However, more often than not, I truly believe divorces happen because we simply give up. We stop caring. We grow complacent. We forget that it matters.
Our children will likely model our relationships in their own adult lives. What example are we setting? Having watched my own parent’s marriage dissolve, I can tell you, it matters. Marriage was meant to be for life. It’s a covenant relationship, and that’s no small thing.
If you’re in a tough spot in your marriage, know that healing can happen. I see it every day. Healing happens, but it takes effort. It takes intentional effort on the part of both husband and wife. More often than not, it requires forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the thing that carries us to the next place in our relationships. Forgiveness says, “I will” rather than “you should.” Forgiveness takes ownership of emotions and does not allow past hurts to poison future healing.
No one is perfect. We all have our sinful side. Without forgiveness, marriages are doomed to fail. Forgiveness is the most essential component to any successful marriage. The willingness to bear with the other person often defines whether or not the marriage is happy or miserable.
Do you need to be forgiven? Ask for it. Do you need to forgive? Don’t put it off.
Are you short on words of affirmation for your man? Purpose to TELL him how much you love him. Remind your husband about those qualities in him that you love and admire. Flirt with him. Invite him to bed for a change. Believe me, he’ll love you for it!
It’s never too late to invest in your marriage.
It’s never too late to forgive.
And it’s never to late to be forgiven. Your marriage is worth it.
A new generation is watching.