Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

Sgs 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it.

Yesterday I wrote about something personal, I had shared with you how I had been unwise with my words, tearing my husband down, making him feel hollowed out- ready to give up. As I had said, everything worked out, we are closer than ever. So what is the key? How do you survive the storms that beat against the very soul of your marriage? For one, I think it is important for us to remember that we all grow, and change, but the core of our who we are is always there. If you don’t spend time discovering what is going on inside your spouse, you should. Most men change career paths at least once in their adulthood and sometimes many more . If he is changing careers often, maybe he is on a path to self discovery. Are you supporting him, helping him find out who he is, and what his passions are? Where he may be lacking fulfillment? Husband, are you loving her and trying to understand her need for nesting, for security, and stability? As a woman, she has these needs instinctively, because she bares the children. God put it in her nature to be the nurturer, the ‘nester’ (Oh Geez, I sound like Grandma Moses here, but it’s true)! You pay close attention to the in ‘unspoken’ between the lines, after reading this, and you will catch my drift. There is also her personal dreams and aspirations, are you encouraging her in her talents? Do you know what her dreams are?  The other key is that each one of you are important, you should be just as interested in your partners dreams and aspirations, and be equally involved in the process.  Have you ever sewn a garment, and had the tension on the sewing machine be out of calibration, your top stitches may seem to be just fine, but the moment you expose the underside, you see the missing thread, and it causes the seam to come apart as it had not been passed through at all. Tension in a marriage is a good thing, it draws us into intimate conversation, into deeper trust for one another as we battle through the times of discord.  I love the chorus from a song by Sixpence which goes…

“but tension is to be loved
when it is like a passing note
to a beautiful, beautiful chord ”

I love that!  It is so true, tension passes in and out of our relationships, and as it does, it creates a symphony of beautiful and wonderful harmonies which would never be possible without it. In these times though, it is so easy to play the blame game, trying to project your frustrations onto your spouse for your own  lack of fulfillment, or you  bring up issues that were supposed to be forgiven and forgotten, going down an ever growing laundry list of wrongs you have suffered at their “cruel hand”.  This one is good, The I have to get my point across, even if it has no relevance to what you are talking about.   How about the silent treatment?  Going to bed not talking to one another- or worse, sending your spouse to the proverbial “dog house”  (The Couch).  God’s word says “don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry” Eph. 4:26. There is great wisdom in this, number one, talk it out before bed. Number two, if you are able, I mean size wise, get a queen size bed, no larger, if you have your foot touch when you are still cooling after a feud, there isn’t much chance of staying upset for long. Besides, it cuts down on your heating bill. : )

We have seen far too many people get divorced after 20+ years of marriage, saying that they just grew apart, or they just didn’t love one another any more. I for the life of me can’t imagine how I could ever live without my husband, our love grows deeper as we grow older. I can certainly understand what the causes may be however, which would bring the failure of a long term marriage. First, along the journey together, you go through many phases, or chapters of your life together. The newlywed years, traveling, no kids, then the babies, working allot, spending much of your time focused on these things. Then the years where you have teens, and aging parents at the same time, then all the graduations, weddings…eventually the empty nest. Where did time go? Who are you? They didn’t kindle the fire of their love at every opportunity. Did they get away for romantic weekends? Did they have a date night, or was date night in front of the boob tube with a beer watching bowling for dollars? Look, if you are as poor as dirt, you can pack little picnic  supper of finger foods, a blanket,  and have a very romantic evening under the stars somewhere.
Keep the fires of romance burning, and the communication happening. No matter where you are on the road map in your marriage, you must take romantic respites.  We would go camping over a weekend, farmed out the children to friends, later we would rent a home at the coast. Whatever you do, for an evening, or weekend, you need to keep the home fires burning, and that candle of romance lit! Oh, and have you made a good play list for your ipod? your special play list of slow dance music?  You can slow dance together when the kids go to sleep… Isn’t it romantic?

One thing my husband and I do, we go on walks every evening. Ever since we were first married, since we didn’t get a honeymoon, we have had a thing where we ask each other: ” If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?” We then proceed to paint a scenario together of a grand fantasy vacation, of course, we are walking at quite a clip, I don’t know if I am hyperventilating because of the speed we are walking, or because I am in my fantasy world! It is things like this that we have that just make the tough times seem more than bearable, they are endearing, and special to us.  I have covered allot of ground here today, and in summing things up in my mind, what I learned through the tension we have been through lately, is that we are going into another chapter of our lives.  My husband is in pursuit of something we aren’t sure what yet, but he is so creative, it may take many more tries to find it out.  Furthermore, that tension brought me into a more intimate knowledge of who he is, and I love him even more,  and I am excited to see what is in store. On his part, there isn’t a single thing he wouldn’t do for me or support me in. I wouldn’t be able to share any of this without his careful and consistent affirmation over the years.

Couples, love is a choice, and a commitment you make, but when it is the two of you facing the world and it’s challenges together, rather than being faced off against each other, (or in it for yourself), time passes quickly, and you still feel like newlyweds, only without all the uncertainties. Now , go get that icechest,  and whisk that special someone off to a romantic evening…don’t forget the blanket!

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Things have been hard in the world lately. It has been hard to hang on to what we have, whether it be a job, house, relationship, it is just intense these days! I was reflecting this morning on how hard it has been on my husband, he has allot of pressure on him. The times when we are in the crucible of trials is when we need someone to be solidly behind us. We need words of affirmation, and the confidence building that assures them that everything is going to be O.K. Think about the marriage vow, “… in richer and in poorer, in sickness and in health” a commitment and promise was made that assured that other person that you wouldn’t let them down , even in the worst of circumstances.
In Ephesians chapter five, Paul states no less than three times that the man should love his wife, and once that he should “cleave to her”. It is not there for arbitrary reasons, and three times?
We can be hard to love sometimes, we can nitpick him, nag, place all sorts of heavy expectations on him. We make excuses for it, like “I am having PMS” or “Menopause” or “I am having your child!” What does Paul say to us women? “Wives, submit to your husbands as unto The Lord” (Eph. 5:22)
Ladies, he makes mistakes, men, you make mistakes, but we have to bring those to the Lord, and HONOR you with solidarity and affirmation. We are partners, we are in this together, a team. If one is down, that other team member must be there to pick the other up. ( Ecc 4:9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.
Ecc 4:10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. )
It is so easy to break the spirit of your spouse. I cannot emphasize that enough. It is so easy to tear down, and hollow them out to the brink of complete despondency. If this is learned before it is too late, it can make a world of difference. One pastor said one Sunday, that the best thing that parents can do for their children is to love one another, and be affectionate toward each other. This teaches the children what a nurturing marriage should look like, and theirs will have that much more chance of success. I have to confess, I have not been a nurturing and affirming wife lately, and have never seen my husband so hollowed out. He is usually the most confident, upbeat, inspiring person you will ever meet. My words have torn him down to the very core of his being, and I have a heavy heart. I am thankful our children are grown. All that I share with you is from experience, and forty nine years of learning at the University of Hard Knocks. I am confident my best friend and I will get all things sorted out, we always have these thirty years, but what I learned through this situation is that I never want to see my best friend and husband lacking in my affirmation and support ever again.

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