To Have And To Hold
Is she daring to write about marriage? Yep. This has been on my heart for a while so maybe there is someone out there who really needs the encouragement…let’s see how it turns out…
This will be for everyone whether married, married several times, married and happy, married and unhappy, single, divorced, or widowed. How is that possible? We are all affected by marriage in some form or fashion because we all know someone who is married. We are either in a place to help others with their marriage or need help ourselves. If you have lived long enough, someone has probably included you in their marital issues – just reaching out for help. So hopefully there will be a take-away for all.
There are so many wonderful books on marriage. A few of my favorites are Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, and His Needs Her Needs by Willard F. Harley. If you think you’re immune to having to read and study about marriage, you’re not. Your marriage will reflect the effort you put in it – most of the time. You certainly can’t change your spouse. But, if you are married to a well-adjusted person, they typically respond to kindness and love and respect. If you are married to a toxic or mentally ill person, this will generally not be the case. Here are a few “Cliffs Notes” for the books I like (not particularly in order). 1. Fill up the “Love Bank” of your spouse and when you have made a withdrawal (because of an argument or major flub-up), you must fill it up again. Too many withdrawals may close the account for good. 2. Ladies – whatever your man likes, do more of that. Gents – whatever your woman likes, do more of that. Pretty simple. 3. Find out what your partner’s love language is and meet that need. When both of you do this, you will renew the passion in your marriage.
So where does all the conflict in our marriages come from? Selfishness, sin, fear, pride, ego, and on and on. Note that none of those reasons are from God. The fruits of the Spirit are from God…love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Guess what? Yelling at your spouse isn’t included in the Fruits. Nor is, putting them behind all the other things in your life. Nor is, not cherishing them. Etcetera. Etcetera. What would put you on a renewed high with your spouse? Holding them in the highest esteem. Helping around the house (no matter your gender). Holding their hand. Cooking a meal. Building them up around others. Forgiving. Forgiving. Forgiving. Did I mention forgiving? And the list goes on.
Imagine this for a moment…imagine the way you hope your own child is treated in a marriage. Of course we want the best for our children. We hope their spouse is kind and loving to them. We hope they are well provided for. We hope their spouse will help them be closer to God and not further away. We hope they are protected and cherished. Let this be the way you treat your spouse. Plain and simple.
For those struggling with marriage, either temporarily or in a more permanent situation, my heart goes out to you. Always remember, God is your husband. He loves you unconditionally. He runs after you. He catches all your tears in His bottle. He comforts you. He has compassion for you. He covers you with His feathers. He covers you with His grace. Hold on to these truths with every ounce of strength you have.
May God bless you - married or not,
“For your Maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is his name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” Isaiah 54:5
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