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Right now, in this moment, at this very minute, my marriage is really good. I’m not predicting what it will be like in an hour, but right now I am totally in love with my husband and I love spending time with him. Why am I telling you this? Well, many times that has not been the case. Throughout the years of our marriage the last person I often wanted to deal with was my man. Even when I became resigned to stay no matter what, the last thing I could have imagined was being happy. So, today I want to let you know that things are good and I want to encourage you to hang tight. If your marriage is not so great right now, I want to reassure you that it is worth it to stay.*
For whatever reason, I have been remembering lately a lot of what my husband and I have gone through over the years and been in awe that we are still together. We have been married for twenty-four years in just a few days. I know it’s not as long as some, but I can at least share what I’ve learned thus far and what I know for sure is that every single month of togetherness is a miracle!
I’m not going to get into the gory details of our past hurts because they are Mark’s and I’s alone, but just know from the outset that they have been deep and we know for a fact that our God is the Great Physician. It takes a miracle for a marriage to stay put. Hurts in a marriage run deeper than most. When you are vulnerable enough to promise to spend the rest of your life with someone, the harsh reality is that you are open to being wounded. After so many wounds, anything will die, including a marriage. The truly awesome thing is that even death is not impossible to heal for our God. He specializes in resurrections. So, if your marriage has hurts, gaping wounds, or is completely dead, God can soothe, heal and resuscitate. He is able! Hang tight!
So, let’s get to the nitty gritty of some issues that often come up in a marriage. First off, saying your sorry is worth it, I promise. Are you always wrong? Of course not! But, relationships are always worth the apology. Which is more important, you being right all the time, or reaching a better place with your spouse? There is a time and place to stand your ground, but please listen to the Holy Spirit and ask for His guidance (not your grandmother, mom, or friend, but God Himself). I know He tells you to cave in when you least want to, but I am promising you it is worth it! I understand wanting to be right all the time. You have no idea how much I understand this, but if we apologize often when the Holy Spirit does tell us to stand our ground our spouse will be more apt to listen. They will know that this is serious and not just our pride talking.
Secondly, the physical aspect of marriage is important. We all know this, but let me remind you that small touches throughout the day are super important as well as full on contact. If you are in a bad place in your marriage, sometimes simply having some physical contact can bring you back to realizing that this is the person you married. By touching their arm, holding their hand, giving a hug that lasts more than a brief second, or actually stopping the chaos and looking at them face to face can put you both in a better frame of mind. It helps us remember that we chose them and they chose us. We remember their touch. It’s familiar to our senses and it helps. Holding each other can be a good thing.
Third, (this is for the ladies), when is the last time you cooked for your guy? Before you freak out, or tell me I am crazy and old-fashioned let me remind you that “the way to a man’s heart is his stomach.” I’ve always heard this, but now I know it to be true. I have actually had my guy to tear up when realizing that I was fixing a favorite dish of his. It’s not cholesterol free and I thought he was going to think I was trying to kill him, but he was so excited. On another day, when he came home he stepped in the door and smelled supper (a home cooked meal) and got all sappy because he had had a really rough day.
It’s not just my guy, though. In the past, I have watched reality shows about marriage and one couple completely broke up over the wife never cooking a meal. No joke! In this same show, another couple faced the same dilemma. I can’t tell you why this is so important to guys, but it is. That’s how God wired them, so let’s not ask questions and just go with it. (If you google crockpot recipes, it will blow your mind and not overwhelm your already busy day. Once a month cooking is another great option.)
I know this blog seems like that I think things will be easily mended in your marriage by hugging and cooking, but let me assure you that I know marriage is rough. Sometimes, in our house it’s like two pieces of sand paper living together (loud pieces of sandpaper!). Everything we do seems to rub each other the wrong way. But, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the written Word you can hang tight in your marriage. Galatians 6:9 tells us to not be weary in well doing. If God gives us the command, we know He empowers us to keep that command.
When you think that you can’t go on, remember that Christ in you can. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
When you think nothing can fix your marriage, remember that “Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).
When you feel nothing for your spouse anymore, ask God to give you a new heart. Ezekiel 36:26 says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” Often times, we just don’t want to work at our marriages anymore, but God can change our wants. He can resurrect feelings that we thought were dead long ago.
You can’t save your marriage and you can’t make your marriage better, but God can. Hold on to Him. Hold on to each other and hang tight! It’s worth it!
*This blog is not encouraging anyone to stay in an abusive situation. If you are in an abusive situation, do not stay in that relationship. Please contact the local authorities to help you find a place where you can be safe.