Monday, July 9, 2012

Love and Marriage

Anything that brings you closer to your husband, solidifies or grows your relationship should be something you pursue and focus on.  However, if anything puts a distance between you, whether it be mentally, physically or emotionally - these things should be avoided at all costs.  
(reworded a bit but taken from  Love life for every married couple by Ed Wheat)

Ouch! Is all I can say.  Who thought that when I decided to get into this book, that within the first chapter, these 2 sentences would have me re-evaluate what I do and how it impacts my marriage.

Marriage has not been easy for us.  There are been some real struggles - packing of bags, lots of tears and crisis moments.  On the flip side though, it's been a journey of joy, laughter, friendship and love.  How is it possible?  I know it sounds crazy doesn't it but sometimes those times of desperation, are often times when I didn't know how else to cope but to pack.  Marriage is uncharted territory.  I haven't done this a few times, practice makes perfect doesn't exist in this equation.  And if like me, you have parents who had their own challenges - it's not easy to find your way in a world which says divorce is your way out, or never committing to marriage - just in case.
But often our problems have been rooted in this very thing - allowing things to put distance between Sean and I.  They might seem insignificant in the beginning but it can cause us to live past one another, together but apart.  And so I sat down and reflected on the things that cause us to grow towards one another and those that would cause us to grow apart.

My list looks something like this:
Things that grow us together:
* frequent times of intimacy and physical contact
*  spending time every day talking about how we feel, the challenges we are facing and sharing the victories
*  doing things together 
*  date nights
*  praying with and for each other
*  encouraging Sean, building him up with positive feedback about his parenting, provision for the family, his role as a husband
*  speaking to him in his love language (service and affirmation)
*  making an effort to present myself to him in an attractive way
*  submitting to him and asking for his advice
* listening to him 
*  Grace
*  Endurance
Things that pull us apart:
*  deciding that I "don't feel like intimacy" and therefore neither should he
*  not making time for marriage moments
*  prioritising children and housework rather than spending time with him
*  late nights
* too much screen time
*  too much "me time"
* criticism 
*  busy days 
*  unforgiveness
*  impatience and worry

And now?  Well a list is fine, but these are areas that I really need to grow in -to work on in my marriage.  Nothing is going to happen overnight either - oh no, there is no magic wand that will change these things quickly.  It will take effort and I will need to be intentional. But I know that in my heart, I want to be closer to my husband.  I want to keep growing closer to  him because I love him.  

I am my lover's and my lover is mine

Why not get a piece of paper and make your list - and decide today to grow in love, grow in passion, bring restoration and renewal in your marriage.  

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