February 6, 2013 - Marriage, Romance

I was asked to describe my wife in one word.

But I couldn’t decide which one to use—beautiful, lovely, kind, generous, giving, dedicated, Godly, honorable, sweet, beautiful, soft, loving, tender, energetic, spunky, romantic, beautiful, faithful, intelligent, fun, bubbly, compassionate, or beautiful. And that was just the first few. But what I discovered next was a surprise.

When people across the nation were surveyed with the same question, the most common answer by far was … Stubborn.

I know that there were times when my wife, Gwen was stubborn, but so was I. And I’m sure that some of us are more stubborn than others, and that can be a challenge in any marriage.

It has been said, “The more you focus on the bad, the more you focus on the bad.” In marriage, not only is that true, it begins a downward spiral that is damaging and difficult to control.

In successful marriages, there is a constant give and take. Initially, this may be a challenge in itself, but after a period of time (which varies from couple to couple) it no longer becomes a task. Instead, it becomes a simple way of life that is fulfilling and sweet—and seriously romantic (If something doesn’t eventually lead to seriously romantic, question its value).

I have a challenge, if you are willing to do it:

  1. Make a list of the top twenty words you would use to describe your spouse.
  2. Separate the good (positive) qualities from the bad (negative).
  3. Take the Bad list (do not share it with your spouse) and determine which items apply to you too. Cross them out—they no longer count (be honest).
  4. Review the remaining word descriptions one by one—and then forgive your spouse for them. Pray that God would put true forgiveness in your heart for those.

If that exercise seems silly, try it anyway. In essence, what you are doing is concentrating on the good instead of the bad. That’s Godly thinking, especially when it comes to marriage.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 states,

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

When we take scripture as truth, the act of sacrificial investing in marriage on a daily basis is what God expects. And instead of it being a drudgery that sucks the life out of you, you end up with a romance that makes others blush, and makes you think of getting home—all day long.