I used to have this treacherous and dangerous tendency to hold on to the horrendous and heart-breaking moments in my relationship with my husband. I would let the bad memories play on repeat, letting my anger re-ignite at random times, and hold on to the trying times rather than the beautiful ones.
Here’s the thing about marriage – we become so comfortable with our spouse that sometimes we look up and realize that we push the negative on them, constantly point out their faults, and forget all of the beautiful times our journey has held.
I could forget the times my husband would randomly bring me flowers.
I could forget the sweet text messages and random notes he leaves for me.
I could forget the surprise romantic picnics he has planned for me.
I could forget the way my heart flutters when he holds my hand or smiles at me from across the room.
I tend to forget how many times he tells me that I am beautiful and that I am the only one for him.
Instead, I had a tendency to remember:
The times he emotionally hurt me.
The times we were disconnected.
The times we fought so much we wondered what good we had left in our relationship.
The times we felt so drained by finances or job searches and just drifted apart rather than come together.
Oh, my. What had I become?
I often chose bitterness in the early years of our marriage rather than letting our relationship become better when we faced trials. Personal growth. Spiritual growth. Where was it?
In those growing years, I constantly reminded him of our financial and personal struggles. I was trying to make him something he wasn’t. Push things on him that would make me feel better about our relationship instead of letting God take the reigns of his heart.
Instead, we should:
1. Not let trials make us bitter, let the trials make us better. It’s important when facing difficult times in your marriage to realize that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. We can’t become so consumed with the bad things in life that we forget to look up and enjoy the scenery. Life can be difficult. Problems will arise. Fights will happen. But, we have to stop trying to fix everything on our own and let God lead the way.
2. Remember to dwell on the good. It is important not to dwell on every negative situation, every fight, and every unpaid bill. We must find rainbows in every storm. We must put our rain boots on and prepare for the storms ahead. It is important to dwell on the good times rather than the trying ones. It is important not to dwell on every character flaw of your spouse. It is vital not to let every quarrel be reignited in your mind. Keep moving forward!
3. You are both worth it. Your relationship IS worth fighting for. Armor up! God created us to love and to be loved in return. He destined us to have a forgiving and grace-filled heart like His. He created us to be compassionate beings. He created us to find hope amidst the turmoil and keep moving forward. Your relationship is worth a few rough patches along the way. Fighting for your marriage will not be something you regret. We must remember that only God can pave the way through our journey, so we have to stop trying to do it all on our own.
In her book, Overcoming Hurtful Words: Rewrite Your Own Story, Janell Rardon says, “Authentic love looks upward to God.”
Authentic love looks upward to God. —Janell RardonTweet this!
We must remember that we are not alone – in our marriages or in our personal lives. We don’t have to face difficult and trying times alone – we must let God take center stage and re-write our stories.
Remember – the love of your life is WORTH it, my darling! Don’t give up – lace up your boots and enjoy the scenic route together.