Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rules of a Healthy Marriage I

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 3:50 PM
Rules for a Healthy Marriage

The first rule of a healthy marriage is that it takes work. Sometimes marriage takes grueling, sweat-inducing, grimy work. One of the biggest lies that our culture produces and cultivates is that if a relationship is built on true love it will naturally grow and always be wonderful. The problem is that there is only one true love, and that is the love of Christ. Any other love is imperfect. Imperfect people love imperfectly. Times will come when we don’t feel very loved or very much like loving. It’s those times especially that we have a choice to make. We can decide to make the effort and continue to act in loving ways, or we can let our feelings rule our actions. It takes a choice to treat someone in a loving manner when we don’t feel like it. This is when love feels like work. And it is. But just as we are rewarded by other work we do when we don’t feel like it (whether it is actually going to work and getting a paycheck, or cleaning the house and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, or working in the yard and enjoying the beauty of it) we will be rewarded every time we choose to act out of love.

Work in marriage also comes into play because our lives our busy. The first chapter of this book laid the foundation of the importance of prioritizing and focusing on the most important things. In our culture, and especially when children arrive, a healthy, happy marriage will not just happen. It’s very easy to get busy, get distracted and forget to feed your marriage. Working in your marriage, therefore, also means taking time and making time for your marriage. This may mean planning regular dates, turning the TV off once in a while to talk (about big and little things), going for a walk together, sitting down over the budget, giving small gifts, intentionally giving words of affirmation, cooking a favorite meal, or whatever it seems your relationship needs at the moment or on an ongoing basis. Each relationship, just like each person, is unique and has unique needs. But every relationship needs to be cared for and fed.

One additional thing I feel the need to mention in this section is a complaint that women often make. The complaint is: why is it my job to put in all the effort/work into the marriage? The answer is pretty straight forward. It’s not our job as the wife to be the only one working in the marriage. Marriage is made up of two people and takes effort on two people’s part. Contrary to popular belief, however, it is rarely, if ever, a 50-50 venture. When we expect it to be and try to keep score, we generally find ourselves frustrated, upset, and feeling negative about the relationship. We instead would benefit greatly from willingly and joyfully putting effort into our relationship with our husband. This doesn’t absolve him from also putting effort in. But we’re not responsible for what he does. We’re responsible for what we do. We are to make sure that our thoughts, words, and actions are in line with God’s will and word. When we as wives do that, it is amazing how much our feelings and attitude toward our husband will become more and more positive. And as we become more positive in our relationship, invariably, so will our husband.

0 comments on "Rules of a Healthy Marriage I"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rules of a Healthy Marriage I

Rules for a Healthy Marriage

The first rule of a healthy marriage is that it takes work. Sometimes marriage takes grueling, sweat-inducing, grimy work. One of the biggest lies that our culture produces and cultivates is that if a relationship is built on true love it will naturally grow and always be wonderful. The problem is that there is only one true love, and that is the love of Christ. Any other love is imperfect. Imperfect people love imperfectly. Times will come when we don’t feel very loved or very much like loving. It’s those times especially that we have a choice to make. We can decide to make the effort and continue to act in loving ways, or we can let our feelings rule our actions. It takes a choice to treat someone in a loving manner when we don’t feel like it. This is when love feels like work. And it is. But just as we are rewarded by other work we do when we don’t feel like it (whether it is actually going to work and getting a paycheck, or cleaning the house and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, or working in the yard and enjoying the beauty of it) we will be rewarded every time we choose to act out of love.

Work in marriage also comes into play because our lives our busy. The first chapter of this book laid the foundation of the importance of prioritizing and focusing on the most important things. In our culture, and especially when children arrive, a healthy, happy marriage will not just happen. It’s very easy to get busy, get distracted and forget to feed your marriage. Working in your marriage, therefore, also means taking time and making time for your marriage. This may mean planning regular dates, turning the TV off once in a while to talk (about big and little things), going for a walk together, sitting down over the budget, giving small gifts, intentionally giving words of affirmation, cooking a favorite meal, or whatever it seems your relationship needs at the moment or on an ongoing basis. Each relationship, just like each person, is unique and has unique needs. But every relationship needs to be cared for and fed.

One additional thing I feel the need to mention in this section is a complaint that women often make. The complaint is: why is it my job to put in all the effort/work into the marriage? The answer is pretty straight forward. It’s not our job as the wife to be the only one working in the marriage. Marriage is made up of two people and takes effort on two people’s part. Contrary to popular belief, however, it is rarely, if ever, a 50-50 venture. When we expect it to be and try to keep score, we generally find ourselves frustrated, upset, and feeling negative about the relationship. We instead would benefit greatly from willingly and joyfully putting effort into our relationship with our husband. This doesn’t absolve him from also putting effort in. But we’re not responsible for what he does. We’re responsible for what we do. We are to make sure that our thoughts, words, and actions are in line with God’s will and word. When we as wives do that, it is amazing how much our feelings and attitude toward our husband will become more and more positive. And as we become more positive in our relationship, invariably, so will our husband.

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