Marriages have become disposable. People get married with the attitude of “if it doesn’t work out, then I can just get divorced.”
Confession time: I was one of those people. When I got married I openly verbalized that “if it doesn’t work out, then I can just get divorced.” Yes, I really said that! And what’s worse, I said it to my dad who was paying for the wedding! Ha!
Explanation time: I was 18 years old and I was not a Christian.
Flash forward 30 years later and I am still married. Disposable marriage? I don’t think so. I am ready to go another 30 years. Somewhere along the line I learned selflessness. That’s right, the ability to put your wants and needs aside for the wants and needs of the other person. Somehow I learned that if I could put my needs aside I would find joy in my marriage. Funny how that happens, huh?
It is the “reap what you sow” principle. The more work and attention you put into your marriage the better it gets. And more importantly, the more joy you feel. Any time you see a happy couple, you are looking at a couple who works at their marriage. It doesn’t just happen, it’s intentional and it’s work—a lot of work—a lot of hard work.
I was miserable in my marriage when it was all about “me.” But when I became a Christian and I learned to give up self, that’s when my marriage began to get better and better.
I think that is the key—the willingness to put the other person first—to a happy marriage.
What does this look like?
- You honor and respect them all day and every day
- If something is important to them you make it important to you
- You keep them a priority, and yes, even above the kids (almost nothing is more damaging than a child-centered home)
- Be mindful that “it is not all about you!”
- Make your bedroom the “funnest” room in the house
- Consider them in your decisions
- Get used to saying, “I love you” and “I am sorry, forgive me”
- Forgive, forgive, forgive…marriage is the forgiveness ministry
- Spend time with God everyday and pray for them everyday, for it is through God that you will receive the ability to think of them before yourself
It’s time we dispose of disposable marriages. Anyone agree with me?