I was trying to figure out what I wanted to blog about. Nothing was really jumping out at me until I was reading my new Today’s Christian Woman magazine. (Thx for the subscription MIL-of-the-Year! I luv it) Anyway, my mind was drawn to a little list that they published about the secrets of successful couples.
I have noticed all around me this year that friends have been struggling in their marriages. Some have separated. Some are working through their issues. Our church recently attended a Wonderful Weekend To Remember Marriage conference. A LARGE group of couples from church went. Now, whether they went because they were at a point of breaking up or they went as just a tune up for their marriage I don’t know. It’s not important that I do know. What I am most proud of is that they went! They saw the importance of receiving help from a Christian organization to tune up their relationships with one another. Next to parenting teenagers being married is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Once you say "I do" does not by any stretch of the imagination mean that it’s smooth sailing from there. That’s just the beginning. Learning to love in spite of faults, failures, hang ups, annoyances, selfishess and pride is the hardest ONGOING lesson that I am learning. You have to go into a marriage with success on the brain – declaring that divorce is NOT an option. YOu have to understand and remind yourself OFTEN that your spouse is NOT your enemy – he/she is your partner. You’re in this together. "What God has joined together let no man put asunder", "Til death do us part", "I promise to love, honor and cherish as long as I shall live" – those are vows that each of us make before our spouse, our friends/family and most of all, before God. They are just words then but they must grow to be a lifestyle that evolves into a deeper commitment day in and day out. That’s not easy!!
This little blurb in the magazine offered some helpful tips to use. I wanted to share them in the hopes that some little something will jump out and encourage someone to stick it out – give it a go – not give up – on their marriage.
1. There’s value in just showing up. When things get tough, hang in there for your spouse.
2. Approach problems from a new angle. If you don’t, you’ll find that doing what you always do brings the same results.
3. Resist the grass is greener myth. Instead put your energy into making your marriage better. Grass is greenest where you water it.
4. Don’t quit when it gets tough. A crisis is like a storm: loud, scary, and dangerous. But to get through a storm, you have to keep driving.
5. Fight the battle between your ears. Resist holding grudges and bringing up the past. The most successful couples live by the motto: Forget and let it go.
(Mitch Temple, from The Marriage Turnaround (moody))