As Dennis Rainey said this week in one of his sessions from his Family Life Today radio program, "If you aren't actively working on your marriage, you're losing ground." Brad and I had a discussion about that because marriage IS hard work. But, there are many days that you don't want to do the work - not spend the time with your spouse, do what you want to do, not put the other one first...you know the feeling. And, let's face it, who wants marriage to be "work"? Who wants to refer to it that way?
When we were discussing this, Brad initially said that he didn't think you would actually lose ground if you weren't actively working on your marriage. So, as we talked about it, we decided that if you are invested in your marriage, then you are doing the things you should be doing to improve and continue to grow your marriage...things like putting the other person first, looking out for the needs of your spouse, showing love and/or respect. And, if you are doing these things, you are moving in the right direction. Marriage is a dynamic process and always in need of work. It never reaches the goal of perfection.
But, as I said before, no one wants to think of marriage as work. My prayer is that you see the time you spend with your spouse as one of joy. I pray that you don't see yourself having to WORK at your marriage, but instead see it as a calling from God to do his bidding, to follow in the design he intends. Wouldn't it be great if it could be second nature to leave our selfishness behind and eagerly look to serve the other? Love that is unconditional will do this, despite the circumstances. But, as I am really learning in The Love Dare, it can't be done on our own. We have to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit to truly carry out this challenge. Spend time in the Word. Spend time with your spouse. Take the time to invest in your marriage, and explore your relationship.
Be in the Word. We know we cannot change others, only the power of Christ can do that. But, we can be assured that Christ is our Lord and Savior, and his example to us of perfect love is amazing. Strive to follow in his footsteps and choose to love, respect, and honor your mate as Christ intends. What a blessed gift we have received in the marriage covenant. May it always be honored and cherished.
I admit, as soon as Brad found out that I was doing the love dare challenge, it seemed to cause me to slack a bit. The excitement of doing all these things for him without his knowledge was no longer as strong, and I needed to take a step back and analyze why I was doing this. Was it for the thrill of his recognition? Was it to look good in his eyes? Or, was it to truly grow and be a better wife? Unfortunately, all of these things may have been true. But, ultimately, the last question is the most important. I do desire a stronger, more intimate marriage. I do know that it won't happen overnight. Some days are easier than others. It is VERY difficult to put the other person first when everything within you screams to do it your way. It is a huge lesson in personal sacrifice, and a humbling experience in how selfish you are as an individual. It is a dare to become stronger in the Word, and become a better person, spouse, and mother.
It is a challenge that I cannot do without the Holy Spirit in me.
So, I am trying. By God's power, I am trying. May I ever be his faithful servant, imperfect as I am.
I'm on Day 16, Love Intercedes, and I'll probably be there for a few days. I have some things to get right in my heart before I feel I can move on effectively. Thank goodness I don't need to do it on my own.
But, I'm blessed to be a part of this journey. I'm blessed to have a patient husband. I'm blessed to love the Lord and blessed that He loves me more. Despite everything. Praise the Lord.
(Love)always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Corinthians 13:7
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